Thursday, Apr 26, 2018
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Wood County: Council seats contested in Rossford, Northwood, Millbury

Five people are running for four council seats in each of three Wood County communities this November.

Rossford and Northwood city councils, and Millbury Village Council each have one more person than there are seats in these three contested races.

In Rossford, three incumbents are running for re-election against two newcomers who have no prior experience on council. Councilman Molly Jakubec, 71, who has been on council for five terms, did not file petitions to run for re-election.

Council President James Richards, 62, has 13 years of experience on city council, and said he thinks that makes him a strong candidate. He was twice elected council president and is a driver for a private, nonprofit mental-health group.

Richard Kovach, 48, an independent business owner of an Internet retailer, is finishing his second term on council. He said his concern with the city's financial problems led him to contact the state auditor to request a performance audit that, if performed, he thinks would be a valuable tool for the city.

Caroline Zuchowski-Eckel, 33, an engineer, was appointed to council in 2003. "I think that my engineering background has helped out over the past years, and I think it will continue to help out," she said.

The challengers are Leonard Michaels and Pamela Simenski, neither of whom have any experience serving as an elected official.

Mr. Michaels, 50, is an engineer and a part-time, college-level instructor. He said he believes his experience dealing with city councils and zoning boards would be a valuable asset if he were elected to council.

Ms. Simenski, 47, is a paralegal for a Toledo law firm. She said the biggest challenge the city is facing is with its finances, and thinks the city needs a performance audit. "We need to find out what we've done well, and I would like to be a part of it," she said.

Mark Radwanski will remain as Rossford's treasurer because he's the only one who filed petitions for the job. He was appointed to the position in late 2003.

A meet-the-candidates night is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Oct. 26 at Rossford High School.

Four incumbents are running for Northwood council against one challenger who is a member of the Northwood Local Board of Education.

Randy Kozina, 52, a Toledo police officer, has been on the school board for 14 years. He said his perspective has changed since his children are older and do not attend the school district but still would like to continue with public service. "I feel like I have a lot to offer, and hopefully I'll have a chance to prove that," he said.

The incumbents all said they are running for re-election to see projects they started come to fruition.

Michael Myers, 56, a supervisor at Toledo Edison who is finishing up his first term on council, said he thinks council is moving forward with economic development and wants to continue that momentum.

Veteran councilmen James Barton, David Gallaher, and Connie Hughes, all began their first full council terms in 1993.

Mr. Barton, 58, who is in food sales, said he wants to see the new fire station and overpass built.

Mr. Gallaher, 48, a machinist, said he wants to continue his efforts to "keep the city moving in the right direction," and said he has done so in the past when he initiated the charter review and the master plan update.

Ms. Hughes, 51, a playground aide said she would also like to see the overpass built along with more development at and near the Woodville Mall.

Because Councilman Tim Reardon plans to officially resign from council close to the November election, several councilmen said they would strongly consider appointing the person who was not elected to council to fill the remaining two years of his term.

Millbury's race pits three incumbents against two challengers.

Fred Densic, 63, who's retired from GM Powertrain in Toledo, has been on council off and on for about 15 years since 1988. He said he believes council has some unfinished business, such as the storm-water program, that he wants to see completed.

Incumbents Clarence Wilburn II, 46, a paramedic who is running for his second term, and Michael Weis, who has been on council for eight years, could not be reached for comment.

They'll be running against challengers Christopher Abbey and Randal Readel.

Mr. Abbey, 42, is a manager at Dana Corp. who would like to improve the village's storm and sewer systems. "I just think I can contribute and maybe do a better job than what I've seen at the meetings," he said.

Mr. Readel of Earl Drive could not be reached for comment.

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