Charter review, judge, law director participate in Candidates Night

PHOTO BY JILL GOSCHE Judge Mark Repp of Tiffin-Fostoria Municipal Court (from left), Tiffin Law Director Brent Howard and Kade Rowe, Kenny Egbert Jr. and Victor Perez, who are seeking seats on Tiffin City Charter Review Commission, participate in Candidates Night on Wednesday evening.

Candidates for Tiffin-Fostoria Municipal Court judge, law director for Tiffin and Tiffin City Charter Review Commission offered their views during Candidates Night at Tiffin Middle School on Wednesday evening.

Judge Mark Repp of Tiffin-Fostoria Municipal Court, who has been in office for more than 17 years, said he thinks having all courts in one building is going to go down as one of the greatest things that has happened over his tenure as judge. It has helped facilitate a lot of things and the Participating in Victory of Transition program, he said.

“PIVOT is the only multi-jurisdictional drug court in the state of Ohio,” he said.

Repp said the program has been effective. From 2017 to 2018, the first two years the program has operated, officials were able to cut the overdose death rate in Seneca County in half, he said.

“It’s working very well,” he said.

Repp said he always tried to be fair and reasonable.

“(I’ve) tried to give our constituents good value for their money,” he said.

Brett Howard, Tiffin’s law director, said he thinks the first challenge city government always has is cooperation among political subdivisions. Seneca County Justice Center took a lot of cooperation among several political subdivisions and elected officials, he said.

Howard, who has been the law director for more than 24 years, said public service has been one of his life goals, and he always felt it was a calling he had.

Four people are running for nine seats on Tiffin City Charter Review Commission, a group that works every 10 years.

Kenny Egbert Jr., Kade Rowe and Victor Perez offered their views during Wednesday’s program.

Rowe said he wished more people would take an interest in the community. He said he believed committee membership is an important job in the community, and he wished more people were doing it.

Egbert said it is important that officials have citizens involved in the city and charter, which is similar to a constitution and works to identify powers and checks and balances between the branches of government at the city level.

If people are interested, they can be appointed, he said.

Perez said the committee made big changes last time, and he doesn’t see a lot of room for change. He said he wants to go in with an open mind as to what people recommend.

“We were very meticulous,” he said.