Monday, October 28th, 2013
By William Kincaid
Four seek two open Celina council seats
Election November 2013
CELINA - Voters on Nov. 5 will elect two new representatives for city council.
Republican Fred LeJeune is vying with independent candidate Jess King for the Ward 2 seat; Democrat Mark Fleck is going head-to-head with Republican John Lessick for the Ward 3 seat.
Ward 2 includes 2,517 people from precincts C and D located on the east and southeast portion of town. Ward 3 consists of 2,670 people from precincts E and F and is located on the west and southwest part of town.
Terms for each position are four years.
LeJeune, 1920 Carolina Court, has never held public office.
"I'm a full-time American worker with a family who is merely stepping up to serve and help out locally in Celina, personally fulfilling a committed civic duty with Christian values," LeJeune told the newspaper.
LeJeune, a 45-year-old chief nurse anesthetist at Lima Memorial Health System, and his family moved to Celina in 2007 from Alabama seeking a small town driven by Christian and family values. He and his wife of 18 years, Marina, have two sons.
"I think this role is about leadership, good stewardship and representing Celina neighbors to the best of my ability in having someone they can approach," he said. "For me personally, having lived in other places and having studied successfully in four different American universities, I feel like I can share my positive experiences and perspectives to benefit Celina."
LeJeune said it's important that those serving at the council table work with city administration to be pragmatic visionaries.
"Not only for us who enjoy the fruits of this community but the next generation," he said. "So we have a great responsibility, not just a job for our limited term."
Leadership developed while working as a anesthetist, past management roles and a strong education are reasons LeJeune believes he's best qualified to serve.
"And having actually attended most of the city council meetings over the last six months, which I feel is an essential orientation to this very responsible role," he continued. "I feel I am clearly the most qualified for the contest that I'm in."
King, 73, 232 Bachar Road, has never held a public office but wants to make the city a better place to live.
He believes he can bring common sense to the position and said he would reflect the opinions of the majority. King also believes his age and experience qualify him for the job.
"I guess because I've been around for 73 years," he said. "I've lived in Celina 45 years and I like Celina. I love Celina."
King said one of his goals is to do something about the many streets in disrepair and the potholes.
"I imagine plenty of people have got suggestions for me," he added. "My phone line would always be open."
He said he's very satisfied with the way Celina Mayor Jeff Hazel is running the city.
A musician and former self-employed truck driver, King has been married to Mary Joyce King for many years. The couple has five stepdaughters and three daughters.
Lessick, 63, 204 S. Brandon Ave., is self-employed - he's owned and operated Chip's Computer Service in Celina since 1995.
He's served on the Mercer County Republican Central Committee for five years, presides over 1st Squadron 1st Cavalry Association and has some college education.
Lessick said he loves Celina and wants to help make decisions to better its future.
"I work well with other people and I can provide logical, common sense solutions to challenges," he said. "That's probably why I was asked to move to Ohio to open the Radio Shack store in St. Marys back in 1989."
Lessick said one of his goals is to do something to improve the streets in Ward 3.
He and his wife, Paula, have two children.
Fleck, 55, describes himself as a printer by trade; he's employed with WorkflowOne and also works part time for Mercer Health.
He has served on the steering committee of the IC Festival for over 20 years and various functions for the Mercer County Democratic Central Committee.
Fleck said's he's always wanted to run for office. After city councilman Ed Jeffries decided not to seek another term, he felt this was the time to do it.
"I'm interested very much in what goes on in my ward - I consider that little bit the older end of the city," he said, noting he's lived in the ward for 55 years.
If elected, Fleck would like to work on council's streets and alleys committee.
"I know it's a matter of appropriations, and money is always an issue, but I would definitely lobby for some street repairs ... on my ward," he said.
He also would develop a rapport with his constituents of Ward 3, he said.
"It is my job to bring their issues to the table as well as the city's," he said.
Fleck said during his career he has served in different capacities - teaching and training - and also worked in various roles for the church.
Last year, he went back to school and earned certifications from Apollo Career Center - an accomplishment that shows he has the desire to learn new things.
"I think I can be a very good asset to the city and the council," he said.
He and his wife, Lori, have two children.