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Published: Saturday, 11/2/2013 - Updated: 1 year ago

2013 VOTERS GUIDE

Spirited races set in numerous suburban Toledo communities

BY JANET ROMAKER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Dozens of races across the suburban Toledo will be decided Tuesday.

In Oregon, Mayor Michael Seferian is being challenged by Thomas Susor, council president.

For council, eight candidates are seeking seven seats. They are Joshua Hughes, Kathleen Pollauf, and Tim Zale, plus five incumbents: Dennis Walendzak, Gerald Peach, James Seaman, Marvin Dabish, and Terrance Reeves.

Oregon is in the first phase of transitioning from two-year to four-year terms for council members, with the top three vote-getters being the first to earn the longer term.

In Rossford, a council candidate opposes proposed pay raises for elected officials that will be on Tuesday’s ballot and said council members should not even be in the state’s retirement system.

Bob Densic, a Rossford resident since 1994, said the raises proposed for council members and the mayor are a bad idea, as is including elected officials in the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System.

One of the proposed Rossford City Charter amendments on the ballot would raise council members’ pay so they could continue to earn full credit for a state pension, and the other would increase the mayor’s salary. Council members are paid $250 per month, among the lowest in the area and its president $275. The stipend has not changed since 1993.

The charter change would increase the council salary to $700 per month, so members could continue to accrue full pension credit, in accordance with a new state law. The mayoral salary would rise from $625 per month to $1,500.

Rossford council has an open seat following the resignation of Mike Scott. Incumbent councilmen Chuck Duricek, Caroline Zuchowski-Eckel, and Jerry Staczek, whose current terms expire this year, all are on ballot as well as Dennis Foy and Daniel Wagner. Four council members will be elected.

Voters in Maumee will select four council members from a field of eight candidates.

Hal Simon, 62, retired from a Fortune 500 company and who served as president of chain retail convenience stores, and John Schafer, 53, a local business owner, said that as councilmen they would show respect for citizens’ votes. Some city residents contend council unfairly ousted longtime Mayor Tim Wagener even though voters had elected him to another term.

Last year Mr. Wagener resigned from his post, citing health concerns. Council President Richard Carr took over as mayor in accordance with the city’s charter. Earlier in 2012, Mr. Wagener received a “public reprimand” from the Ohio Ethics Commission after admitting he intermingled his personal finances with his public office. Even with public awareness of the investigation, Mayor Wagener easily won re-election in November, 2011.

Mr. Simon said he would seek term limits for council to avoid an “entitlement mentality.” He said council “annulled” the last mayoral election by forcing Mr. Wagener out of office.

Mr. Pauken, 53, is seeking another term because “I enjoy what I do. We have a city moving forward. I want to continue that.” He is the building engineer at a Maumee school.

Incumbent Brent Buehrer, 49, a licensed architect, said he enjoys serving the community. “The group [of elected officials] is outstanding,” he said. “It has been great for the city and it pays dividends for the city as a whole.”

Incumbent Michael Coyle, 57, said he brings certain experiences and expertise to council from his job as director of facilities for Otterbein Portage Valley. He said the city is experiencing an increase in tax revenue and an uptick in the number of jobs.

Julie Rubini, 52, named to council in November to replace Mr. Carr, said she strives to find ways to make improvements, but overall, she said she doesn’t have any major issues with the city. However, she is concerned with the city’s budget and said she would work to keep spending in line.

Tom Wagener, Jr., 54, was an emergency medical technician and firefighter on the Maumee Fire Division for 35 years, later serving as chief of paramedics; he retired last year. He said he would push for fiscal responsibility in an effort to lower spending and said he would like to see open government.

Maria Zapiecki, 62, a paralegal who has worked on several local, state, and national campaigns, wants to address the city’s spending habits but doesn’t favor cuts that would eliminate quality-of-life community events. She also said council was wrong in forcing Mayor Wagener out of office.

Mr. Schafer said he is “running for council to give voters a choice when they go to the polls this year,” He said the city has strengths, but some problems need addressed, such as the city’s deficit.

Running for three seats for Berkey Village Council are Jeffery Rae and incumbent Jan Shull, and write-in candidates Richard Litten and Ronald Stubleski and incumbents Jeffrey Noe and Laura VandeSande.

In Holland, running for four seats for council are three incumbents H. Dale Prentice, Sr., Lee Irons, and Roger Burditt.

Running for four council seats in Ottawa Hills are Edward Shimborske III, and incumbents Jeffrey Gibbs, John Straub, Rex Decker, and Robert Reichert.

Seeking a seat on Waterville council are Charles Larkins, John Rozic, and Micheline Krise. Three council members will be elected.

In Whitehouse, running for three council seats are Frank D. Billings, Jr., and incumbents Bill May and Louann Artiaga.

Voters in Harbor View will decide from a slate of seven candidates who are running for four council seats. They are Annette Joseph, Carl Stanoyevic, Sr., Frank Hall, Curtis Champoir, John Hipp, Judy Hall, and Michael Crapsey, Jr.

Voters in townships including Harding, Jerusalem, Monclova, Providence, Richfield, Spencer, Springfield, Swanton, Sylvania, Perrysburg, Waterville, and Washington, will cast ballots for trustees.

Contact Janet Romaker at: jromaker@theblade.com or 419-724-6006.



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