Last updated: October 24. 2013 11:23AM - 934 Views
By David Coehrs

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Candidates for three available seats on Wauseon City Council include the city's former finance director, a retired city employee, a businessman, two incumbents and a former member of council.

G. Michael Christman

A 1972 graduate of Hicksville High School and Four County Vocational School, Christman, 59, attended the University of Toledo College of Engineering, with a minor in economics. He is married to Peggy Christman.

Why are you running for office? I was approached by several citizens who asked me to consider running for City Council. Realizing that these people believed I could be an asset to the city government, I decided to join the race. Wauseon has been a good home to me for more than 40 years, and I would like to help make it a better home for all of us.

Why should people vote for you? I have been a successful business owner in Wauseon for years, establishing Guardian Engineering in 1982 and incorporating in 1996. Guardian has succeeded because of solid business decisions. I would take that same business approach to decision making as a Wauseon Council member.

What are your two main goals if elected? I strongly believe that Wauseon Council has to more aggressively solve the city pool situation. The New Pool 4 Wauseon Committee has done a commendable job up to this point in raising funds, but their effort has been hampered with the location questions. Although City Council has voted to locate the pool in Biddle Park, the voting was closed and divided. I believe that decision needs to be reversed, and the pool should be centrally located in Reighard Park. The pool facilities should not be too elaborate, which would drive up the cost and delay the project even further. Citizens who believe in this project have generously contributed to New Pool 4 Wauseon but the project is too big and important for private donations only. Wauseon Council has to take the lead financially and drive the project. We have gone five full seasons without having a pool, which is pretty sad for a city our size.

Secondly, I would like to see Wauseon do a better job in decorating the city for the Christmas season. Many of us have good memories of the past years, and feel that our decorations just are not the same. Although the small trees mounted to poles downtown were more expensive to purchase and install, they certainly made our downtown unique and charming.

Have you held office or run for office before? If yes, when and where? In the early 1990s, Wauseon Mayor Richard Volk appointed me to the Wauseon City Zoning Board of Appeals. Each mayor since that time has reappointed me, and I have been a continuous board member since that time. I am currently the chairman of that board, and have served in that position for many years.

Rick Frey

A lifelong Wauseon resident, Frey, 59, is a former city employee.

Why are you running for office? I've been supported by this city in many ways, and I care so much about its future. I'm now retired, and have the time available to focus on needs for the city. I also have a sense of civic responsibility. I think I understand the infrastructure of this community better than most – streets, water lines, sewer systems, trees, parks, fire, police, personnel, etc.

Why should people vote for you? It seems that I've been in every neighborhood, and in a lot of cases every residence home for some reason or another over the years. I'm sure that not everyone has agreed with me or the city's policies, but I feel that I've tried to put myself in their situation and be of help in the most proficient and honest way. I want to continue to stay involved with the future development of Wauseon.

What are your two main goals if elected? To prepare and plan for the future in whatever ways that may entail, and to maintain and update our current infrastructures.

Have you ever held office before? If yes, when and where?

Kathy Huner

Huner, a former member of council, has an associate's certification in early childhood education and administration. She has been administrator/ head teacher at Emmaus Christian Preschool for 20 years. Huner also chaired on the Wauseon Child Conservation League, chaired on the Girls Christian Fellowship Board, served on the Wauseon to Waveland Katrina Missions Committee, and was a member of the Wauseon Recreation and Association Board.

Why are you running for this office? I was born and raised in Wauseon. I have always taken pride in our City. Sitting on Council for 12 years I have thoroughly enjoyed serving the citizens of Wauseon. I feel that all citizens should be heard and represented and with my experience and dedication I am the candidate to follow through with this task.

Why should people vote for you? I will dedicate my time on council to make sure that the citizens voices will be heard. I will work to make sure that their health safety and welfare are my priority. I am experienced with Wauseon city business, ordinances and have sat on numerous boards such as the Buildings and Grounds Board, Utilities Board, Park Board, Fire Fighters Dependency Board, Wauseon Union Cemetery Board, Safety & Code Board, Holiday Committee, Independence Day Committee, Chili Cook off committee and The Fireman's Appreciation Day Committee.

What are your two main goals if elected? To serve the citizens of Wauseon and to work at seeing that our city move forward with positive growth and outcomes such as the Linfoot Street reconstruction project and EPA mandates on our water and sewer treatments.

Have you ever held office before? If yes, when and where? Yes I sat on Wauseon City Council for three terms beginning Jan 2000 through Dec. 2011.

Heather Huffman Kost

Kost, 45, an incumbent, earned a Bachelor of Science in psychology and a Master of Public Health Administration. She is a board member of the Four County ADAMhs Board, and a volunteer for Hands of Grace Faith in Action, and the Medical Reserve Corps. She is married to Darrin Kost, and has four children, Brenden, Halle, Evan and Harlee.

Why are you running for this office? I am running for Wauseon City Council because I feel that to better a community, people need to become involved. Having a diverse group of council members with different strengths and skills will help keep the city moving in a positive direction. Some of my strengths are short and long term planning, this is vital in many situations since being proactive rather than reactive saves money and time. Vince Lombardi said it best: “Individual commitment to a group effort- that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” I feel it is my time to contribute.

Why should people vote for you? I am running for council so that I can be a spokesperson for the residents of the city. I feel that I approach issues (no matter how controversial) with an open mind and in a positive way. I was born and raised here, I am raising my children here. I have a vested interest in making sure Wauseon stays on a path of growth. The decisions we make now need to be beneficial for the future of Wauseon, and not just benefit us in the present time. I am also happy to listen to suggestions and ideas from others because often that is where some of the most creative ideas and resolutions come from.

What are your two main goals if elected? Strategic planning from departments for five and 10 years out. We have an aging infrastructure and we have a lot of updates that will have to be completed because of age and because of new regulations that are passed. Because we have big ticket items to purchase, I would like to seeequipment replacement schedules and infrastructure replacement schedules. This would not only help keep council members aware of what expenditures may be coming, but if there is transition in director/superintendent positions, the person coming in has an immediate picture of what their department has worked on and what they will need to plan for.

I would also like to see some of the projects slated to take place in a particular year, to actually get started and completed if possible in that same year. There may be some delays with projects but most of our planned improvements should take place in the year they are budgeted to happen.

Have you held office before or run for office before? If yes, when and where? I have been on Wauseon City Council since January of 2012. I serve on the Utility Committee, the Personnel Committee and the Charter Revision Committee. I am also an alternate on the Parks Committee. It has been a great experience and very rewarding.

A cool side note: In January 2012, after I was sworn in, I found out that my grandfather, Richard Huffman, was also on city council.

Jon Schamp

Retired in 2013 after over 13 years as Wauseon's finance director, Schamp, 60, received a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Miami University. He has held positions with First Lutheran Church in Stryker, the Wauseon Masonic Lodge, the Wauseon Homecoming Committee, the Wauseon Rotary Club and the Wauseon Elks. He has been married to his wife Judy for 21 years.

Why are you running for office? While still employed by the City of Wauseon, I became aware that a current Council member was not going to run for re-election. I felt that, in retirement, this would be a good opportunity for me to realize my 13-plus years of experience as Director of Finance to continue being involved with local government affairs.

Why should people vote for you? As Director of Finance attending council meetings was part of my job. I am therefore very familiar with the matters that Council has dealt with in the past, and are currently dealing with. I am familiar with the elected officials and employees of the city. The experience also makes me aware of the financial condition of the city, which comes into play with most matters that come before council.

What are your two main goals if elected? It is very important to work well with others. I will be open to other members' ideas and opinions and be willing to share mine in a civil manner. (And) fiscal soundness is a basic necessity. I will work with the other elected officials to insure that the city remains solvent.

Have you held office or run for office before? Not elected office. Only in the various organizations I belong to.

Jeff Stiriz

An incumbent, and a Delta High School graduate, Stiriz, 56, is a member of the St. Caspar Catholic Church Knights of Columbus and Wauseon Netsense. He has been married to his wife Cathy for 36 years, and has eight children and 16 grandchildren.

Why are you running for office? I want to see a basic pool back at the same location where it was. Instead of spending $2.5 million, go with about $800,000 to $900,000.

Why should people vote for you? Because I'm always willing to listen, and I know when I'm on council I work for the people of Wauseon.

What are your two main goals if elected? To work for the people of Wauseon and to work on getting a pool.

Have you held office before? If yes, when and where? I have served on city council for 12 years.

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