Last updated: August 25. 2013 1:26AM - 19 Views

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LIMA — Some have labeled former one-term Lima 1st Ward councilman Ray Magnus combative. He touts that as a strength as he runs against incumbent council President John Nixon in November's election. “I don't like what I'm seeing coming from our present City Council president,” Magnus said Saturday after kicking off his campaign. “In two years, he has just rubber stamped what the administration wants him to do. There's been little discussion.”Magnus said council needs to make some hard decisions to “make the city whole again” and get out of the financial mess it is in.He said he is less experienced on council than his opponent but said that's a good thing. Business as usual is part of the problem, he said.“The more experience is what's got us into this mess. They were too interested in being re-elected. That needs to stop,” Magnus said.He said the city needs new blood that will take a fresh look at every issue.“We need people that will sit down and go through the budget, line by line and item by item, and make the decisions that need to be made.”He said the city's financial concerns require all-encompassing approach. Efforts by Mayor David Berger's administration to reduce benefits and possibly hours of non-union employees are too small to do any real good. “He's trying to save that money on the backs of 30 or 40 people,” Magnus said.Magnus also took issue with an ordinance that gives council automatic raises.“If I win the City Council presidency, that ordinance will be done away with,” he said. “If the people doing the work don't get raises, neither does anyone else.”Magnus said he also wants to address the city's storm runoff fees, which can run as high as $26,000 a year for some businesses. He said the fees turn manufacturers away from the city, hurting job growth.He would push for a cap of no more than $7,500 on the fees and try to spread the payments out in some fashion. “We need to make that more equitable,” he said.Magnus said the city needs to look at programs like pools and parks that are losing money and find ways to get them funded by the groups that use them. Such changes could be undone when finances are better but need to happen now to stave off bigger problems, he said.“When the city gets to be whole again, we can go back to the way it was,” Magnus said. “For the time being, we need to make some hard decisions.” Summing up his reasons for running, Magnus said the city needs a change in leadership.“We have too many rubber-stampers that will not ask the questions and don't want to make waves. All they are concerned about is their electability,” he said. “At one point or another, we need to do something to make ourselves whole again.”

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