Village of Wayne Lakes hosts ‘Meet the Candidates’ night


WAYNE LAKES — A “Meet the Candidate” night took place at the Village of Wayne Lakes Community Building Monday night.

Candidates for Wayne Lakes Council are: Melissa J. Capps, incumbent Karen A. Sink and incumbent Joan Falknor and a fourth unfiled seat. Candidates for Wayne Lakes Mayor, unexpired term ending December 31, 2019, are: R. Ellen Brown, Philip L. Capps and Alfred A. Hayes (write -in).

Mayor Pro Tempore and Sergeant at Arms of the event John McRoberts introduced former Darke County Commissioner and Neave Township fiscal officer Diane Delaplane as moderator.

“I have been involved in several meet the candidates events, as a spectator/concerned citizen, a helper/moderator and also in the candidate seat, so I understand a little of what this is all about,” she said. “Hopefully this will make you a more informed voter.”

Each council candidate was given one-and-a-half minutes to speak. Melissa J. Capps said she is a Certified Cardiac Nurse registered both in the state of Ohio and Indiana. She has been employed by Miami Valley Hospital as one of their Certified Cardiac Nurses for a number of years. She has been a resident of Wayne Lakes for about 32 years.

“We know many of the residents here in Wayne Lakes, and we are proud to be a part of your council and possible mayor,” she said.

Joan Falknor said she has been a resident of the village since 1980 and she runs the Wayne Lakes Beach.

“It has been pretty successful,” she said. “We try to make it a nice addition to the village.”

Karen A. Sink said she and her husband moved to the village, because her husband wanted to live somewhere where he could just walk out the door and go fishing. She is helping with the Fish and Lake Committee.

“We are trying to make sure that stays as healthy as possible,” she said.

A mayor candidates forum followed, in a question/answer format. Candidates were each given one-and-a-half minutes to introduce themselves and explain their desires to be mayor.

R. Ellen Brown said she was born and raised in Dayton, and moved in and around Darke County since she was 18, living in Wayne Lakes the past six years. She has an Associated Degree in Psychology and a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development. She has worked in business, owned a business with her husband, and has been a been a licensed massage therapist for 38 years. She has been retired about five years.

“I am very excited about being able to be of some help to the village,” she said.

Philip L. Capps said he and his wife, of 33 years, have lived in Wayne Lakes about 32 years. He has a bachelor’s degree and has owned his business for more than 30 years. He said their current home took a great amount of work to build and he believes in hard work.

“My reasons for running are: to be a good steward of finances with financial integrity and to be a servant to the people, through moderation and balance, with no secrets; your village, your voice and your vote.”

Alfred A. Hayes said he moved to Wayne Lakes in 1969, after leaving the military. He raised four children in the village and stayed because they loved it, he said.

“There have been a lot of changes and there are a lot more changes coming whether we want them or not,” he said. “That is why I am running.”

Questions followed from Delaplane and then from the audience. Candidates were given about two minutes to answer each question. One of the questions asked candidates to talk about the sewer project: “Do you believe it is inevitable, and what do we do for people on fixed income that can’t afford it?”

“The sewer project is coming regardless of whether we want it or not,” Hayes said. “Either you pay for it our way, or the state way. I think there are ways we can cut the cost on the top end, so it doesn’t run everybody out of Wayne Lakes. I am afraid if we let it go, deny it and ignore it, that is what is going to happen. For the people on fixed income like myself, a retired veteran, I have some contacts out there. Hopefully we can cut at least 10-15 percent off the top end.”

“This issue has been on the table at least 15 years from what I have been told,” Brown said. “I understand, I live on a fixed income too. The truth is, if we don’t do something about the sewers, we may not have homes or value in our homes. We need to do everything to get all of the funding and the loans we can to stretch it out, to make it as affordable as possible. There are things we might be able to do for people who can’t afford even a small bill. There are good people working on this, and we will make it through.”

“We have Dr. Holman (Darke County Health Department Commissioner) who is pushing this really hard, and I don’t agree with anything this guy is saying on this subject,” Capps said. “It’s probably going to happen, but we can’t get over that agency that is pushing this. If you look at the Ohio revised open septic law – that is a law that protects people from these entities. When they push a system, it protects you. They are going to replace these grinder pumps every eight years; that’s $6,000 every eight years. Every home in here is going to have a $20,000-$30,000 debt put on their home. The village is going to be responsible for a $20,000-$25,000 a month payment. Your payment on that $30,000 will be, I am estimating $100 a month. Some other things along with the 30-year loan we are getting, is a 20-year replacement cost. Whenever you pay this down, they will have grinder pumps replaced every eight years, then a 20-year replacement cost. Also, can you imagine the smell of the facility they are going to have? If it is going to happen, I would like to steer it in the right direction.”

Some other questions included: What is your vision for our village for the next 10 years, 20 years and beyond?; What would you recommend for keeping the village safe, clean and junk free?; funding is always going to be an issue. How do we manage to get things done that are not in the budget?; Will you consider hiring a full-time maintenance man? and the lakes are our largest asset; how do we keep them healthy?

Candidates for the Village of Wayne Lakes Council are from left to right: Melissa J. Capps, Karen A. Sink and Joan Falknor. for the Village of Wayne Lakes Council are from left to right: Melissa J. Capps, Karen A. Sink and Joan Falknor. Carolyn Harmon | The Daily Advocate

Candidates for the Village of Wayne Lakes Mayor are from left to right: R. Ellen Brown, Philip L. Capps and Alfred A. Hayes (write-in). for the Village of Wayne Lakes Mayor are from left to right: R. Ellen Brown, Philip L. Capps and Alfred A. Hayes (write-in). Carolyn Harmon | The Daily Advocate

By Carolyn Harmon

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The writer may be reached at 937-569-4354. Join the conversation and get updates on Facebook search Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to

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