Delaware News

Not enough hopefuls for three races

Sunbury, Galena village councils, school board may need to appoint people to fill seats

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There are plenty of chances to run for office in eastern Delaware County, but local residents aren't taking the bait.

Not enough candidates filed for the Nov. 5 election to fill available seats on the Big Walnut school board and Sunbury and Galena village councils. That likely means people will be appointed to the vacant positions.

Karla Herron, director of the Delaware County Board of Elections, said there is still time for write-in candidates to file. That deadline is 4 p.m. Aug. 26.

The regular filing deadline for the election was Wednesday, Aug. 7. Candidate election petitions, signed by registered voters, are to be certified by elections' officials Tuesday, Aug. 13.

If no one else enters any of those races, then each group would have to appoint people to the vacant posts in January, she said. Any appointees then would have to run in the next general election in November 2015, Herron said.

Big Walnut school board President Allison Fagan and Sunbury resident Brad Schneider are running for the school board. Three seats are up for election in the fall. Incumbents Verna Hines and Pamula Lillie opted not to run for re-election.

In Sunbury, incumbents Tom Zalewski, David Miller and Scott Weatherby filed to run, with four seats available. Incumbent Joe Gochenour, who was appointed to council, decided not to run for election.

Galena Village Council has two official candidates -- council President David A. Adams and resident Joe Stoll -- with four seats up for election. Incumbents Paul Bolander and Chris Underwood chose not to run; incumbent David Simmons has filed to run as a write-in candidate.

Fagan, a psychologist who lives in Galena, is seeking her second four-year term. She and her husband, Barry, have two sons. One is in college and the other attends Big Walnut High School. Fagan also is an adjunct professor of psychology at Columbus State Community College.

She told ThisWeek Delaware News in an email that she believes good schools create great communities and that a good education is not a luxury, but a right.

"Our district is large enough to provide breadth in curriculum and extracurricular opportunities to support the diverse interests of our students," she wrote. "We are small enough to ensure that students who are struggling or not reaching their potential are not overlooked."

Schneider works for Ariel Corp., a Mount Vernon manufacturer of natural-gas compressors. He and his wife, Nicole, have four children, three of whom attend Big Walnut schools.

"I'm a vested customer" of the schools, said Schneider, a first-time candidate.

He said the district should provide good options for students, whether they go on to college or follow a career or technical-school path.

Schneider worked on the district's operating-levy committee and knows the financial health of the district is important.

"By working on the levy, I got to understand some of the challenges the school district faces," he said.

Sunbury Village Council candidate Tom Zalewski is retired from Weirton Steel in West Virginia, where he worked for 33 years. He and his wife, Gloria, moved to Sunbury 12 years ago.

He is seeking his third four-year term. He wants to concentrate on developing a new park in the village and bringing in a casual sit-down restaurant. He does not plan to run for a fourth term.

Miller and his wife, Rosie, moved to Sunbury six years ago. He said he always has had an interest in serving the community.

"The village is going in the right direction," said Miller, who wants to keep an eye on growth and development.

Sunbury has about 4,700 residents and could become a city in several years.

Miller is vice president of client services for Insource Solutions Group of Westerville. The company provides a variety of tax-preparation services, including developing tax websites for cities and villages.

Weatherby, the son of council president and former Mayor Len Weatherby, previously said he did not plan to run for election.

"I changed my mind. I had further discussions with my wife," said Scott Weatherby, who was appointed to council in January.

He said he wants to see the village become a city and also to build a community center.

"A lot of people have mentioned the fact of the lack of a (community) pool," he said.

Weatherby is a project manager in information services with OhioHealth. He and his wife, Elizabeth, have three sons.

Galena Village Council candidates Adams and Stoll could not be reached for comment last week.

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