After moving to Middletown five years ago, Eric Ware began attending meetings of the town’s burgess and board of commissioners.

From there, he moved into a role as an alternate on the Planning Commission, and he now hopes to put that experience to use as a town commissioner via an election scheduled to conclude on Monday.

His role on the Planning Commission since December of 2018 has been an eye-opening experience.

“For me, that’s been a huge learning experience, kind of how town government works,” he said.

Ware, 37, faces Kevin Stottlemyer in a race to serve out the remainder of former commissioner Larry Bussard’s term, which ends in April 2022. Bussard resigned in September after 18 years as a commissioner, citing family medical concerns.

Monday will be the last day for ballots to be dropped off or received at the town’s municipal center.

Town officials mailed about 3,600 ballots on Jan. 25, but they recently urged voters to turn their ballots in at the municipal center rather than mailing them, citing concerns with delivery of ballots to residents’ homes.

The town held an all vote-by-mail election for the burgess and two commissioners’ seats in April, which saw dramatically higher turnout than previous elections.

That election saw 1,104 votes out of 3,608 registered voters, compared to 359 votes in 2018.

Ware said he thinks people are generally happy with the way things are going in the town, and there aren’t really any glaring issues to be fixed.

He’d like to see more businesses that generate foot traffic along Main Street and better communication between the town, county and state on projects such as the Main Street streetscape that went significantly over the estimated time for completion.

He’d also like to see if something can be done about the “Bermuda Triangle” that occurs near the town’s elementary and middle schools during drop-off and pick-up times for students.

Growth in and around the town is also a concern, especially how it affects the town’s schools, Ware said.

Campaigning during the COVID-19 pandemic has been tough, said Ware, who would have liked to do more face-to-face campaigning.

Along with using social media, he’s had some signs made and sent out postcards to help get his name out to voters, he said.

Follow Ryan Marshall on Twitter: @RMarshallFNP

Ryan Marshall is the transportation and growth and development reporter for the News-Post. He can be reached at rmarshall@newspost.com.

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