ARCANUM – Two area men will run on the November ballot for two seats on the village council – Jacob “Jake” Banks and Rick Genovesi.
Jacob “Jake” Banks
Banks, 29, a life-long Arcanum resident and 2009 Arcanum High School graduate, shares a vested interest in his community. For the last year, he has attended council meetings, with a plan in place to be proactive as opposed to reactive.
He has had an eye on leadership from a young age with current educational and career ambitions highlighting his leadership drive, coupled with the fact he is “always in a leadership role,” including ten years in management.
Currently, Banks is the YMCA Property Director, running the facilities and maintenance for both the Greenville and Versailles locations. He has attended Edison State Community College, holds certification in project management, and is currently finishing his degree at Ohio State University in Community Development.
Banks has the support of his wife, Kaylee, also a life-long Arcanum resident, and their three children.
When asked about his interest in running for a council seat, Banks stated, “I feel it is the time someone my age, my generation, does something in the community.” He cited concerns related to decisions made by an older generation, decisions that will affect his generation. “It is very important that someone my age has a say in that.”
“They are making decisions now that will affect people the next 20, 30 years,” continued Banks. “And they may not be here, that definitely affects us.”
When asked about pursuits when serving on the village council, Banks reiterated the necessity for being proactive and issues in transparency or communication with the village public.
“Not everyone can attend the meetings, the council and the city needs to do a little bit better communicating to its citizens.”
Banks also sees a need for upgrades in technology that would benefit the council and community as a whole. When asked to elaborate, Banks noted Craig Mesher with Access Engineering Solutions, who recently provided a presentation to Arcanum Council.
Mesher explained how his firm aids clients in identifying infrastructure needs, along with matching them to available funds or grants.
The firm was integral to the Village of Bradford in the receipt of grants and funds to make improvements to their water treatment system. The firm also oversaw the Main Street project in Gettysburg, the Main Street project in Osgood, a new water tower in Elida, and a new wastewater system in Christiansburg.
Access Engineering Solutions would apply for grants on projects the village would be interested in pursuing along with the development of a five to ten-year plan.
Banks shared how prioritizing projects via the use of an app has been instrumental in his current work-related projects.
“When you have a database, you can prioritize easier,” said Banks. “It would prioritize issues and be less of an issue when problems come up.”
Banks further cited the need to draw in businesses or manufactures, once again emphasizing the need to be proactive, “You can’t sit there and wait” and with a background in manufacturing, “if they want to promote industry, I have a lot of contacts.”
Overall, Banks is focused on making sure the community is more involved in understanding what is going on within the village.
“Communication is key to all successful businesses,” said Banks. “I’ve learned that communicating what is going on to the community is very, very important if you want to be a successful community.”
Rick Genovesi, 56, is a slightly-seasoned veteran of the Arcanum Council after he was sworn in following a previous council member’s resignation in March.
Genovesi and his wife, Paula, have two grown children and have been a part of the Arcanum community for 15 years after a career change brought the current council member to the area.
Born in New York, Genovesi moved to Dayton as a child due to his Navy father’s transfer. The start of his career consisted of culinary school, both in the states and abroad. However, he always had a nagging feeling there was something else out there. A thought that never failed to bring up law enforcement that came to fruition after a chance conversation with a gentleman at his son’s baseball game. The gentleman happened to be a commander of the law enforcement academy at Miami Valley Career Technology Center.
“I knew that’s what God wanted me to do,” said Genovesi, who, after graduation, worked part-time in New Paris before accepting a position and proceeding to work for the next 16 years as a Darke County Sheriff’s Deputy.
Genovesi is currently a probation officer with the Darke County Adult Probation Department.
When interviewed and asked about taking the council seat last winter, Genovesi was immediately receptive. “I knew we were without a police chief, and I wanted to help,” said Genovesi. It was at this time that Arcanum Police Chief Andrew Ashbaugh had been placed on administrative leave and would later resign due to allegations of misconduct.
Genovesi explained how he felt the Arcanum Council needed someone with law enforcement experience to help them through the search process.
“That’s what I wanted; I just wanted to help the village,” said Genovesi, who, after research over three companies, utilized Clemans Nelson and Associates, Inc. to bring new police Chief Marcus Ballinger to the village.
Chief Ballinger comes to Arcanum with over 19 years of full-time law enforcement experience.
When asked about his experience serving on the council, Genovesi stated he likes it. “I like being involved in the village I live in. I like being involved in the decision making.” He went on to explain how he enjoyed the research necessary for a new police chief candidate and the interview process.
The council member also shared, “it is much more involved than I ever would have imagined, as far as the six committees and all the decisions the committees have to make. You never realize it until you sit there, but I enjoy it.”
He further shared enjoying working with Mayor Greg Baumle citing the latter’s “forward vision” and that he believes everyone on the council, when it comes to the big picture, “we’re together.”
For Genovesi’s forward vision, he cited the 55-acre industrial park that the village is currently seeking a tenant. “We would love to have somebody come to our village to look at the possibilities on a piece of land just waiting to be utilized.” Overall, Genovesi looks forward to continuing to service the village.
“I’m going to do my best to make common-sense decisions and do my best, as head of the safety committee, to help the police department, help the fire department obtain their goals,” said Genovesi. “To me, the safety of this village is priority number one.”
Reach reporter Bethany J. Royer-DeLong at 937/548-3330 or email email@example.com. Read more news, features, and sports at DarkeCountyMedia.com.