THIS AND THAT —
The Lima mayoral race started with “shirt-gate” and now is ending with “ad-gate.”
Mayor David Berger has chosen to run a television advertisement that has caused some controversy as it uses footage of local Republicans Matt Huffman and Keith Faber praising the mayor during dedication ceremonies of Lima Stadium Park. Huffman and Faber are livid, since each are staunch supporters of Keith Cheney. They say their kind words about Berger were customary for such an event. The Berger camp will tell you (likely in between chuckles) the ad demonstrates the mayor’s bipartisan track record in getting things done.
Score one for the mayor …. maybe.
The fact that Berger used Huffman and Faber’s words to his favor, some say out of context, makes one wonder if this was a shrewd move or the act of a worried campaign. It’s definitely slippery. It’s also some “thank you” to Leo Hawk and the AR-Hale Family Foundation, who Berger has turned to in the past for financial backing of city projects. Hawk made the park possible and also is a Cheney backer.
• New salary: City Council’s pay cut to the mayor’s salary goes into effect on Dec. 1 when the winner of Tuesday’s election takes office. The new annual salary is $123,500, down from the $135,387 annual salary that Berger currently draws.
City Council members will be paid $12,115 a year when they take office on Jan. 1. The only exception is John Nixon, who will be paid $13,730 as Council president. Nixon, by the way, was first elected to Council in 1989, the same year Berger first took office.
• Voter turnout: Voter turnout in Lima should be up for Tuesday’s election, says Kathy Meyer, the director of the Allen County Board of Elections. There are 999 more registered voters than there were in the May Primary, when only a dismal 14 percent of registered voters bothered to fill out a ballot.
As of 4 p.m. Friday, 3,789 absentee ballots have been cast countywide, “a much higher number than expected,” said Meyer.
• Scorecard: Berger has never had a close election. He beat Harry Moyer, 58-42 percent, in 1989. That was followed by a 2,617-vote victory over Thomas McNamara in 1993 and a 64-36 percent win over Keith Cunningham in 1997. He was unopposed in 2001 and collected 75 percent of the votes over Ned Bushong in 2005. Dan Beck gave Berger his closest battle, with Berger winning 56-44 percent in 2009. Berger beat Doug Vermillion, 65-35 percent, in 2o13.
• Too close to call: Most people we’ve talked with are looking for a close mayor’s race. If the winning margin ends up being equal to or less than one-half of one percent (0.5 percent) of the total votes cast, an automatic recount is to be ordered by the local board of elections. The recount must take place no later than 10 days after the order is filed.
• Poll times: People can cast an absentee ballot from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday at the Board of Elections. Polls will be open Tuesday from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
ROSES AND THORNS: It’s time to add a runway to the rose garden because there’s a new pilot in town.
Rose: To Josh Tattrie, manager of the Allen County Airport, a nurse named Connie and Linda Smith of Wyngate Nursing Home. The three arranged for 90-year-old Donald Zimmerman to make good on his one regret in life — he never earned his pilot’s license. Zimmerman went up in a Cessna 172-C, and 0nce in the air, Tattrie turned the controls over to the World War II veteran. Tattrie later handed Zimmerman an honorary degree.
Thorn: We’re not even a full week into November and Santa Claus has arrived at the Lima Mall. Who is supervising the building of toys at the North Pole?
Thorn: To Ariyous Conley, who is lucky he only received five years in prison on an assault charge. He could have been facing a murder charge as he fired a .40-caliber handgun at the head of another man from very close distance and missed.
Thorn: Documents obtained by The Associated Press report that former state Sen. Cliff Hite wanted more than hugs from a state employee; the Findlay man also allegedly sought a sexual relationship.
PARTING SHOT: “A vote is like a rifle; its usefulness depends upon the character of the user.” — Theodore Roosevelt
Jim Krumel is the editor of The Lima News. Contact him at 567-242-0391 or at The Lima News, 3515 Elida Road, Lima, Ohio 45807.