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Published: Monday, 10/21/2013 - Updated: 11 months ago

SYLVANIA TOWNSHIP TRUSTEES

Budget issues dominate as 3 challenge 2 incumbents

BY NATALIE TRUSSO CAFARELLO
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Haddad Haddad
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Sylvania Township Trustee Kevin Haddad has declared that if re-elected Nov. 5, he will propose cutting the township’s budget by $400,000 annually, but he offered no details.

Jennewine Jennewine
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“I have some issues I am working on, but I don’t want to say publicly what those are because they may offend some people,” he said.

Crandall Crandall
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He hesitated to suggest those budget cuts in his current term because the other two trustees, Neal Mahoney and John Jennewine, whose seat is also up for re-election, “would not agree.”

The general fund budget is $2.3 million, about $800,000 less than it was in 2011.

Penny Levine Penny Levine
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Mr. Haddad, 58, serves on the Sylvania Joint Recreation District and is president of the Lucas County Townships Association.

Miller Miller
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The election marks his third campaign with Mr. Jennewine as an opponent. Both ran in 2005 and lost before being elected in 2009. John Crandall, Penny Levine, and Donald Miller are the other candidates in this year’s nonpartisan race.

In response to Mr. Haddad’s budget plan, Mr. Jennewine, the board chairman, said departments are running thin and if more cuts were made, “people would notice it in service.”

Mr. Jennewine, 47, said the township has operated transparently, holding discussions in public session and reserving executive sessions for property or employee-salary discussions.

He said the board has replaced personnel in top posts with more apt professionals who receive less pay. He cited township Administrator John Zeitler, whose pay is $93,000; his precedessor’s salary was $128,000.

Mr. Crandall, a Sylvania Board of Education member, said if elected, he would take a measured approach and promote collaboration. As director of operations for the Lucas County Engineer’s Office, Mr. Crandall, 75, oversaw road, bridge, and drainage projects before retiring.

As far as budget issues, which he said the school board “dealt with as a team,” he believes sharing services with the city of Sylvania and the recreation district would help save tax dollars.

He also wants to maintain fire, police, and road services.

Mrs. Levine, 58, is running for a third time. An advocate of the fire and police departments, she was seen as instrumental in securing the fire levy in 2009.

She wants more cooperation and fewer “cat fights” at the board table.

“It’s unprofessional, as far as I’m concerned. I want to continue to still work on storm-water issues, and I don’t think the public transportation threat is over,” she said of the township’s potential exit from TARTA.

Multibusiness owner Don Miller, 39, is running to promote fiscal responsibility. “I know there are state cuts coming. A lot of technology I work with is with companies with financial background,” he said.

Along with an electronic newsletter to keep residents informed, he suggests setting up a mentoring program for young entrepreneurs to seek guidance from area business owners.

“Give them a chance to succeed, be more of an environment of creativeness,” he said.



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