Sunday, May 27, 2018
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5 compete for 3 open seats on Perrysburg City Council

Each candidate professes a passion for community service

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    Van Hoozen

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Three Perrysburg City Council terms end this year, and five candidates are vying to fill those empty seats in the Nov. 5 election.

Here are the candidates:



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Joe Lawless

Mr. Lawless, 67, is in his 16th year on the council and is looking to make it two decades with another term. The Republican owns Corporate Housing Systems Inc. in Perrysburg.

He has been president of the council for the past eight years. Mr. Lawless is also the chairman of the recreation committee and sits on the planning and zoning commission and the economic development committee.

He said he’s running again because he enjoys doing it and thinks he has helped the city a lot on council.

“I think Perrysburg is in good shape. I’d hate to see that go away,” he said. “When I took office, Perrysburg had a $10 million debt. Now we are in debt from buying recycling trucks, but by the end of the year have no general fund debt."




Jim Matuszak

Mr. Matuszak, 49, has raised his four children in Perrysburg and is a certified public account. He moved back to Perrysburg, where he grew up, in 1987 from Maumee. Mr. Matuszak is a partner in Matuszak & Koder Ltd. in Perrysburg.

The Republican candidate prides himself on hard work. He said he is campaigning extremely hard and going door to door. Mr. Matuszak isn’t running because he thinks Perrysburg is in bad shape, or to get a council person out; he just wants to be a part of the good people running the city.

“I’m bold not because of me or asking tough questions, because I listen to people,” he said. “I’m fresh because I have no agenda. And I’m conservative. I believe the government should be about police, fire, and fixing potholes.”




Rick Rettig

Mr. Rettig, 43, is a Perrysburg High School guidance counselor. He has worked in the Perrysburg Schools for 15 years and lived in Perrysburg for the past eight.

He said how the city handled the Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority was the issue that pushed him over the edge to run. Mr. Rettig, endorsed by the Democratic Party, thinks the council should be staying out of the news, and sometimes they are their own worst enemy.

“I really believe approachability matters,” he said about the council position. “I have a relationship with the schools, kids, and families that make me an ideal candidate."




Sara Weisenburger

Mrs. Weisenburger, 32, moved to Perrysburg in 2009. She received a degree in accounting from the University of Toledo and worked for the university as an auditor. She said she now is using her auditing skills on working through next year’s budget with the city. The Republican also helps with the finances of her family rental real estate company.

In June she was appointed to fill in for Maria Ermie on City Council after she resigned. She is chairman of the personnel committee and also sits on the finance committee, and the economic development committee.

“I love it,” she said about being on council. “I have a passion for it, I love how government is run. I used to audit government entities so it fits.”


Van Hoozen

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Barry Van Hoozen

Mr. Van Hoozen, 54, has owned a State Farm Insurance agency in Perrysburg since 1990. He has been on the Perrysburg Board of Education for 12 years. He is on the city, finance, personnel, policy, and support services committees for the board.

The Republican said he was on the school board because his children were involved with the schools. Now Mr. Van Hoozen is ready to turn a page and work with the city. He is in the middle of a board term — which he would have to leave early.

“The school board has taught me how to serve the public with other elected officials and move forward,” he said. “I am willing to make the tough call based on facts rather than emotion.”

Contact Matt Thompson at:, 419-356-8786, or on Twitter at @mthompson25.

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