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Published: Monday, 10/7/2013

Candidates' forum set for Way Library on Sunday

BY MATT THOMPSON
BLADE STAFF WRITER

All 19 candidates for various Perrysburg area offices are expect to be at Way Public Library on Sunday for an open forum to help local voters learn more about who is on the November general election ballot.

Doors will open at 1:30 p.m. for the lower level of library, but the forum won't begin until 2 p.m. Candidates for mayor, city council, school board, municipal judge, and township trustees were all invited. The League of Women Voters of Perrysburg Area is running the free event for residents, and refreshments will be served. 

The library is at 101 E. Indiana Ave. The meeting room has room for about 100 people.

Candidates will have a 100-word opening statement read by a monitor, then take questions. Nancy Kelley, president of the league, said there would be three questions read for each office from what the audience submits. Three members of the League of Women Voters of Perrysburg Area will screen the questions, in part to avoid duplicative questions.

Each candidate will have one minute to answer a question; timekeepers will have stopwatches and cut off candidates in mid-sentence, if necessary, after one minute. 

"It doesn't get heated, but it can get interesting," Ms. Kelley said. "Some candidates are not good at answering questions they didn't prepare for. Candidates that are good at quick answers, shine."

After the question period, each candidate will get a one-minute closing statement. The event should end about 4:30 p.m. and then candidates should be available to talk with residents.

Ms. Kelley said that, in her 20 years of working with Perrysburg area voting forums. this is the largest with 19 candidates.

The two mayor candidates are Laura Hummer and Mike Olmstead.

For city council, incumbents Joe Lawless and Sara Weisenburger are competing with Richard Rettig, Barry VanHoozen, and James Matuszak to win three city council positions. Later, there could be another council opening, as Councilman Tom Mackin is running for a Perrysburg Municipal Court judge opening.

Perrysburg Municipal Judge S. Dwight Osterud is retiring after 23 years. Mr. Mackin and Molly Mack have filed to replace him in a six-year term.

Seven candidates will compete for three seats on the school board. Incumbents are Mark Schoenlein, Valerie Hovland, and board president Gretchen Downs. Challengers are Jason Decker, Lara Martin Lengel, Cal Smith, and Sue Larimer. 

Township Trustees Gary Britten and Bob Mack will compete with Lynn Hunter for the two seats up for election. Each of the township's three trustee serves a four-year term.

"The community forum is so people can see names with faces," Ms. Kelley said. "It is to inform voters so they don't just vote for a name, or not even vote at all."

Contact Matt Thompson at: mthompson@theblade.com, 419-356-8786, or on Twitter at @mthompson25.



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