LIMA — Cities and villages across the region could see changes in leadership as many voters will be deciding if they want to see new mayors managing their local municipalities.
The largest cities to see challenges this election are Wapakoneta and St. Marys. Incumbents from both cities are facing competition from write-in candidates unsatisfied with the current direction of the cities.
In Wapakoneta, Brandon Terrill is looking to challenge incumbent Mayor Tom Stinebaugh. A political newcomer, Terrill said he is running to resolve infrastructure issues that often cause flooding in the City of Wapakoneta.
Terrill said he has seen almost continual flooding on his property due to underdeveloped ground retention and improperly engineered storm water system installed by the City of Wapakoneta. He’s seen similar situations from neighbors, and he has met with Wapakoneta City Council multiple times in the last three years to make his case. Despite his actions, Terrill, who works as a union pipefitter, said the issue has gone unresolved.
“(The City of Wapakoneta) has gone down different avenues that I would have chosen. What the mayor is doing now, what the local government is doing are all good things, but we need to re-prioritize the agenda.”
Outside of infrastructure issues, Terrill said he would also like to push for more affordable housing in the area, increase the growth of the local industrial park and help out small businesses.
“I had problems with the city in the past. I put myself in a position to change,” he said.
In response to Terrill, Stinebaugh said that heavy rain events have challenged the city’s stormwater infrastructure in the last few years, and the City of Wapakoneta has taken steps, including hiring an engineer to focus on the problem, in order to limit flooding and backups. Continuing to update sewer and stormwater infrastructure also tops the city’s list of future projects, Stinebaugh said, although the extent of the improvements will most likely take multiple years and millions of dollars to resolve.
Stinebaugh also took issue with Terrill’s actions in the past. When Terrill had appeared before Wapakoneta City Council, he had questioned the integrity of city councilors and alleged city officials of corruption, Stinebaugh said.
“How are you going to work with the same city council that you accused of taking brides?” Stinebaugh said. “I think it’s a valid question.”
As for the Stinebaugh’s record, the current mayor spoke positively about the last four years and highlighted Wapakoneta’s economic growth, the success of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, and President Donald Trump’s recent visit to the area.
“It was a great four years. I have to believe that the mass majority of people are happy with what’s happening in Wapakoneta,” Stinebaugh said.
In St Marys, current mayor Patrick McGowan is being challenged by write-in candidate Aaron Myers.
Myers had earlier made the news after receiving a cease and desist letter from the city concerning a dirt go-kart track city residents had complained about. While the track is not illegal in St. Marys, city officials had sent Myers the letter warning him about the potential liability of people using the track.
Myers could not be reached for comment.
In an article by the St. Marys Evening Leader, Myers alleged the letter was proof of “city corruption”, and that he would be running as a write-in candidate to clean up the local government.
Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.