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Tuesday, August 12th, 2008

Seven seek vacated council seat

By Margie Wuebker
MINSTER - Seven candidates for an unexpired Minster Village Council term answered questions posed by Village Administrator Don Harrod during a special meeting Monday night.
Seeking the seat vacated last month by Derrick Seaver are: Joseph Kuhn, 4211 state Route 66; James Wolf, 9 Settlers Lane; Don Bohman, 180 N. Lincoln St.; Nicole Clune, 3931 state Route 119; Connie Schafer, 64 E. Fifth St.; Marvin Monnin, 224 N. Main St.; and Nancy Jay, 30 S. Paris St.
Kuhn, who moved to Minster a year ago, said he is at a point in life where being involved in civic work is a way to give back to the community.
While Minster has a good industrial base, he believes it is essential to attract new business and help existing ones expand. Kuhn also believes the community could benefit from the installation of a dog walk at Four Seasons Park.
"I don't pretend to have all the answers," Kuhn said. "I am willing to learn and to step out of the box."
Wolf, a Minster native who returned in 2006 after purchasing Ernst Sporting Goods, maintains his fresh perspective and business sense could be put to good use as a councilor.
"I want to give of my time, my energy and my talents," he said. "I have an open mind and I would be willing to do my homework before making decisions."
Bohman, a former village councilor with 12 years of service, said he has the wherewithal to deal with problems as they occur and has no axes to grind.
He feels council must look for water sources down the line as well as more land for industrial purposes. He suggested running electric and water lines to the village-owned Luedeke farm west of town, adding "that would kill two birds with one stone."
Bohman believes councilors could benefit from his experience, noting "It's safe to say I know more about this village because I've lived longer than all of you."
Clune, who previously worked in planning with the Ohio Department of Transportation and currently works for a Dayton consulting firm, maintains her background in civil engineering would be a plus for Minster.
"I worked with ODOT on the Minster-New Bremen Bike Path," she said. "It occurred to me Minster did not draw a lot of projects."
She likened Minster to her native Bay Village, explaining both are very careful about making decisions that impact the village and its residents. She cited village priorities as downtown revitalization and economic development.
When Schafer was asked why she is interested in becoming a councilor, she replied, "I believe in Minster and think there are things the town needs to do for the future."
Those "things" include attracting more business, industry and prospective residents to the community, she said. She also believes revitalization of downtown is important as is making a good first impression with visitors.
Schafer also said some residents feel councilors spend too much money.
"I would like to see a woman on council," she added. "I think a woman's opinion would be worthwhile."
Monnin, who previously served eight years as a councilor before being defeated several years ago in a race involving multiple candidates, believes he still has work to do for the village and cites the proposed Fourth Street reconstruction project as an example.
He cited Fourth Street and cleanup of the Miami-Erie Canal as priorities to be addressed in coming months and noted his past participation in projects involving the water treatment plant and local streets.
As for dealing with differing opinions, Monnin said he joined council in the middle of an issue involving park land and the local school district. He added, "there is always a little snafu to work through."
Jay wants to serve and make sure Minster remains a top town and one of Ohio's best kept secrets. She said village priorities should be encouraging growth in industrial, business and residential areas as a means of broadening the tax base.
A self-confirmed team player, she claims her ability to work under pressure, family support and her strong organizational/people skills could be put to good use as a councilor.
"People want to see growth in the industrial and business sector. But they don't know how to get there. That's why a strong village council is so important," Jay said.
Councilors plan to discuss the selection further at their Aug. 19 meeting before appointing one person to complete the 31/2 years remaining in Seaver's term. He submitted a letter of resignation at the July 15 meeting explaining his intention to relocate to California and work for a Republican consulting firm.
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