Last updated: August 25. 2013 12:57AM - 46 Views

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Each general election, The Lima News provides this section profiling the candidates and issues. The Lima News sent questionnaires to every candidate in Allen, Auglaize, Hardin, Putnam and Van Wert counties for this election section. Candidates had the opportunity to give biographical information and discuss major issues in their races. Candidates also had an option to submit a photograph. Only names and residences identify candidates who did not return a questionnaire. St. Marys - MayorGreg Freewalt (incumbent)Party: DemocratResidence: West High Street, St. MarysAge: 63Relevant experience: Four years, councilman at large; 16 years as mayor.Education: Bachelorís degree from Ohio Northern University; masterís degree from University of Dayton.Years living in area: All 63 years except time away at collegeMajor issues: We have many strong points in St. Marys, but we have some issues like every other city or village. We have too many vacant buildings in the downtown area as many businesses are moving to one of our two shopping malls. We would also like to dredge the Miami and Erie Canal and we must work through ODNR and the EPA. We are looking to drill another well for our drinking water and we are continually upgrading our electrical system. These are our top issues.Pamela D. HoblerParty: IndependentResidence: Walnut Street, St. MarysAge: 51Relevant experience: Elected previously to two terms as 1st Ward councilor.Education: Years living in area: Resident since 1985.Major issues: The City of St. Marys is ready and due for a change. After 15 years, itís time for new leadership with new ideas. We need to refocus our efforts to create jobs by making St. Marys business-friendly again. While we need to welcome new businesses, we cannot afford to lose sight of our downtown and our established local business owners.We need to make city services efficient and fiscally responsible. Common sense and a long-term strategic plan will insure that no matter what happens in Washington or Columbus, St. Marys moves forward.Finally, we need a city government that listens to our citizens and encourages them to play an active part in our decision-making. City hall should and will be an open and welcoming place where residents can come to air their concerns and resolve the cityís challenges. No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.Do something for yourself on Nov. 8. Elect Pam Hobler mayor.Patrick J. McGowanParty: RepublicanResidence: Linden Avenue, St. MarysAge: 65Relevant experience: 40 years experience working in various management positions; adjunct faculty at Indiana University East, 1 1/2 years as St. Marys councilmanEducation: Bachelorís degree; masterís degree in business administration.Years living in area: 30 yearsMajor issues: We need to attract businesses and industries that will pay a living wage. We should promote and support existing businesses. We must revise the City Master Plan. We should become more involved in the lake clean-up and revitalization. We ought to support and encourage the preservation and restoration of downtown buildings. We need to have an open-door policy in managing city government.

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