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Published: Wednesday, 11/9/2011

Oregon businessman wins despite anonymous mailer

All 3 candidates questioned hikes in district salaries

BY NOLAN ROSENKRANS
BLADE STAFF WRITER

An Oregon businessman won one of two spots for that city's board of education, despite an anonymous mailer that dredged up his criminal past.

The race for two open seats on the Oregon Board of Education had been highly publicized after the three candidates voiced frustrations over the August salary increases, which included an 11.3 percent pay raise for Superintendent Mike Zalar.

Adding drama to the race was an anonymous mailer circulated during the campaign that detailed candidate P.J. Kapfhammer's criminal misdemeanors from the 1990s.

Race results were delayed late into the night because of an apparent hang-up in transferring ballots to the Lucas County Board of Elections.

Mr. Kapfhammer will be joined on the board by Jeff Ziviski, 39, manager of budgeting and financial analysis for Mercy Memorial Hospital in Monroe.

They defeated Earl Gilliland Jr., 63, retired chief business manager for Toledo Public Schools.

Of the 11 public school districts in Lucas County with seats up for election, five races -- including Toledo Public Schools -- were decided before the election.

In Toledo, two candidates filled two open seats.

Cecelia Adams, a former administrator for Toledo Public Schools, replaced board member Jack Ford.

Mr. Ford nearly died earlier this year from kidney and respiratory complications and decided not to seek re-election.

Current board Vice President Lisa Sobecki retained her spot on the board, which she won four years ago.

The Evergreen Local, Springfield Local, and Washington Local school districts all featured similar races, each with only two candidates for two open spots.

The Anthony Wayne Local Board of Education election field ballooned when three write-in candidates joined incumbents Pam Gerhardinger and Gary Roser in a race for three open seats.

The incumbents kept their seats; the third seat will be filled by one of the write-in candidates: Barry G. Cousino, Darren Munn, and Rhonda L. Wise.

At press time, Mr. Cousino was leading, but votes were still being counted.

In the Maumee City Schools District, incumbents Bob Righi and Janet Wolff beat out challenger Gina M. Hughes for two open school board seats.

Incumbent Brad Johnson and Peggy Herman won the two school board seats in Ottawa Hills, defeating Kim Bigioni.

No incumbents ran for two Swanton Board of Education seats. Shannon Crow and Michael McClure beat David Smith for the positions.

In Sylvania, board President Vicki Donovan Lyle and member James Nusbaum both easily defended their seats against write-in candidate Amanda Eff.

In Wood County, voters in Perrysburg stuck with incumbents Walter Edinger, 52, a University of Toledo professor, and Barry VanHoozen, 52, an insurance agent, over challengers Lara Martin Lengel and Cal Smith.

And in the Rossford Exempted Village School District, Beverly Bellas-Koch, Kenneth Sutter, and Jackie Brown won three open seats.

Contact Nolan Rosenkrans at: nrosenkrans@theblade.com or 419-724-6086.



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