Tiffin City Council At-Large
Republican candidate for Tiffin City Council member-at-large Jim Green is focused on increasing the city’s fiscal responsibility, creating economic growth and improving the safety of its citizens.
Green has lived in Seneca County for 24 years and has spent 42 years as an agent with State Farm Insurance. He is president of North Central Ohio Conservatives, treasurer for the Seneca County Republican Central Committee and treasurer for the Ohio Liberty Coalition.
Green has been married for 45 years.
He said that for anything to be successful, including his marriage and government, it takes courage, conviction, commitment and character.
“I believe that it takes the four C’s,” Green said. “It takes courage in whatever endeavor you enter into, and it takes conviction of those principles and those values, and then it takes commitment to follow through, and then that will reflect the individual’s character.”
One issue Green would like to focus on is the security and safety of Tiffin residents.
“The first thing that government has to provide for is safety of their citizens, and that’s with police, fire and infrastructure,” he said. “How do we bring business or people into the community? … We have to have a city that they can drive on.”
Green said that although the city is to have a $2 million carryover, it should save the funds for future use instead of spending it.
“It’s small for what we need for infrastructure,” he said. “We have to build up a little treasury.”
He also wants to focus on the economic growth of Tiffin and the fiscal responsibility of the government.
“My long-term vision is to build a tax base that will potentially reduce the current tax rate that people are being charged in our community,” he said. “That’s why I’m open to tax abatements to businesses coming into the community.”
Green also supports Second Amendment rights, limited government and free markets.
“I’m concerned about contributing whatever I can to serving the community and try to bring it to a standard and a level that people will really desire to stay here and live here,” he said.
Tiffin City Council At-Large
Councilman Mark Hayes wants to focus on economic development and improving the safety forces if he is re-elected as Tiffin City Council at-large representative.
Hayes was appointed in 1999 to fill an unexpired term and was re-elected for two terms as council at-large representative. He has held the position of president pro tem, is chairman of the finance committee and is council’s representative to Seneca County Regional Planning Commission.
Hayes spent 20 years in banking and he said it helped him in working with the city’s finances.
If re-elected, he wants to focus on increasing the number of safety forces.
“We’ve got to get our safety forces back to mandated levels,” he said. “If we were to have two incidents at the same time, it would expose the dangerous levels of undermanning where we’re at.”
With the income tax revenue at 7.4 percent above last year, he said he wants to maintain that income level.
“We have to keep that momentum going,” he said. “We’ve got to work on the retail sector.”
He also wants to continue to work on the infrastructure of the city, including the widening of SR 53 and a possible bypass.
“I’d like to see those done, if I’m re-elected, in the next four years,” he said.
He also wants to continue work on the city’s sewer system.
Hayes said that with the $2 million carryover, he would like to restore the safety services to mandated levels. He also wants to increase salaries of city employees.
“Our employees have gone without a salary increase for a long time,” he said. “We need to look at the salaries of our employees and make some adjustments.”
He also would like to use the carryover to put money toward capital improvements and road paving.
“There’s no Democrat or Republican way to fix a pothole,” he said. “There’s a right way to fix it.”
If re-elected, Hayes wants to work closer with Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. and its new CEO.
“Rich (Focht) has done a nice job,” he said. “It always brings a little something exciting when you get a new person in that position.”
Hayes said that while working with council, he uses advice given by a former mayor.
“I always try to do what former Mayor Bernie Hohman used to say,” he said. “Just try to do the right thing.”
Tiffin City Council At-Large
Candidate Steven Lepard wants to improve public and safety work forces and improve the business climate if elected to a Tiffin City Council at-large seat.
Lepard is a former member of the Charter Review Commission, which spiked his interest in being a councilman. He was appointed in 2001 to fill an unexpired terma as 1st Ward representative and ran twice unopposed.
He is a member of the Revolving Loan Fund and Venture Capital Committee, the Civil Service Commission and the Seneca County Public Defenders Commission.
“I think that people recognize that I’m a blue-collar, common-sense conservative,” he said.
He recently retired after working 27 years with Aqua America. In the past 25 years, he has been in the field, working as a customer service representative.
He said that before he worked at Aqua Ohio, he worked as plant manager for a small factory. He and his family had agreed to move out of state for a better job opportunity, but decided to stay in Tiffin instead.
“My heart was in Tiffin,” he said.
Lepard said that when it came to his job experience, he learned most of what he had to do on the job.
“In the business world, it’s pretty much learn by the fly,” he said. “A good work ethic was part of my upbringing.”
Lepard said he would like to focus on improving the public and safety work forces.
“We need to increase the numbers. We need to provide training for them that has been lacking in the past due to budget cuts,” he said. “Burglaries and larcenies are at an all-time high. We need more feet on the ground, and I believe with our ($2 million) carryover in this year’s budget, we’re going to be able to do that.”
He also wanted to increase the number fire department employees.
“There’s many times … when every available person is at one site,” he said. “We need to continue to provide monies and funds for upgrades of ambulances and fire trucks as well.”
Lepard also supports upgrading wages for city workers.
He also wants to continue to provide a positive climate for business. In order to do this, council would have to focus on schools, the parks and recreation department and the city’s infrastructure.
“If we cannot provide those, we’re not going to be attractive to someone looking to come to Tiffin,” he said.
Lepard said Tiffin is improving with the drop in unemployment, expansions and higher income tax revenue.
“It’s hard not to be excited about the city of Tiffin right now,” he said.
Tiffin City Council At-Large
Councilman Tyler Shuff is running on a platform of economic development and improvement of the city’s parks and safety services in his campaign for re-election as Tiffin City Council at-large representative.
Shuff filled an unexpired term in 2008 and ran unopposed in the election a year later. He is the property manager for Tiffin Community Reinvestment Group.
He said he would like to focus on creating more economic opportunities and promote more economic growth in Tiffin.
“I want to see (Tiffin) a very business-aggressive place. I love the economic development we have going on downtown,” he said.
Shuff said he also would like to focus on improving the city’s infrastructure and safety services.
“I think as an elected official, safety services is one of our top priorities,” he said.
He said that when he joined council, they had to cut funding for four or five years but still maintained the city.
“We did it with very minimal layoffs. We were able to take certain positions and combine them together to save taxpayer dollars,” he said.
As head of the Personnel and Labor Committee, Shuff helped come up with ideas to increase the safety of the city, including block watch, the citizens’ academy and the cadet program.
The cadet program allows individuals enrolled in the program to ride with police, learn about the town and work within neighborhoods.
“It saves the city money and it also helps us to train police officers,” he said. “It’s a way of putting two or three more police officers on the street at no cost to the taxpayers. (The cadets) are almost getting a free internship.”
Shuff also wants to focus on improving Tiffin’s parks and recreation. He said he has created blueprints for a 9.6-mile, all-purpose trail around Tiffin. Shuff said he is working on finding grant money to fund the project.
He also said he would like to use the $2 million budget carryover to improve the city’s infrastructure and the city parks, including adding an internship program.
He said his creativity and imagination have brought fresh ideas to council, and that through communication, he is able to give all individuals the same amount of respect.
“I’m going to give you the same amount of respect, I’m going to hear your concerns,” he said. “I don’t consider myself a politician. I consider myself a public servant.”