Familiar faces unopposed for Tiffin council

Tiffin voters won’t have many options when voting for Tiffin City Council members Nov. and the panel is likely to have just one new face next year.

According to information from Seneca County Board of Elections, each of the candidates running for a new four-year term will be running unopposed. Meaning, if they receive one vote, they will be elected. If elected, all three will begin a new term Jan. 1.

For Third Ward Council, Dawn Iannantuono runs unopposed for the seat she was appointed to in 2016.

Iannantuono served on the Tiffin City School Board for 18 years and on the Vanguard-Sentinel School Board for three. She said her motto is to always strive to be the best.

“Things are going well, but we always want to keep improving,” she said.

There are three openings for at-large council positions. Members of council Steve Lepard and Tyler Shuff join Tiffin Middle School history teacher Ben Gillig in the race for those three spots. Gillig was appointed by the Seneca County Democratic Party Central Committee Thursday to finish out the year on council.

Gillig is a write-in candidate, so his name must be written in to receive votes. Voters can ask workers at their polling place for a list of certified write-in candidates to verify the correct spelling of candidates’ names.

Lepard, who served 10 years as First Ward Councilman and four as an at-large representative, said it’s important the city continues to create a business-friendly environment downtown.

“It’s remarkable,” he said. “We came out of a mild depression and businesses are not afraid to invest in downtown. (We need to) keep creating the atmosphere.”

Shuff, who has served on council for nearly 10 years, agreed and said it’s important for council to continue its work with Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. to entice businesses to come to Tiffin

He said he likes the direction of the city, but believes it’s important to continue to work together with all entities to invest in avenues to improve the economy.

Gillig, who is the head coach of Tiffin Middle School’s eighth-grade football team, has been a teacher for 13 years and a football coach for eight.

He said he will try and learn on the job before making any substantive policy statements. Gillig served in his first council meeting Monday night.

“I love this city,” Gillig said. “I was asked to serve, I felt like I couldn’t turn it down.”

Current Council President Mark Hayes, who took that post after former president Rich Cline resigned in September because he was president pro tem of council, runs unopposed for the same position. Hayes also is a write-in candidate.

Hayes, who has served as a council member since 1999, will have to adapt to a new role, but he said many of the same skills from being a regular member of council will apply.

“You have to be a good listener,” he said. “Not making promises, but being sincere. Being patient and understanding.”