Fair week is the unofficial start of another season campaigning for November elections.
Steve Linder, first-time candidate for Norwalk school board, is taking advantage of the crowds at the fair by showing up as often as possible in his campaign shirt to earn name recognition.
"We've had a lot of people come up to us and wish us well," Linder said. "It's been a very positive experience."
Linder, who is a superintendent for the bridge division of Kokosing Companies, Inc., is a graduate of Norwalk schools. His two children Michael, 22, and Melissa, 20 are also NHS graduates.
As he campaigns, Linder has one main message he will be a voice for residents if elected to the school board. "In the past four years I've been to several school board meetings with issues of my own," he said. "In my opinion, the majority of the school board has a motto to ignore people and their problems until they go away."
Linder declined to rehash any old issues, but said he believes residents deserve the chance to have their views considered fully by board members.
"Rules in our education system are not applied to everyone equally and communication in our district is horrible," Linder said. "That's why some issues have come up horrible communication."
Linder said he would work to improve communication between administrators, teachers and residents and would give all residents' a chance to air their opinions. "I want to give the school board back to the community," he said.
The candidate also said he thinks district employees are reluctant to go to the board with concerns and problems because they are afraid their jobs will be in jeopardy. "Employees shouldn't be afraid to be heard," he said. "I want them to come to me. I want to look at what's behind the problems."
His wife, Sharon, works for the school district as a secretary at Main Street School.
Linder still is collecting signatures of registered voters on petitions so his name will be included on the November ballot. Incumbents John Lendrum and Michael Grose, along with newcomer Pat Saunders, also have taken out petitions for the two open seats on the school board.
Petitions are due in to the board of elections by Thursday. The top two vote-getters will earn seats on the board.
As for his campaign so far, Linder said he thinks it is going well. "I've had a lot of support," he said. "I'm really excited about doing this."
Steve and Sharon will show up with supporters for the rest of the fair in their campaign shirts. "It's just like a moving sign," he said.