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Published: Friday, 1/27/2006

Holgate mayor plans to join race for Henry County commissioner

NAPOLEON - Holgate Mayor Wallace Snyder will file for election to the Henry County Commission next week, running as a Republican, he said yesterday.

"I think we need primarily to get the county back in the black," Mr. Snyder said. Commissioners made numerous budget cuts late last year after voters repealed a new sales tax that the commission had voted in last summer.

He is one of many people to indicate interest in the seat now held by Rita Franz, a Democrat. She announced last week that she will retire at the end of this year, her 16th on the commission. She turned 65 this month.

Mr. Snyder, 59, however, appears to be the first to confirm that he will run on the May ballot.

He said his experience as a small business owner - he operated a chain of six funeral homes for years - has given him experience in the "necessary realities" of finance. He sold his last funeral home in 1999 and now operates a small shop selling cremation urns and is a substitute school teacher.

He is beginning his third year as mayor of the southwestern Henry County village, population 1,200, and had been a village councilman from 2000 to 2003 and for four years in the mid 1980s.

Mr. Snyder was on the Henry County Hospital board in the 1990s.

He is paid $6,000 a year as mayor of Holgate. The county commissioners are paid almost $38,000 this year.

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