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Published: Thursday, 5/30/2013

Perrysburg City Clerk Sara Weisenburger named to council seat

BY MATT THOMPSON
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Perrysburg City Council voted 4-2 in favor of Sara Weisenburger, 32, being appointed to a vacant council opening. She will replace Maria Ermie who resigned at the end of April. Perrysburg City Council voted 4-2 in favor of Sara Weisenburger, 32, being appointed to a vacant council opening. She will replace Maria Ermie who resigned at the end of April.
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The council room had all but cleared out when Perrysburg City Clerk Mary Sutton asked Sara Weisenburger what she wanted on her nameplate.

About 10 minutes earlier tonight, Perrysburg City Council voted 4-2 in favor of Mrs. Weisenburger, 32, being appointed to a vacant council opening. She will replace Maria Ermie who resigned at the end of April.

The term ends Dec. 31. Mrs. Weisenburger said she will run to retain the seat on council in the fall.

The position pays $6,500 annually.

"I'm here to serve the citizens," she said. "I'm happy, but I wish it hadn't gotten contiguous."

The council was in a 3-3 stalemate last week between Mrs. Weisenburger and candidate Becky Williams, 51. Council members Todd Grayson, Mike Olmstead, and Joe Lawless voted in favor of Mrs. Weisenburger while Tim McCarthy, Tom Mackin, and John Kevern wanted Ms. Williams in.

Mr. Kevern switched his vote to Mrs. Weisenburger today.

"Last week I voted for Becky and still feel she has superior experience," Mr. Kevern said. "Her service to Perrysburg council would be unfortunately short lived since she made it clear due to personal reasons she will not seek election."

Last week Ms. Williams said at the city council meeting it would be an unfair advantage to run for council after being appointed.

Since Ms. Williams said she would not run to retain the seat, Mr. Kevern said he went with Mrs. Weisenburger because he said he felt the city deserves stability.

Not all council members thought it was negative that Ms. Williams was not running for the seat.

"I think it shows an act of public service for her to step in without running," Mr. McCarthy said. "I think Sara is very capable and will [be] a great contribution to council, but the talent and experience with Becky makes me think she deserves to be appointed."

The three other applicants for the position were Grant Garn, who retired in December at the age of 69 as Perrysburg Township zoning inspector; Jim Matusak, a 48-year-old certified accountant; and John Spore, 57, a local attorney at Spore and Associates.

Mr. Matusak was at the meeting to plead his case.

"I want to make it clear I support Sara, but I do not support Sara or Becky because of their attendance at meetings," Mr. Matusak said, Mrs. Weisenburger and Ms. Williams were applauded for their high attendance.

He made the analogy that if a star player was injured the coach wouldn't go to the fans and try to find the person who attended the most games, he would get the most talented person.

The council said all five applicants were impressive, but spoke very highly of the number of council meetings Mrs. Weisenburger and Ms. Williams attend.

Mrs. Weisenburger is a mother of four and helps her husband Matthew Weisenburger run their small real-estate business. She graduated from the University of Toledo with an accounting degree and moved to Perrysburg in 2009. If she had to choose, Ms. Weisenburger said she is a Republican.

"My goals are to hit the ground running," Mrs. Weisenburger said. "I want to see the budget and how we can clean things out there."

She will serve on the personnel, economic development, and finance committees.

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



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