Voter guide 2023: Three contestants seek position on Deerfield Board of Trustees

Deerfield Township Trustee Mark Bann is being challenged by Stephanie Barringer and Laura Lindberg in the November 2023 election.

Bann did not respond to The Portager’s request for an interview prior to publication.

Having lived in Deerfield since she was 10 years old, Barringer owns U.S. Pride Home Specialists, her family’s construction and residential remodeling company.

She said she helped form the Southeast Youth Baseball and Softball Association, raised funds for a sign in front of Deerfield American Legion Post 713 and helped organize the township’s annual community yard sale.

Barringer also said she was instrumental in organizing Deerfield’s first Halloween and Easter events and has been an active volunteer and sponsor of the township’s annual Apple Butter Festival. She also creates the monthly Deerfield community calendar.

“It’s time for a change,” Barringer said. “The residents, including myself, would like to see a little more transparency. We would like to know why decisions are made instead of being shut out. It shouldn’t be a fight to come up with an answer.”

Stating she is “addicted to growth,” Barringer said she “would like to put Deerfield on the map again.” State and federal grants might be obtained to restore the township’s annual clean-up day and to fund a playground at Deerfield Park, she said.

“None of us want to drive 25 minutes to take our kids to a park,” she said.

The township could also more actively use Berlin Lake as an asset to attract visitors who would then support local businesses, she said.

If elected trustee, Barringer pledged to listen to residents’ ideas and to balance the growth she envisions with retaining Deerfield’s rural character.

“I want Deerfield to be a place where you can live, raise your kids, walk out your front door and know your neighbors,” she said.

Born and raised in Deerfield, Lindberg said she is a member of Deerfield’s Historical Society, Civic Association, Cemetery Association and United Methodist Church, where she serves as a lay leader and church council member.

Also a member of the Ohio Farm Bureau, she and her husband farm in Deerfield, and Lindberg herself is a fourth-generation farmer. She is employed as a custodian at the Waterloo Local School District.

An active volunteer, Lindberg said she has helped prepare apples for the township’s annual Apple Butter Festival and decorate Deerfield Circle for Christmas and Memorial Day. 

“As a concerned resident in Deerfield, I would like to see civility and stability in township government,” Lindberg said. “I will conduct myself in a civil, professional and respectable way. I want to see things run smoothly in Deerfield.”

The township could save taxpayer dollars by using Deerfield’s maintenance crew to do more in-house work instead of outsourcing tasks like some building repairs and grounds maintenance, she said.

“We have good people on our maintenance crew that do a lot of things, and I hope they will be able to do more instead of outsourcing,” Lindberg said.

Turning her attention to the township’s first responders, Lindberg focused on Deerfield’s volunteer fire department. Alleging that decisions regarding hiring fire department employees have sometimes been questionable, she said she would make sound judgment calls.

Lindberg alleged that Fire Chief Scott Dean, whom trustees hired earlier this year, was less qualified than a Deerfield VFD employee who also applied for the job.

“Our fire and EMS department is the most important thing we have in Deerfield. I would like to see stability, professionalism and retention in the fire department,” she said. “I would just like to see things stabilized, and that’s getting good people in place.”

Acknowledging that she has no clear idea as to how to make it happen, Lindberg said she would like to bring Deerfield’s annual clean-up day back.

As the daughter of Jesse Carver, the township’s late zoning inspector, Lindberg said many residents have asked her if she would support re-implementing zoning codes in Deerfield. The township’s residents have repeatedly defeated such bids at the polls, and “zoning is not on my radar,” Lindberg said.

“We have a wonderful, rural township that is unique in that we have residents that care and want to volunteer to do things in our township and take pride in our historical town,” she said, pledging that she would support those sorts of activities.

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Wendy DiAlesandro is a former Record Publishing Co. reporter and contributing writer for The Portager.