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VOTE411 Voter Guide

Bluffton Council - Term Commences 01/01/18 - Vote for no more than 4 {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

The Village Council is comprised of six Council Members elected at large by the citizens of the Village. Each Council Member is elected to a four-year term. The Council serves as the legislative body for the Village. They meet twice a month on the second and fourth Monday.
CHOOSE TWO CANDIDATES FROM BELOW TO COMPARE
  • Sean Burrell

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    Jerry Cupples Retired from American Electric Power

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    Mitchell Kingsley Attorney

  • Ralph Miller

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    Tony Pinks Safety Specialist

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    Benjamin Stahl Software Engineer

  • David R. Steiner

  • Phil Talavinia

  • Roger L. Warren

  • Deborah Weihrauch

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Biographical Information

Identify 3 major issues in the Village and describe how you will address them.

Candidate has not yet responded.
Current Occupation Field Service Representative for the Magid Glove and Safety Company
Education Associates Degree from the Cleveland Institute of Electronics
Training & Experience 38 years in Customer Service for American Electric Power. Served 5 terms on Village Council, 3 terms as Council President and employed two years by the Village of Bluffton
(567) 226-1003
The biggest issue in the Village is the cost of water. Council enacted a surcharge of $16.50 in 2016 making Bluffton’s water the highest rate in the area. At 400 cubic feet, the monthly cost in Bluffton is $53.35, $9.00 higher than Delphos, and more than $30.00 more than Ada, Ottawa, Findlay and Lima. This surcharge is unfair and unnecessary. The Village receives more than 2 Million per year in income tax, which is more than enough to operate Bluffton conservatively. If elected, I will push to eliminate the surcharge and work within the annual budget to create a fair and equitable water rate. The Village currently has a lack of experience in the administration and on Council, A new Administrator and Fiscal Officer, as well as a Mayor and four Council Members with less that four years experience. I have leadership skills obtained by 38 years in the utility business, 20 years on Council, and two years as an employee. If elected I would share my knowledge to eliminate the duplication of tasks, to clean up unnecessary ordinances, and renew communication with our Industry, the public, and the employees. The former Administrator was fired, and the former fiscal office resigned citing an environment that is “hostile and disrespectful”. This is not Bluffton as I know it. I served on a Council that shared values and professional courtesy to the public and each other. If elected, I will return the Village to where the rate payers, tax payers and residents matter.
Current Occupation Attorney
Education Bluffton College - BS, 1971 Loyola University of Chicago Law School - JD, 1984
Training & Experience 33 Years practicing attorney; Board membership on many non-profits; mediation training and teaching; college adjunct teaching
1.Village employees face an uncertain work environment. Early in the year Bluffton’s very competent Village Administrator was fired without warning and without reason. Recently, Bluffton’s very competent fiscal officer resigned, citing questionable requests by the Mayor and raising concerns about possible ethics violations. Further, the village pay ordinance has been scrapped. If elected, I would work with council members and the mayor to promote a regular system of employee evaluations with council participation. Employees deserve to have predictable wage steps and feedback on how they are doing. We must work hard to build team consciousness among all village employees. This won’t be achieved by intimidation but by encouragement and better communication. 2.The water surcharge enacted two years ago brings more money into the water fund; but the rate structure with the added surcharge creates an unfair water charge. Average users are paying the village far in excess of the cost of producing the water. Water rates for most users should more closely resemble the actual cost of the water. We need to roll back the surcharge and adjust the rates. We will still need to do a certain amount of subsidizing from the general fund in order to keep costs from being too exorbitant for large (industrial) users who are so vital to our village economic health. 3. Even small steps could greatly improve the Village of Bluffton web presence. Let's get it up to date and up to snuff.
Candidate has not yet responded.
Current Occupation SumiRiko Ohio, Inc. Manufacturing
Issue 1: Cost of the water and sewage utilities I intend on searching for the answer to why our utility rates are so high. The job of maintaining and cost efficiency for local residence and area businesses should be the duties of the village council and the mayor of this village. The cost of the water in the Village of Bluffton is so much higher than all of the surrounding area Ada, Findlay, & Lima just to name a few. My brother has a house he is raising a family in and is a resident of Ada, and pays much less than a family in the Village of Bluffton. I feel we are over charged in the village and I have heard it from other residents that they feel the same way.

Issue 2: Community beautification We as a community are very proud of who we are and what we do as residents in the Village of Bluffton. We share the same ideas of living in a clean community. There’s two types of trash in our community. One type is the trash along the roads and highway access. As my wife and I travel to other parts of the United States we often recognize how beautiful their access ramps are and the beautiful scenery you see from the highway at area businesses and parks among other things to look at. We say to ourselves this would look good at the exit I-75 #140 or #142 coming home to our wonderful community. The exits to the interstate are not the only problem, we have litter along many of the roads and the creek beds. These litter problems would be much worse if it weren’t for a local resident.
Current Occupation Developing internal yield analysis applications for GlobalFoundries, a semiconductor chip manufacturer.
Education Pandora-Gilboa High School (2006); The Ohio State University, BS in Computer Information Science (2011)
1) The Village isn’t taking advantage of digital storage and communication.

I would push that Bluffton goes back to posting council minutes on the village website, including all legislation. I don’t see how we can expect residents to obey the ordinances if they can’t find out what they are. Having the legislation online and keyword-searchable helps everyone--resident and council member alike--be more informed about what laws are already in effect and what needs to be added.

2) The Village isn’t treating people with respect.

Whether it’s firing employees without notice or telling residents to keep their mouths shut, there has been a lack of civility and understanding coming out of Town Hall. I’m not naive enough to think I can change that alone but I will try my hardest to help effect that change. No one should hesitate to approach their elected official for fear of ridicule or retribution and, if elected, I promise to remember that I was chosen to serve.

3) The Village isn’t investing in the future.

Bluffton’s history is full of examples of being on the leading edge of technology and social reform; Bluffton was an early adopter of both the electric streetlight and the concept of Fair Trade businesses. In that spirit, I want to investigate the feasibility of installing solar panels around the village airport to help mitigate our monthly electric cost and our carbon footprint.
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