KOSCIUSKO — Three candidates are running in the primary election for the position of Wayne Township Trustee. Jeanie Stackhouse, an investigative clerk at the trustee’s office, and Kerry Stogsdill, a former Warsaw firefighter, are the Republican candidates. Shari Benyousky, the sole Democratic candidate, is an English adjunct instructor at several local colleges. The upcoming primary election will be Tuesday, May 8.
Jeanie Stackhouse has lived most of her adult life in Warsaw, working at the trustee’s office for seven years as an investigative clerk. Working at the office has given Stackhouse knowledge of the duties and responsibilities a trustee has.
Stackhouse also has experience inside sales and customer service during her time in Warsaw. She has three children, six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
“I enjoy helping the residents of the community and look forward to working with the fire territory and parks departments, while also serving the community and its residents,” Stackhouse said.
Kerry Stogsdill has lived in Warsaw most of his life, moving into the area when he was 12. He graduated from Warsaw Community High School and attended Grace College, receiving a degree in education.
At the end of this year, he will retire after 32 years as a firefighter with Warsaw-Wayne Fire Territory. Stogsdill was an officer with the Kosciusko County Firefighter’s Association for 15 years. He also worked in education and technology with Warsaw Community Schools for more than 15 years.
During his time as assistant chief, Stogsdill worked with the Warsaw-Wayne Fire Territory board and was involved in their monthly meetings. The experience gave him insight on how the local government functions.
“I’ve always voted and supported elected officials who keep taxes low and use taxpayers’ money wisely,” said Stogsdill.
He stated that he’d like to look into ways the township office can provide citizens with information through technology. “Social media and a township web page could provide up to date and easy access of township information.”
Stogsdill also discussed the township’s emergency medical care. “It is important that the rates the EMS provider charges are affordable but that they can also provide a quick and professional response,” Stogsdill said.
He also said the community has excellent parks and trails and he’d like to see continued support of these types of projects and future expansions. “I also plan on attending county meetings, city meetings and other events that have business pertinent to the township.”
Shari Benyousky has roots in Kosciusko County that started growing ever since the day she was born in Warsaw. In her childhood, Benyousky’s family moved a lot but she’s lived in the area since 1996. She has a master’s degree from the University of Central Florida and an undergraduate degree from Grace College, the school where her father worked as a pastor.
For 25 years, Benyousky has worked as an English adjunct instructor at several local colleges, including Purdue University Fort Wayne, Indiana Tech Warsaw and Ivy Tech Warsaw. Her three kids all have been or currently are part of the Kosciusko County school system.
She views this position as non-partisan, stating that it’s more about the qualifications a candidate has than party affiliation.
“I’ve been spending 4 to 5 hours a week meeting with various people and discussing issues within the community,” said Benyousky.
One issue she wants to address is allowing more transparency within the trustee position by making a website, informing the public about the job and what the trustee is currently doing within the community.
“There are many ‘straight vote’ people in the county and I hope that changes in the future,” said Benyousky.
Benyousky said that she’s willing to meet with anybody that wants to discuss issues with her, no matter what their political affiliation.
“I love this area. It’s been good to my kids and I. And I really value the local history here.”