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Sandusky City Hall debate: To move, or not to move?

Andy Ouriel • Nov 4, 2013 at 4:30 PM

People are supposed to be proud of their home.

But the seven Sandusky city commission candidates don’t feel that way about City Hall.

Each candidate voiced that dissatisfaction during a recent Register-sponsored campaign debate at the Sandusky State Theatre. For about 25 years, past and present commissioners have debated leaving City Hall, located at 222 Meigs St.

About a year ago, Sandusky’s chief building official George Poulos urged commissioners to not renovate the facility.

Poulos, who prefers to build an entirely new complex rather than renovate City Hall, estimated it would take about $6 million for necessary upgrades inside an almost 60-year-old building.    

Sandusky Municipal Court Judge Erich O’Brien also pleaded with commissioners earlier this year to make a decision. O’Brien’s courtroom in the building leaks and lacks proper security.

Read about O'Brien's court HERE

So far, the seven incumbents haven’t made a firm decision as to staying, leaving, tearing down or selling City Hall.

Here’s how each candidate, vying for three open seats in Tuesday’s election, responded when asked by an audience member if they’d support talks of moving or selling City Hall:

“I would seriously consider looking at moving City Hall from Meigs Street to downtown. It doesn’t make sense to keep putting money into a building that’s outlived its usefulness. We do need to engage in a discussion about moving City Hall.” — Naomi Twine

“It’s so expensive and difficult to renovate. We have expert opinions (stating that) our infrastructure at City Hall is beyond repair. It’s being held together by chewing gum.” — Dick Brady

“I believe we do need to renovate and move the location.” — Patricia Ferguson

“I’m willing to discuss anything. Whether I agree with it or not, I don’t know. I haven’t had all the facts.” — Diedre Cole, city commissioner

“The city building is deteriorating. It makes no sense to put more money into it. What we have done to the municipal court is nothing short of shameful. It needs to be addressed.” — Dennis Murray Jr.

“We need to engage in discussion on a potential relocation of City Hall. They have suggested it would take over $1 million for improvements into an antiquated building that has outlived its usefulness. It’s absolutely shameful.” — Scott Schell

“We ought to sell off where our current city building is and take the Sandusky Cabinets property (on Warren and East Washington streets) we own and rehabilitate that into a city office building.” — John Hamilton, ex officio mayor

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