Thursday, February 2nd, 2017
Candidates file for primary ballot spots
By Daily Standard Staff
By WILLIAM KINCAID and TOM STANKARD
CELINA - The makeup of Celina City Council will change next year according to filings made at the Mercer County Board of Elections, and some Auglaize County voters will determine the fate of a school construction project.
Wednesday was the statewide deadline for partisan candidates to declare candidacy and for local questions and issues to be filed on the May 2 primary ballot.
In Celina, city council's four ward positions and the president position all are up for election. Incumbent council president Jason King, ward 1 councilman Myron Buxton and ward 4 councilman Eric Clausen - all Republicans - filed petitions with the elections board.
No Democrats filed to run.
However, ward 2 councilman Fred LeJeune, a Republican, and ward 3 councilman Mark Fleck, a Democrat, did not file.
LeJeune on Jan. 16 indicated he would not seek another four years on council once his current term expires at the end of the year.
"This was my original commitment to my family as well as the people of Celina," LeJune had said about completing his service as a councilman. "Although I choose not to seek re-election, I remain very proud of collective, marked city progress."
Eric Baltzell, a Republican, filed to fill LeJeune's ward position. No Democrats filed in ward 2 or ward 3.
Fleck this morning said he had intended to file to run again but missed the deadline due to ongoing family medical issues.
He said he still wants to continuing serving on council and is looking at his options.
Also in Celina, city treasurer Ryan Byers, a Republican, filed to run again.
City law director George Moore and local attorney Kathryn Speelman - both Republicans - filed to run for Celina Municipal Court judge, a position held for many year by Democrat James Scheer.
No Democrats filed for the judgeship. The judge has countywide jurisdiction.
Moore of Celina in a news release said he's a fifth-generation county resident who wants to apply his "unique set of legal skills" as judge to serve his community. Moore has served as city law director since first being elected in November 2011.
Speelman, a private practice attorney from Maria Stein, has practiced law for 18 years and served two terms on the Marion Local Schools Board of Education. She said she's honest, fair and dedicated to the legal profession.
Independent candidates have until May 1 to file to run in the Nov. 7 general election. Write-in candidates must file by Aug. 28 for the general election.
Also in Mercer County, a proposed replacement tax levy for fire protection in Marion Township has been filed. It's a 2.4-mill, five-year replacement levy.
In Auglaize County, New Bremen school district officials filed a 7.46-mill bond levy and a 1-mill permanent improvement levy on the May 2 primary election ballot for the construction of a new K-8 building.
If certified by elections officials and approved by voters, district officials would issue $14.365 million in bonds, which would be dated about June 1 and bear an estimated 5.1 percent rate to be paid off over 30 years.
Owners of a $100,000 home would pay $261 per year for the bond levy and $30-$35 a year for the permanent improvement levy.
Collection of the existing 1-mill levy approved by voters in 2015 would stop when collection of the new levy would begin.
Construction of the building likely would begin in the spring of 2018 and possibly be completed by the start of the 2020-2021 school year.
Also listed on the Auglaize County primary ballot, all St. Marys City Council members and city treasurer are running unopposed:
• Treasurer: Dennis Pfeffenberger (D)
• President of Council: James Harris (R)
• Council-at-large: Todd Fleagle (R), Dennis Uhlenhake (R) and Robert Fitzgerald (R)
• Ward 1: John Bubp (R)
• Ward 2: Kenneth Koverman (D)
• Ward 3: James Christman (R)
• Ward 4: Robin Willoughby (D)