Sandusky County races: Woodville will elect new mayor

Larry Limpf

When the New Year rolls in this January, the Village of Woodville will have a new mayor for the first time in about 16 years.
With long-time incumbent, Richard Harman, deciding to not seek re-election, Ty Tracy, who is the current president of village council, is the only candidate on the Nov. 5 ballot for the mayor’s post.
Four candidates, incumbents Patrick Dunn and Dennis Fetzer, and Judith Karchner and Tammi Throop are vying for two open seats on council. Fetzer and Karchner are write-in candidates. A third seat will open when Tracy assumes the mayor’s seat.
In all, Harman has been mayor of the Sandusky County village for 33 years. He opted not to run for a term in the late 1990s and came back in 2003. He’s also served seven years on council and worked as a dispatcher for the police department for a year.
As mayor he has seen the completion of major infrastructure projects such as replacing sewer systems that cost about $10 million and a new water treatment facility and other improvements.
But for many in and outside the village he may best be known for how he responded to the November 2014 shooting of a dog by a village police officer. The dog survived but the leg where the bullet hit had to be amputated.
A review of the shooting cleared the officer but the incident drew much attention from news outlets as residents flocked to council meetings to vent their anger at the police department or express support for the officer. And in the weeks after the shooting the mayor received more than 100 calls from dog lovers across the country.
In 2015, the mayor personally funded a training session for law enforcement officers in how to use non-lethal defensive tactics when encountering aggressive dogs.
The session, conducted by Canine Encounters Law Enforcement Training of Arlington, Texas, drew more than 100 officers from Ohio police departments and other agencies.
The mayor’s own research surprised him when he learned how frequently dog shootings occurred nationwide. Still, he reasoned, it makes no sense to “vilify an officer” who hasn’t been trained.

Volunteer projects
Though he is exiting the mayor’s office, Harman plans to continue with several of his on-going volunteer civic efforts, including working with local youths on landscaping projects during the summer, an annual golf outing to raise funds for scouts and other organizations, and others.
“There have been so many good things that I’ve enjoyed being a part of,” he said last week. “But it takes a team effort.”
His advice for his successor is to “put the community first.” “We’re the servants. We’re the ones who are supposed to take care of them. Ty gets it. He’ll do fine,” Harman said. “It’s been a wonderful experience for me and I wish more people would get involved. We need people to run for their community.”

Other local races in Sandusky County include:
-Incumbent Gibsonburg mayor Steve Fought is running unopposed and three candidates are vying for two seats on village council, David Johnson, Daniel Slack and Jeffrey Herman.
-Helena incumbent mayor Connie Carnicom is unopposed as are Roberta Murray and Charles McGee, a write-in candidate, for council and David Murray for clerk-treasurer.
-In Lindsey, incumbent mayor Oliver Perry is running as a write-in and faces a challenge from Ted Lewis, a member of council. James Smith and Phillip Daniels, an incumbent, are the only council candidates.
-In Woodville Township, incumbent Lori Kepus is unopposed for the fiscal officer position and incumbent Bill Hammer faces a challenge from Daniel Liskai for a seat on the board of trustees.
- In Madison Township, Steve Gruner is the only candidate for fiscal officer and Anthony Reed is the only candidate for trustee.
- Three candidates, Chadwick Bringman, Traci Hernandez and incumbent Cara Brown are running for three seats on the Woodmore school board.
- In the Gibsonburg school district, incumbents Timothy Damschroder and David Mason are being challenged for two seats on the board by Lindsay Sutter and Edward Herman, Jr.


The Press

The Press
1550 Woodville Road
Millbury, OH 43447

(419) 836-2221

Email Us

Facebook Twitter

Ohio News Media Association