Creation of a formal neighborhood watch was among the issues raised by candidates running for local seats Sept. 21 at a forum held inside Wellington village hall.
Nancy Fisher is running unopposed for her third term as a Wellington Township trustee.
“I was born and raised in LaGrange and married my high school sweetheart,” she said. “One could say I’m a poster child for the opportunities that (Lorain County Community College) offers for students in this area. My love of children inspired me to study education and my first teaching job was right here in Wellington.”
She proposed the township-wide neighborhood watch after recent incidents of arson that have occurred in the village of Wellington.
“I pledge to work toward this end in my next terms,” said Fisher. “I will continue to work as an advocate for you and listen to your concerns. I promise to effectively fulfill all of the obligations of township trustee and remain a staunch advocate for our children who actively promotes the safety of our citizens.”
Gene Hartman, who took over mayor Hans Schneider’s village council seat at the beginning of 2016, said he wants to see the Wellington police department move to a new home with more space.
The former Elyria Savings and Trust building on West Herrick Avenue has frequently been looked at as a potential landing spot but is in need of renovations.
“My primary focus and goal is to maintain the safety services in this community,” he said. “We have exemplary safety services, fire, police, and EMS. Chief (Tim) Barfield operates out of 1,000 square feet in town hall. He needs more space. Being in a place that small isn’t safe and we really need to look and see what we can do to help.”
Hartman also sits on the South Lorain County Ambulance District’s board of directors and the village bicentennial committee.
Two new faces running for council, Stephen Boham and William Bogan, also spoke. Council member Keith Rowland is running for reelection but was unable to attend the forum due to an out of town training seminar, Hartman said.
“Through 40 years as a businessman and accountant in Elyria and Lorain, I have experience dealing with people and government,” said Boham. “I have the expertise, skills, talents, and desire to put my efforts toward the voters. I’m a man of dignity, honor, and action. I want to be your voice on council.”
Bogan is a pre-engineering and robotics teacher in Lorain and adjunct professor at LCCC. He has formerly sat on the Wellington board of education and his wife, Amy, teaches in the district.
“I’ve lived in Wellington since 1990 and raised my kids here,” he said. “The reason why I’m running is that I believe in community service. My father spent 22 years as president of Milan village council. That instilled community service in me and I’ve tried to instill that in my children. As an educator, I just believe in serving and I hope to have your vote this fall.”
Attorney Brett Murner is running for reelection to the board of education after taking over the seat vacated by Lois Wulfhoop last summer. Also running for another term is Ayers Ratliff, who was not in attendance at the candidates night. Penny McClaflin of New London is running as a write-in candidate for the seat now occupied by Sally Stewart, who has chosen not to seek reelection.
All three are guaranteed election to the three open seats.
“I’m proud of the direction this district is going,” said Murner. “This job has been a little harder than I expected but I feel like we have the right superintendent who’s making good decisions. Any decision I make is in the best interest of these schools and these kids. It’s never about what’s best for me or anyone else. I also appreciate Mrs. McClaflin stepping up to the plate.”
”We’ve lived out here for 12 years,” said McClaflin. “I saw there was no one running for the third seat and my husband said, ‘Why not? We’ll see what happens but it should be exciting.”
Election Day is Nov. 7. The deadline to register to vote is Oct. 10.
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.