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Published: Thursday, 7/3/2008

Ex-city councilman will battle Wozniak for commission seat

BY TOM TROY
BLADE POLITICS WRITER
Scotland Scotland
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Jan Scotland, an insurance agent who once held an appointed seat on Toledo City Council, said he plans to seek the Republican endorsement to run for Lucas County commissioner against Democratic incumbent Tina Skeldon Wozniak.

Mr. Scotland, 52, owner of a State Farm insurance agency on Dorr Street, said he would run to bring a business perspective to the current all-Democrat board of commissioners.

Under state law, the Lucas County Republican Party can nominate someone to run against Ms. Wozniak because the winner of the March 4 primary, Joe Pellman, has withdrawn from the race.

Jon Stainbrook, chairman of the Lucas County Republican Party, said Mr. Pellman was a "placeholder" recruited to give the party time to recruit a serious candidate.

Mr. Stainbrook said he will call a meeting of the party's executive meeting next week to endorse Mr. Scotland and place his name on the ballot for the Nov. 4 election.

The other county commissioner up for re-election this year, Democrat Peter Gerken, will have no Republican opposition because no candidate filed by the Jan. 4 deadline.

Mr. Scotland, whose first name is pronounced "yan," cited the passage of a higher hotel-motel tax last year to partially fund the new county-owned downtown arena under construction as an example of the need for a business perspective.

"When I look at things like tax hikes for building projects, you get the feeling we are not looking at all of the options when it comes to doing business in this county," Mr. Scotland said.

He said the county government wasn't moving toward a "unified economic development plan."

Ms. Wozniak, 53, who is seeking her second full term, disagreed that business interests are overlooked.

"Bottom line, I think we have brought the business community together to collaborate on the largest public works project since the bridge - the multipurpose arena," she said.

Ms. Wozniak said the hotel-motel operators will benefit by the increase in visitors to Toledo generated by the new multipurpose arena. And she noted Lucas County residents won't pay higher taxes to fund the arena.

She also pointed out that the three-member board has not been a unanimous body on several occasions, even though all three - herself, Mr. Gerken, and Commissioner Ben Konop - are Democrats.

Mr. Scotland was appointed to City Council in 1987, but lost the election to hold the seat to Democrat Jack Ford. He also ran unsuccessfully for City Council in 1993. He ran unsuccessfully against Mr. Ford for state House of Representatives in 1994.

In 2004, Mr. Scotland received a City of Toledo Board of Community Relations Youth Empowerment Award for organizing and running the Sleepy Hollow Athletic League for the previous nine years. Also that year, he received the Jefferson Award for public service for his work with youth.

Ms. Wozniak, a former Toledo city councilman, was appointed to a vacancy on the board of commissioners in 2002. She defeated a challenge from Republican Lynn Olman in November, 2004.

Contact Tom Troy at:

tomtroy@theblade.com

or 419-724-6058.



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