Republicans appoint Stutzman as Clay Township trustee

Kosciusko County Republican Central Committee Secretary Austin Rovenstine swears in Stephanie Stutzman into the Clay Township trustee position Wednesday. Photo by Jackie Gorski, Times-Union.
By Jackie Gorski

CLAYPOOL — Stephanie Stutzman was voted into the Clay Township trustee position by the Republican caucus at the Claypool Lions Building Wednesday.

The position became vacant after Jacob Metzger resigned from the position effective Dec. 31.

Wednesday, Stutzman went up against Spencer Bartlett for the position. Precinct committee members were Helen Brown and Brian Pyle.

Before voting occurred, Stutzman and Bartlett were able to speak before the caucus.

Stutzman said she is a longtime resident of Claypool. She has always been a big advocate of her hometown rural community. She was raised on a farm south of town and she has done the same with her family.

“With my family dear and near to my heart,” Stutzman said she was sure she could take the familiar issues the arise in the township. Working at Claypool Elementary School, she said she sees the issues that affect the township’s kids every day. She said she hopes to be there to help them when an issue arises.

She said she puts kids and family first.

She also has volunteered with various organizations. She was a 4-H co-leader for 10 years. She was also on the agriculture board for the local Future Farmers of America chapter.

With a connection to the Claypool Fire Department with husband Tommy being the assistant fire chief, she said the local first responders, fire department and police are prioritized. As a former corrections officer, she said that was important to her, too.

She wants to make sure the town is presentable to its residents, as well as others. She also wants to make sure the town is organized.

Bartlett said Stutzman came better prepared than he did. For himself, Bartlett said he has been a Kosciusko County resident for 20 years. He lives outside of town with his wife and four kids. He said he loves the country and Constitution. As he has not held a public office before, the experience is new to him.

Professionally, he works as a software and technology consultant.

On a side note, Bartlett said he thought Stutzman would be an awesome trustee. She has the local history here and has experiences that may benefit the position.

When asked what she thought of being elected into the trustee position, Stutzman said she was ready to serve the township and do what’s best. She hopes to help the township as much as she can.