Wednesday, November 9th, 2011
By William Kincaid
Ex-Celina administrator now chief
Under new leadership
  CELINA - Former city safety service director Jeff Hazel was elected mayor of Celina on Tuesday.
Also new to the city administration will be Betty Strawn, who ousted Emily Stewart as city auditor.
City council will remain the same as incumbents Bill Sell, Jeff Larmore and June Scott were victorious.
Hazel, 50, a Republican, easily defeated his opponents Craig Klopfleisch, a Democrat, and Ron Hammons, an independent, by capturing 57.9 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results from the Mercer County Board of Elections.
Hazel obtained 1,805 votes to Klopfleisch's 1,063 and Hammons' 245. In January, he will take the seat from mayor Sharon LaRue, whom he beat in the primary.
Hazel said he is honored by the victory and will strive to bring about change and get the city back in financial shape. Keeping the 1.5 percent income tax rate will help take some of the financial pressure off the city, he said.
The new mayor said before the year ends he will ask people to fill key spots within the administration. He did not provide names but said he would make an announcement when positions are filled.
The mayor appoints the safety service director and community development director.
Hazel, a self-employed manufacturer and owner of EMC Solutions, said he has a skeletal plan for the city that he will flesh out in the coming weeks. Prior to the election, he said his number one issue was finances. He stressed the need for a savings account and analyzation of all city projects to determine what's right for the community.
The three at-large incumbent council members beat Jim Mustard, a former city councilman and mayor.
The vote count was Sell, 1,855 (26.15 percent); Larmore, 1,802 (25.40 percent); Scott, 1,740 (24.5 percent); and Mustard, 1,698 (23.93).
In the auditor race, Strawn took 1,927 votes or 63.41 percent to Stewart's 1,112 votes.
Sell, 56, a high school government teacher, has served on city council since 1998, including two terms as president.
Larmore, 53, is vice president of Lake Contracting in Celina and has served on council for four years.
Scott, 59, is a Celina High School teacher who has served on city council for eight years, the city planning commission for a few years and the Lake Festival Committee for two years.
Strawn, 51, is a former bank auditor who served on numerous bank committees.
Additional online stories for this date
Print edition only stories for this date
• Longtime St. Marys mayor narrowly defeated
• Local voters select school board members
• Voters keep tax rate
• Joseph narrowly retains seat
• Permanent improvement levy renewed
• New operating levy going on ballot
• Medical director recommends daily feet checks for those with diabetes
• Three incumbents retain their seats
• Marion business seeks revolving loan to buy lot, buildings
• Two local women hurt in crash
• Celina woman escapes home fire
• Business offers merchandise, cosmetic services
• Lefeld, Huelsman to cheer for St. Henry
• Minster's march to state in 2001 sparks special memories
a_d
Thursday Night
58°
Mostly Cloudy
1%
Friday
75°
Mostly Cloudy
16%
Friday Night
57°
Partly Cloudy
14%
Independence Day
78°
Mostly Sunny
10%
Saturday Night
60°
Mostly Clear
10%
Sunday
79°
Mostly Sunny
5%
Sunday Night
65°
Mostly Clear
3%
Monday
83°
Mostly Sunny
13%
Monday Night
68°
Chance Thunderstorms
24%
Tuesday
81°
Chance Thunderstorms
45%
Tuesday Night
66°
Chance Thunderstorms
45%
3 Day
Extended
a_da_d
camera_logo Photo Albums
video_logoOnline Video
Thursday, June 18
index pict
Persistent rain caused flooding