Thursday, Jun 21, 2018
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Genoa, Elmore, Clay townships: Re-election bids fought; tax move, levy on line

Three contested races are before some voters in Ottawa County next week in addition to an income tax reallocation and a tax levy.

In Genoa, Elmore, and Clay townships, several newcomers are challenging incumbents Tuesday.

Five challengers are going against four incumbents in Genoa, with the council asking voters to reallocate one-third of the village's 1.5 percent income tax and move it from the sewer fund to the general fund because sewer projects are mostly finished, fiscal officer Chuck Brinkman said.

"By taking this money and putting it in the general fund, we'll be able to use it as needed for the total village," he said.

Incumbent Elizabeth Slotnick, 57, a self-employed child-care provider, has been a councilman for more than 14 years. She said she wants to see more economic development in the village. "I see progress being made, and I see potential for more progress to be made," she said.

Incumbent Eric Hise, 46, served one term, beginning in 1978, and was appointed to his seat in June, 2004. He said he wants to work to move the village forward to a charter form of government.

Incumbents Douglas Avery, 46, and Dennis McLargin, 45, said they want to finish projects they've started while on council. Mr. Avery, who's been on council since 1994, said he wants sewers on the north side of town and to pave more streets. Mr. McLargin, a maintenance supervisor who was appointed to council two years ago, wants to continue revamping the tree commission's rules and regulations.

Challengers Martin Clement, 54, who works for Norfolk Southern railroad, and Mark Williams, 35, a salesman, have never been elected to public office before. Mr. Clement wants to improve downtown, and Mr. Williams thinks the council minutes should be more readily available to residents.

Challengers Jennifer Kreager, Christina Lewis, and Jerry Neff could not be reached for comment.

In Elmore, five people are running for four council seats, including the four incumbents. The only challenger is Nikole Gyuras, 33, a stay-at-home mom who was appointed to council two years ago to serve four months. She said she wants to continue the village's forward momentum.

The incumbents said they want to stay on council to see the construction of the new sewage treatment plant to the end.

Rick Claar, 50, owner of the Elmore 5 & 10, has been on council for five years. Robert Eickel, 72, a retired teacher, is the senior member of council with 18 years experience. They said they want to see more economic development in the village.

Matt Damschroder, 38, a machinist, was on council in the late 1990s. He was recently appointed in May to concentrate on the sewage treatment project.

Mark Koenig, 54, an extension educator, was also appointed to council earlier this year. He said he wants to see sewage-system issues corrected so the village can continue to expand.

William Brockmeyer will remain on Elmore's board of trustees of public affairs because no one has filed petitions to run against him.

In Clay Township, Donald Hoeft, 73, is the only incumbent running for re-election since trustee Donald Peiffer decided not to run again.

Mr. Hoeft was a trustee for 27 years before he was appointed to his position last year. He's running for re-election because of his experience, he said.

He'll be facing five challengers, including Matthew Widmer, 21, who is a pre-med student majoring in bioengineering at the University of Toledo. He said he worked for the township for the past six years and feels it's time for some fresh ideas. "I believe it's time for a forward-thinking approach in looking ahead a little bit," he said.

Farmers Michael Diekman, 49, and John Harmeyer, 44, said they felt it was time for some new blood to run the township. Curtis Kimball, 50, a self-employed water well driller, said he felt it was time to do his civic duty again. He served on Clay Center Village Council for two years in the mid-1980s.

Challenger Jim Hodgson could not be reached for comment.

Trustees will also be asking voters to renew a five-year, 0.5 mill levy to defray the cemetery expenses. If approved, the levy would raise $26,700 a year and cost the owner of a $100,000 home $8.50 annually.

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