By Martha Jacob –
Voters in the Village of Ripley will have the opportunity to vote for six candidates running for four open seats on village council on Nov. 7, 2017.
Current Ripley Council members consist of Tiffany Regenstein, Travis Arnett, Dave Otis, Charles Poole, Kathy Lewis and Nowana Bingaman. incumbents Bingaman, Lewis and Poole will be on the ballot along with newcomers Dianne M. Carrington, Linda South and Alvin J. Wallace.
The following bios on each of the candidates is intended to help voters decide on the best fit for their village council:
• Linda South has been a business owner and is a resident of Ripley. During that time, she has served on many committees involved in the improvement of the village including Ripley Economic Group, the USDA Loan Committee and Neighborhood Watch.
South has operated a small business for 27 years and before that worked in an office as administrator and payroll officer. Both jobs are working with the public and requires working under pressure.
“These jobs required a lot of thinking out-of-the-box,” South said. “I had to be able to see things from several different sides.
“Because I am self-employed I am able to set my own hours so that I can dedicate as much time and effort it takes to be a council member.”
South has served four years on council in the past and she said she looks forward to serving another term in hopes of helping the village grow.
“I want our village to be a place that people want to come to with their families,” she said.
She added that she has spent a lot of her life invested in the well-being of the Village of Ripley and wants to see it thrive.
“I truly feel that I have the experience to do this job and help with some issues within the village.” South said. “I would like for people to vote for a candidate who will and can do the job.
“I have no doubt that I can do this job and would do my very best to help with accomplishing the goal of making improvements in Ripley.”
• Alvin J. Wallace is currently president/CEO of Surgical Skills, Inc. a medical surgical assistant provider. He has worked within the medical profession for 40 years and believes he understands both the medical and business side.
“As a business person, I know I can bring the experience needed to help our town in growth and survive the changing atmosphere of today’s times,” Wallace said. “I have lived in Ripley for more than thirty years and throughout those years offered my time and assistance to our community. I have been youth director for the Ripley Church of Christ, and I volunteered as cub master and scout master within our community.”
Wallace said he has coached knothole baseball and volunteered at the Ripley Union Lewis Huntington High School for the plays performed over the last 20 years and says he has a passion for his community and will give all he can to see that Ripley survives and thrives into the future.
“My priorities are clear for Ripley, I’d like to see that the abandoned buildings be brought into code and be occupied. The Ripley city ordinances must be brought into current times and published so that every citizen of Ripley has a clear understanding of what is expected of them.”
Wallace said he wants to find out exactly why people would want to visit Ripley and promote those very reasons. He believes that his work ethic is strong and could be put up against anyone’s. He says he loves his community and has given both time and finance to make it successful.
“I have raised three children that have all graduated from RULH and my oldest is now the bowling coach for RULH,” Wallace said. “It would be my honor to serve this great community and I hope the citizens give me the opportunity to give back what I can to them. I feel that I have a unique prospective in looking at our community and believe I can help bring both growth and change.”
• Charles Poole did not return answers to questions for this article by press deadline.
• Kathy Lewis is currently serving as a Ripley Village Council member and hopes voters will keep her on council. She has been a resident of the village most of her life and serves as an EMT on the Ripley Life Squad.
“I know serving on council can take up a lot of time and I have always dedicated as much time as possible to council,” Lewis said, “Occasionally I have to work between life squad runs, but I enjoy being on council.
“I have my own priorities for our village with bringing new businesses into our village at the top of the list. All our council members bring different things to the table and different ideas. I believe we all try to work towards the same goal which is… what would be best for our village.”
Lewis said she is hoping the voters support her in November and that they know she will make the right decisions for Ripley, her community, which will make the village a safe place to raise a family. She said she always has the best interest of the village at heart.
• Dianne M. Carrington has lived in Ripley for over 10 years and considers it to be her home.
“I chose to live in Ripley and plan on spending the rest of my life here,” Carrington said, “I fell in love with this small town and everything in it and all that it has to offer.
“But, in the last few years I have seen a change in this town, and not for the better. So that’s why I decided to run for council to see if I could help and make a change. I believe the council needs a change, fresh ideas. I have worked on many advisory boards in my years of teaching and also at Southern Hills Career and Technical Center as well as the University of Cincinnati.
“I will be semi-retired soon, giving me more time to dedicate to this position. I ask voters to vote for me because I want to be your voice in council and help Ripley.
• Nowana Bingaman currently serves on the Ripley Village Council and is up for re-election in November. She feels she is very qualified to serve as a council member because of her love for her home town.
“I feel I bring 8 years of experience to council and through my journey I have learned a great deal and I am still learning. I want to continue to serve Ripley.
Bingaman said she completed a term for a prior council member and was elected by the people to the term beginning 2014.
“I feel that one of the biggest issues we face is the buildings that have fallen and will continue to fall if something doesn’t change,” Bingaman said, “And of course, getting a grocery store back in Ripley is extremely important to our village as well as bringing new business and tourism back to Ripley. I want to bring back the Ripley I knew growing up here.
“My drive and dedication to my hometown is strong, as is my willingness to work hard and my commitment to not only the residents of Ripley but the people visiting distinguishes me from other candidates.”
She stated that she wants to finish the projects that she’s been involved with like the Certified Local Government which will help property owners apply for grants and will help Ripley become a ‘Preserve America Village’ which will help open new opportunities for funding.
“I want to continue finding the funding to develop the riverbank,” Bingaman said. “I want the many paddle wheels that once stopped in Ripley to return and tourism flourish again.
“I grew up here in this beautiful village and my husband and I have raised our children here. This is home and I am proud to say that. I am an EMT with the Ripley Life Squad, a member of the Ripley Women’s Club and the Ripley First Responders Group. I believe in standing up for what’s right and being a positive influence on my community.”