DANVILLE — The three contested township trustee races across the county had one common theme - change.
In one of the most heated races, Don Hodson defeated Ronnie Austin in the Washington Township trustee race.
Hodson ran with a team that was seeking seats on the township board and all three - Doug Elmore, Michael Lynch, and Suzanne Conger - were elected.
"There are two things that I think we accomplished," Hodson said. "One is we were successful in getting all four of us elected, so the voters bought into a new change in leadership. They heard positive things that we were saying and the message got there."
Hodson said that the first thing that he plans on doing when in office, assuming the current board allows it, is to reduce the salary of the Washington Township trustee to $25,000 and decline the retirement option. He said that the new board members will do the same. He added that there are more changes to come.
"I'm going to use the township board more," Hodson said. "I'm going to re-instate the parks board. I'm going to work very closely with that board and it will not be a rubber stamp board. They will be a working board."
Hodson said he will still have to use emergency loans because the income is lower than what is spent. However, he is going to announce a commission, headed by Pat Laughlin, to find ways to "find the fat" with input from the three departments.
"We're not going to lay people off," he said. "We're going to find ways to get rid of the fat. Every group has it, and we're going to find it."
Hodson said he also learned that he'll have an opponent in the fall - Libertarian Todd Sinclair.