Former Niles Township treasurer to run for supervisorPublished 4:57pm Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Former Niles Township Treasurer Jim Stover is back in town and has his eyes set on the township supervisor’s post.
After consulting with an “exploration committee” consisting of family and friends in the area, Stover has announced his candidacy for Niles Township supervisor.
He will run against the current supervisor, Jim Kidwell, in the Republican primary in August.
Stover, who served as a township trustee from 1974 to 1978 and treasurer from 1978 to 1996, most recently worked as treasurer for Plainfield Township in Kent County.
Stover said he is pursuing the township supervisor role because the “timing is right.” At 72, he recently retired from his full-time position in Plainfield Township.
The part-time Niles Township supervisor role isn’t as demanding and is enough to “keep busy,” he said.
Stover also received encouragement from family and friends to consider a run at the post.
He is pursuing the position at a time of some disunity among board members, most notably between Kidwell and Jim Ringler, the township’s treasurer. But Stover said he believes he has what it takes to find common ground among board members.
“I believe I have the leadership abilities to keep the board intact, and we will have consensus on those issues that are most important to the township,” he said.
Stover said he will have an open-door policy with township employees and residents and will encourage governmental transparency.
“First of all, we have to be open to hear what the citizenry is telling us,” he said. “We must be willing to listen and constructively put a plan together to evaluate their concerns.”
In order to facilitate community discussion, he would hold quarterly meetings with business owners and monthly coffee meetings with residents.
Although Stover was urged by friends and family to run, he said he doesn’t have any “ties or debts to anyone.”
Stover said the biggest issues facing the township in the coming years is the development of the 11th Street corridor and the development of the Indiana-Michigan River Valley Trail.