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Published: Tuesday, 9/29/2009

Haddad kicks off campaign; candidates' forum next week

Restoring funding for community service agencies and reining in legal fees associated with Sylvania Police Department grievances head a platform of issues Kevin Haddad said he plans to champion if he is elected Sylvania Township trustee this fall.

Mr. Haddad formally kicked off his campaign last week for one of two trustee seats to be contested in the Nov. 3 general election. He joined a crowded field that includes the two incumbents, Pam Hanley and Dee Dee Liedel, along with five other challengers, Royal Barber, Dennis Boyle, Kevin Eff, John Jennewine, and Penny Levine.

Mr. Haddad, 54, is the owner of Kevin Haddad's Design Group on Monroe Street and is a local landlord for seven two-bedroom condominiums. He has lived in Sylvania Township for 15 years and ran unsuccessfully for township trustee in 2005. He also was a Toledo City Council candidate in 1993 and ran for Lucas County commissioner in 1996.

In his campaign statement, Mr. Haddad said that as a trustee, he would routinely attend Sylvania City Council and Sylvania Board of Education meetings to promote greater cooperation among the township, city, and school system.

"I believe that we must know what each hand is doing to work together as a community," he said.

While township support for agencies such as the Sylvania Community Action Team, Sylvania Area Family Services, and Sister Cities should be reinstated, Mr. Haddad said, "we need to stop overspending on legal fees to a tune of almost $500,000 per year."

He said: "We waste more money on petty issues with our Sylvania Township Police instead of working with the officers who put their lives on the line every day to keep our community safe."

As of Thursday, the township had spent $342,810 so far this year on legal representation, and more than half of that was paid to Johnson, Miller & Schmitz, a Cleveland firm specializing in labor law. Township Administrator Hugh Thomas said the firm's township work includes union grievances and labor negotiations.

On Oct. 8, the Sylvania Area Chamber of Commerce plans to host a candidates' forum for the Sylvania City Council, Sylvania Board of Education, and Sylvania Township trustee races. The forum will start at 7 p.m. in the Franciscan Center at Lourdes College.

Along with providing candidates with opportunities to make position statements, moderators will pose selection questions submitted in advance by the general public. Written question requests should be addressed to the chamber of commerce at 5632 North Main Street, Sylvania, OH 43560 or e-mailed to pnowak@sylvaniachamber.org

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