2 compete in race for Perrysburg mayor seat PDF Print E-mail
Written by ALEX ASPACHER Sentinel Staff Writer   
Friday, 01 November 2013 11:10
PERRYSBURG - Voters will choose the city's next mayor Tuesday, with one candidate running on his city council experience while the other promotes her role as an everyday citizen.
Mike Olmstead, an eight-year council member, said his experience puts him in the position of knowing how to get things done here. He wants to focus on keeping the city on a path to financial strength, with an eye on "continuous improvement" of city services, as well as the "unique characteristics" of Perrysburg that make it a strong community where families want to live and businesses want to operate.
"It's really important we continue that into the next generation," he said.
"I've seen how city works and how it needs to work better."
Olmstead said he would keep services like fire and police protection and road repairs at a high level while looking for opportunities to improve efficiency. He would also work with developers to ensure businesses looking to set up shop or relocate in Perrysburg aren't being unnecessarily impeded.
"We need to make sure we're not putting needless rules and regulations in place that can stifle that growth."
But growth in both size and population come with concerns in areas such as future annexation and water supply because the city is without a plan once its water contract with Toledo expires in 2027.
Over the summer, several council members expressed reluctance to participate in state and federal grant programs, citing the inefficiency of those systems even when there would have been a higher cost to Perrysburg by paying for projects locally. Olmstead said that system is broken, but he would continue seeking available money while engaging U.S. and state representatives to improve it.
"I'm not willing to put the burden of the current system on the backs of our taxpayers," he said.
Both Olmstead and Laura Hummer have touted their experience in enterprise, with Olmstead operating a physical therapy business and Hummer helping run two property management companies.
Hummer said she's not inexperienced in politics but would be a fresh face to city government. She's focused on the matters ordinary residents care about, not big projects, and fixing problems with drainage and park access would be ways to improve "day-to-day quality of life issues" for people in Perrysburg.
"I think it's important for average citizens to know they have an impact on daily government functions and that we need to get more people out and interested in being involved in that," she said.
"People don't have to be lawyers or already hold office for a long time to qualify as experienced leaders."
Hummer mentioned the future water supply as an area of concern she'd begin to look into shortly after winning the position.
"(2027) sounds like a really long way off, but really it's not. We need to resolve a sustainable water supply. We're really vulnerable without a plan in place."
She similarly lamented a tax system she said requires cities to apply to get their own money back, often by paying fees. "The state balances its budget on the backs of communities like Perrysburg."
Hummer said if elected she plans to continue going door-to-door even when the campaign is finished. She hopes to speak with every resident about what matters are important to them, she said.
"I think holding political office, from a community standpoint, is really about listening to people. I absolutely believe in people first."
Last Updated on Saturday, 02 November 2013 07:47

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