Soil and water district election set

STEUBENVILLE — A special election to fill one Jefferson Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Supervisors position will be held in conjunction with the district’s 74th-annual meeting and banquet.

The election, conducted by a representative of the Ohio Soil and Water Conservation Commission, will take place from 5:45 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. on Oct. 1 at St. Florian Hall in Wintersville.

The two candidates on the ballot are:

¯ Eric Haenni, an associate professor of biology at Franciscan University of Steubenville with more than 26 years of teaching, research and consulting experience in the biological and environmental sciences. In his previous occupation as an environmental consultant, he worked in listed species assessment and permitting, wetland assessment and mitigation, critical habitat assessment and management, educational outreach and managed more than 120,000 acres of wetlands for the NRCS –Wetland Reserve Program.

He has collaborated with the city of Steubenville with park and watershed cleanups and with the soil and water conservation district efforts on rails to trails, the hellbender initiative and the area and state envirothon program .

He serves as a JSWCD associate supervisor. He and his wife, Monica, reside in Steubenville.

¯ Jodee Straus Verhovec is seeking her fifth term as a member of the soil and water conservation district board, serving as board chair and the board treasurer. She was appointed in 2016 as an Area III director for the Ohio Federation of Soil and Water Conservation Districts representing the district boards within a 16-county region. She has participated in the development of state soil and water conservation policy.

She graduated from Ohio University with a bachelor of science degree in photo journalism and from the University of Dayton with a master’s degree in education. She retired from the Buckeye Local School District with more than 30 years of teaching.

She and her husband, Julius, raise Charolais cattle on their family farm in Smithfield. They have been involved in implementing conservation practices, including rotational grazing, on the farm. She is a member of the Smithfield Historical Society, the Smithfield Garden Club, the Questers, a member of the Alpha Delta Kappa and a former Jefferson County 4-H adviser.

Residents or landowners, firms and corporations that own land or occupy land in Jefferson County and are 18 years of age and older may vote. However, voters representing a corporation, firm LLC or trusts must complete an affidavit form that confirms eligibility and includes designation of a voting representative. This form and the ballot request form are available at the soil and water district office. The request form must be completed prior to casting a ballot.

Eligible voters may call or visit the JSWCD office to request an absentee ballot, cast a ballot at the district office no later than 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 1 or cast a ballot at the annual meeting at St. Florian Hall from 5:45 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. on Oct. 1.

Reservations are being accepted to attend the annual meeting and banquet. Dinner will be served at 7 p.m. and the menu will consist of primarily locally grown and raised produce and meats.

The soil and water district will recognize the conservation farmer and farm family of the year as well as other individuals who have displayed a commitment to local conservation and conservation education efforts.

The guests will have the opportunity to vote on the photos submitted for the annual photo contest and will meet with local landowners who, through their conservation efforts, work to improve the conditions of their land, according to officials.

Tickets can be purchased at the district office, Suite 4, Mezzanine, 500 Market St. Adult tickets are $20 each, and children age 5 and under are $10.

For information, call (74) 264-9790.

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