bowling green city council candidates

Nathan Eberly: Congratulations to winners & all those who campaigned

As a candidate for City Council At-Large, coming in fourth out of six, I wake this morning not with disappointment but rather with excitement. Earning 10% of the vote in a very competitive race is very telling. But this letter is not about me. I am writing this to congratulate all candidates that won seats on City Council last night. Congrats to Sandy Rowland and Greg Robinette for their wins for At-Large. Congratulation to Daniel Gordon, John Zanfrandino, Michael Asphacher, and William Herald for winning their respective Ward representative spots. I wish to congratulate also all those that dedicated the last year to their community as a candidate and look forward to seeing them continue their dedication in other ways. I love BG. There is so much potential for our town going forward and it will take us all as stakeholders in the town’s success to come together to fulfill that potential. Everyone needs to be represented and heard. It’s possible. Congratulations to everyone once again! And thank you to all those that voted for me to represent them, all those that volunteered, and all those hat donated. I’m thrilled to continue my early Wednesday in that same way I always have. With a bright look forward and seeking ways to have a positive impact on my community! Nathan Eberly Bowling Green


BG contested ward candidates identify top priorities

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Three of the four wards in Bowling Green have contested races for City Council. The only unopposed candidate in Tuesday’s election is the Third Ward’s Mike Aspacher. Two candidate forums have already been held in the city. So rather than ask the candidates to talk about the same topics, BG Independent News asked all of them to talk about their top three priorities if elected to City Council. Following are brief descriptions of each contested ward candidate and their priorities. The answers for the at-large candidates appeared on Tuesday. First Ward: Two candidates are running for one seat. Daniel Gordon, Democrat, who currently serves on City Council, manages Inner Peace Homes, a local foster care/adoption agency. He has two degrees from BGSU. He led the creation of Ridge Park, the first park in the First Ward, pushed city government to improve housing, and shaped legislation defending marginalized communities. Gordon’s priorities are: Revitalize neighborhoods in the city, especially on the East Side. Gordon said he has been working on this issue for a long time, and now the new Community Action Plan will support those efforts. “I want to make sure everybody lives in a safe and strong neighborhood.” Create jobs that will keep young people here in Bowling Green. “We need job creation, that will pay a living wage,” he said. The lack of those type of jobs is causing recent graduates and others to leave the community. “No one should have to choose between living in Bowling Green and living above the poverty line.” Make Bowling Green a welcoming community. The city needs to continue making diverse populations feel welcome here, Gordon said. “So they feel just as safe and valued as anyone else in Bowling Green.” Hunter Sluss, Republican, is a fourth year student at BGSU. He currently serves as president of Catholic Falcon Community on campus. He is in the process of applying to the BGSU Hatch program with…


Six BG at-large candidates reveal their top priorities

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Six candidates are running for two open At-Large City Council seats in Bowling Green. And for the first time, the ballot has a mix of Democrat, Republican, Green Party and Independent candidates. Two candidate forums have already been held in the city. So rather than ask the candidates to talk about the same topics, BG Independent News asked all of them to talk about their top three priorities if elected to City Council. Following are brief descriptions of each At-Large candidate and their priorities. The answers for the contested ward candidates will appear on Wednesday. Holly Cipriani, Democrat, works at BGSU as an academic adviser. She has two degrees from BGSU, and has worked for various non-profit organizations serving survivors of domestic violence and people who have been trafficked or exploited. She serves as the programming chair for Not In Our Town, and was on the planning committee for Court Street Connects. Cipriani’s priorities are: Continue to review and keep a close eye on the city budget. “I would continue to anticipate cuts from the state,” Cipriani said. “So we need to be prepared.” Help to implement the Community Action Plan, with a focus on neighborhoods and Complete Streets. “We need to find ways we can actually implement it,” such as ways to fit bike lanes on existing streets and focus on improvements to the East Side. Examine ways to keep building city and university relationships. “I would like to continue to foster those relationships,” Cipriani said, noting that she has seen it pay off in positive ways in the past. Nathan Eberly, an Independent, is an adviser with Modern Woodmen Fraternal Financial, with more than 18 years of experience in finance. He has degrees in business management and finance. He is a member of the Exchange Club, BG Young Professionals, Chamber of Commerce, and volunteers with the Wood County Humane Society and Brown Bag Food Project. Eberly’s priorities are: Conduct a…


BG council candidates try to win BGSU student votes

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green City Council candidates wooed student voters Monday evening with promises to work on decent housing, better job opportunities and more renewable energy. Ten of the 13 candidates running for City Council spent two hours answering questions during a forum at Bowling Green State University. Third Ward candidate Mike Aspacher is running unopposed, so was present but did not participate. At-large candidate Carolyn Kawecka and Second Ward candidate Kent Ramsey were no-shows. The candidates were asked about three local topics by the moderators – rental housing, environmental safety, and the city-university relationship. They were asked how the city could hold landlords more accountable for the condition of rental properties. The question specifically referenced the “power over the city” held by landlords like the Newlove, Maurer and Green families. William Herald (Republican for Fourth Ward) said efforts have been made by the city to improve housing through such proposals as the master plan update. The city has worked on improving the appearance of neighborhoods, but “those efforts need to be continued,” he said. Scott Seeliger (Democrat for Fourth Ward) agreed that housing is a problem. “We certainly have an issue in housing.” He suggested that zoning changes would be the best way to make improvements. “We have to work with the owners. We have to work with the students.” John Zanfardino (Democrat for Second Ward) said the current programs in place for correcting substandard housing are insufficient. “I have grave concerns about the rental properties in Bowling Green.” Other communities, like Oxford, require that landlords have rental properties inspected prior to leasing. “You know that’s not happening here,” he said. “We kick the can down the road on this issue. We need to start hearing from students.” Hunter Sluss (Republican for First Ward) said his hometown of Sandusky hands out “pride awards” for homeowners that take care of their properties. The city also offers grants to help owners remodel homes. Such programs…


BG candidates talk rentals, roundabouts, schools & streets

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green council candidates were asked to take stands on substandard rental housing, roundabouts, the school levy, streets and more Sunday evening. This year’s election is crowded with 12 candidates for Bowling Green City Council. So the candidate forum, sponsored by the Bowling Green League of Women Voters, gave some city residents their first glimpse at those on the ballot. They are: At-large council – Six are running for two seats: Holly Cipriana, Nathan Eberly, Beverly Elwazani, Carolyn Kawecka, Gregory Robinette and Sandy Rowland. Kawecka was not present. First Ward: Daniel Gordon and Hunter Sluss. Sluss was not present. Second Ward: Kent Ramsey and John Zanfardino. Ramsey was not present. Third Ward: Michael Aspacher is running unopposed, so he did not participate in the forum. Fourth Ward: William Herald and Scott Seeliger. Following are the answers given by candidates to citizens’ questions. Cipriani, a Democrat who works as an academic adviser at Bowling Green State University, believes she can be a voice for residents of the city. She said she can offer a “fresh perspective” on issues and isn’t afraid to take action to solve problems. Cipriani said she is “very passionate” about the Complete Streets program as a way to promote safety for bicyclists, pedestrians and motorists. She would like to use already conducted research to identify areas of the city were bike lanes can be added. As for the city’s budget difficulties, Cipriani wants to make sure state leaders realize the impact of the money cut to local government budgets. The city needs to focus on improving neighborhoods, infrastructure and schools in order to get families to stay here, and attract new families to come here. That would help grow local revenue, she said. In response to the question on rental unit requirements, Cipriani said before buying her home, she lived in several different rentals in the city. “I see how some of these issues can drive people out,” and…


BG to vote on school renewal levy, council candidates

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green voters will face a school tax, two liquor issues and a truckload of city council candidates when they cast ballots in the primary election next week on May 2. Bowling Green City School District will have a 0.5 percent income tax renewal for current expenses for five years. The income tax for the district began in January of 1993 and has been renewed every five years since. It makes up 11 percent of the district’s general fund revenue, generating $3.34 million annually. Superintendent Francis Scruci has stressed that the income tax issue is a renewal – not a new tax. Also on the ballot are several city council candidates. A total of 16 candidates have filed for the open seats. None of the ward seats will be contested in the primary election. However, filing for the two open at-large seats were four Democrats, four Green Party members, and one Republican. The deadline for filing for Independent candidates is May 1, too late to appear on a primary ballot. Nathan Eberly has indicated interest in running as an Independent. The primary election will narrow down the at-large race to a maximum of two candidates from each party. Since only one Republican filed, voters will be given the choice of ballots for the Democratic Party, the Green Party or for issues only. Terry Burton, director of the Wood County Board of Elections, said this is the first time the Green Party has had enough candidates to warrant a primary ballot in Bowling Green. Burton said the lack of a Republican ballot in the primary election may cause some confusion. But since the at-large Republican spot on the general election ballot is not contested, there is no need. Those voters can request ballots that have issues only. “That may cause some angst for people,” Burton said. And it may cause some voters to switch parties in the primary just so they can cast…