Six of eight council members unopposed for re-election in fall contest
Take a good look -- the faces you see on Norwalk City Council might not be the same come January.
Six of the eight members are up for re-election, but running unopposed, one is running as possible write-in, and one is not running again, but two people are running for her seat .
All candidate hopefuls were given petitions. Those running either Democrat or Republican had to have a minimum of 25 signatures from same-party residents before the February deadline. Independents needed to provide 50 by May.
Write-in candidates, such as current council member Dwight Tkach, who missed his own signature on the finished petition, will need to obtain 50 signatures by September.
The primary races in May determined six council members would be running unopposed. These members will be guaranteed a win on November's ballot, according to Huron County Board of Directors Deputy Director Sharon Locke.
Current council members say they've done a lot to improve quality of life for residents in Norwalk during their terms.
The community has slipped into a top slot of Ohio's best places to live and they say they have a booming business district with more than half looking toward expansion, have repaired major roads and established capital plans looking toward future development.
Mayor Sue Lesch, who claimed victory in 2004 over former mayor Brooks G. Hartmann, said she is guided by her vision of Norwalk maintaining a family-friendly atmosphere and has had to make many decisions based on that vision.
The mayor, a Democrat, will be running unopposed for the November ballot.
Tera Thornhill, First Ward Council member, is the only member who will leave come January.
Two candidates, Republican Scott Krichbaum and Democrat Lynn Chapin will be running for Thornhill's seat.
Meet Your Norwalk City Council Members
2nd Ward, Republican
* How long on council? I will be completing my 10th year this year, five terms.
* Biggest issues in Norwalk? Fortunately, this council in cooperation with this administration have been looking at issues both present and in the future. The primary reason issues become issues is due to the lack of short-term as well as long-term planning.
* Why running? I feel that I can make a difference and that is the best part about representing the community.
* Occupation? I am the Regional Sales Manager for Tiffin Metal Products.
Member At-Large, Democrat
* How long on council? I am completing my first term.
* Biggest issues in Norwalk? Norwalk's biggest issues seem, like many communities, to revolve around how to spend what limited resources we have.
* Why running? Norwalk is my family's home. The best part of representing this community is feeling like I am part of maintaining and improving this community. I am proud to live here, proud to raise our children here and proud to serve this town.
* Occupation? I am a 12-year teacher with Sandusky City Schools. I currently teach Advanced Placement American History and Social Studies II.
Member At-Large and President of the Council, Republican
* How long on council? I have had the opportunity to serve since 1993, seven terms.
* Biggest issues in Norwalk? The biggest issues facing Norwalk at this time are EPA mandates for improvements to the sewer system in the city and protecting/improving our standard of living with good jobs and keeping/reducing illegal drugs in the community.
* Why running? The best part of serving on council is being able to apply my knowledge and experience to the issues before council in an effort to make a difference for the community. I enjoy serving on council and would like the opportunity for another term.
* Occupation? I am employed by Verizon Telcom as a District Manager for Northwest Ohio, I have been with Verizon for 26 years.
Fourth Ward, Democrat
* How long on council? Five plus years, fourth term.
* Biggest issues in Norwalk? I feel the biggest issues facing Norwalk are meeting the city's EPA mandates for water and sewer systems as well as maintaining the infrastructure in general. Continued economic development efforts in these tough times is also a critical element.
* Why running? The most satisfying part of the job for me is being able to help constituents with their smaller, everyday problems that, as a council person, you get calls on a regular basis and that rarely reach discussion stage at the council meetings.
* Occupation? My full-time job is that of Administrator of the Huron County Juvenile and Probate Courts.
Member At-Large, Independent
* How long on council? Six years, three terms.
* Biggest issues in Norwalk? Norwalk's biggest issues include those surrounding the budget. It's easy to run government if you have plenty of money. That's always a worry.
* Why running? The best part of serving is being able to solve problems. When people call and need something, it makes you feel good to help them.
* Occupation? I am the owner of Kenilee Lanes & Pro Shop and Nobil's Sports and Trophies.
Thomas Stoll: Did not return questionnaire
Tera Thornhill: Not up for re-election
Skip Wilde: Did not return questionnaire