November 7 Election Historic For Some AW-Area Races

BY KAREN GERHARDINGER | MIRROR REPORTER — Election Day 2024 will wrap up an election season that Anthony Wayne voters have never before experienced: a four-way Whitehouse mayoral primary, 12 school board candidates and challengers for all three seats on Waterville City Council.

For those who haven’t already voted by mail or in person at the Lucas County Board of Elections’ Early Voting Center, Election Day is Tuesday, November 7, and polls are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. For information, visit www.lucascountyohiovotes.gov.

Anthony Wayne Board Of Education

Three candidates are running for one unexpired term ending on December 31, 2025: incumbent Troy Lutz, and challengers Michelle Ross and Mike Stamm. Nine candidates are running for three four-year terms ending on December 31, 2027, including incumbents Jeff Baden, Pam Brint and Jayna Gwin, along with Amy Barrett, Sarah Bellner, Frank Dudas, Lindsay Hoip-kemier, Shellie McKnight and Jim Schlievert.

The district has a 2.9-mill operational levy and 2.6-mill bond issue on the ballot as well. The basics of the operational levy and bond issue are listed at www.anthonywayneschools.org/levies. Homeowners can use the Lucas County Auditor’s Real Estate Information System (AREIS), https://co.lucas.oh.us/377/AREIS-Information, to see how each one will affect their own taxes.

Whitehouse

In bold red letters on the board of elections website is information about the Whitehouse mayoral race, which is down to two candidates: council member and Fayette Chief of Police Richard Bingham, and Whitehouse Inn and Crust Pizzeria owner Tony Fronk. The two were selected during an unusual October 3 primary of four candidates – also including Rebecca Conklin Kleiboemer and Robert Crowe – and that affects Election Day procedures, said BOE Deputy Director Tim Monaco.

“In-person voters will receive a card with every race but mayor. They will also receive a separate, full-faced paper ballot that they have to hand-mark with a writing utensil with the mayor only,” Monaco said. “Voters who vote by mail will receive two separate ballots with separate envelopes that may arrive at different times. They will have one ballot with everything but mayor, and one ballot with mayor only.”

Monaco said that a separate database for the mayoral race will require hand-keying in the information.

“We will have the results on election night, but it will take quite a bit longer,” Monaco said.

He is also still unsure of what the village will be charged for the mayoral primary, which was held later than normal because of Whitehouse’s September 1 filing deadline – much later than other municipalities. 

Whitehouse voters will also choose from five candidates for the three four-year council terms currently held by Conklin Kleiboemer, Mindy Curry and Bob Keogh. Candidates include Joseph Bublick, Keogh, Dave Riggenbach, Carrie Tuohy and Larry Yunker. Steve Connelly, who was appointed to council in January after the resignation of Dennis Recker, is running unopposed to retain his seat.

Lastly, Whitehouse has a .5-percent income tax increase on the ballot. The ballot language will ask voters if they are in favor of an ordinance to provide for a 2-percent levy on income. Riggenbach, who has led an income tax committee to share information about the need, said that may be confusing to some voters.

“A yes vote is not a straight 2-percent increase, but the result of a .5-percent increase on our income tax,” Riggenbach said, explaining that the goal is to increase the income tax from the 1.5-percent rate that has remained unchanged since 1975 to a total of 2 percent.

Waterville

Six candidates are on the November ballot to fill three spots on Waterville City Council, including incumbents Todd Borowski and Rod Frey along with Rob Allen, Anthony Garver, Matt Harrell and Wayne Wagner. Mayor Tim Pedro is being challenged by Tim Plowman.

Waterville residents will decide on three revisions to the charter. 

One is to correct grammatical errors and sentence structure and to realign the charter so it makes sense. If approved, the change would allow typos and non-substantive changes to be approved by a vote of council rather than putting it to voters. 

The second proposed change is to remove a section of the charter that refers to the Waterville Com-munity Bill of Rights, which voters approved in November 2016 as a response to the Nexus pipeline and compressor station. That same bill of rights – approved in several other Ohio communities – has been found unconstitutional and unenforceable and conflicts with state and federal law, according to attorneys. 

A third section covers a variety of amendments to the charter, regarding council, administrative departments, financial procedures, initiative, referendum and recall, general provisions and transitional procedures. This would include aligning language regarding recall petitions with the Ohio Revised Code, which states that no alterations, modifications or additions can be made once a petition has been filed with the board of elections. Another section would change the timeline for recall petitions, so that board of elections-approved referendums would be placed on the next available regular primary or general election, to avoid the cost of a special election.

Townships

Four AW-area townships have trustees and fiscal officers on the ballot, and all are unopposed. This includes trustee Chuck Hoecherl and fiscal officer Gavin Pike in Monclova Township; trustee Jeremiah Floyd and fiscal officer Julie Ludwig in Providence Township; and trustee Julie Theroux and unchallenged fiscal officer candidate Jeanne Taylor in Waterville Township. 

In Swanton Township, fiscal officer Peggy Michael is running unopposed. Trustee Kyle McPherson – who was appointed to fill Gary Schroeder’s term after he resigned on November 8, 2022 – had her petitions ruled invalid. Running for the position of trustee is Michael Nowicki.

Other Races

Two candidates are running for two positions on the Educational Service Center of Lake Erie West: Brent Buehrer and Thomas Ilstrup. Dan Hazard is also unopposed in his re-election as judge for Maumee Municipal Court judge. 

For details on what will appear on your ballot, visit https://www.ohiosos.gov/elections/voters/toolkit/sample-ballot/.

Due to The Mirror’s Tuesday evening printing schedule, results of next week’s election will be posted on Wednesday, November 8 on The Mirror’s website.

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