The main focus for Republicans seeking a seat on Tiffin City Council is economic growth, candidates said during Seneca County Republican Central Committee Candidates Night Thursday.
Councilman Rich Cline and Mark Pardi are running for Tiffin City Council president. Cline is the 4th Ward representative and is a graduate of Tiffin Columbian High School.
Pardi served for more than 29 years in the U.S. military and has worked in various manufacturing businesses. When he was not deployed, he held management and administrative positions in operations and production manufacturing.
Councilman Tyler Shuff, former Councilman Steve Lepard and Jim Green are running for the position of at-large councilman.
Green has lived in Seneca County for 24 years and is an insurance agent with State Farm Insurance. He is the president of the North Central Ohio Conservatives and is the treasurer for the Seneca County Republican Party.
Lepard served in the military and formerly was 1st Ward councilman, and has had positions on Tiffin's Civil Service Commission and on Seneca County Public Defenders Commission.
Shuff is an at-large councilman and a Tiffin Columbian High School graduate. He works as the property manager for the Tiffin Community Reinvestment Group.
Candidates were asked about how they intended to create business and job opportunities in Tiffin.
Shuff said he wanted to focus on advertising and using Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. and Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Services for marketing.
Green said it was important to keep taxes low and improve safety and roads to foster opportunities. He also said tax breaks should be given to businesses coming to Tiffin.
Lepard said funding should be increased to SIEDC and managing the infrastructure of the city, such as improving the sewers and water systems, would help bring businesses to Tiffin.
Council president candidates agreed creating a joint city and county justice center would be a positive build for both entities and that the security in the current court system was not up to par. Cline said that combining the funds would help save money and that although it was shot down, it was still a viable issue.
Pardi said finance was his biggest concern for the justice center, but he did not want to add any new taxes.
In conclusion, Green said he would bring experience and maturity to the position. He also emphasized fiscal responsibility, limited government and encouraging business growth.
Lepard said he had a passion for the position and that he wanted to be a part of the leadership team. He also wanted to see expansion in the city of Tiffin.
Shuff said he wanted to move Tiffin forward and to continue to provide a positive environment. He said he thought there was room for potential.
Cline said he believes in Tiffin and outlined he had the practical experience to be council president. He said he wanted to be a part of the solution.
Pardi said the backbone of a community was public service and he had 30 years of leadership positions that help him understand what people need.
The candidates also answered questions about the status of public workers' pay cuts, council president's role in economic growth, tax breaks for businesses, a potential dog park, development of riverfront property, curbside recycling and increasing funding to safety services.