Oregon Council President Tom Susor is running against Mayor Mike Seferian for the mayor’s seat in the November election.
Susor, of Cedarwood Dr., is the only candidate challenging Seferian, both of whom submitted petitions to the Lucas County Board of Elections by the June 12 deadline to be on the ballot.
Susor, a Democrat, was elected to council from 1983 to 1989, and again in 2011.
Seferian said he is confident he will be re-elected, particularly since there have been no controversial issues during his first term as mayor.
“I was elected at a time when the city had seen some of the hardest economic times ever,” said Seferian. “Our revenue was down $800,000, and we were going to get $1 million less from the state. But we still balanced the budget. Through hard economic times, we made our operation more efficient, and we were able to live within our means.”
The city has also attracted new industry, he noted, including an $860 million power plant on N. Lallendorf Road that will generate electricity by burning natural gas. The Oregon Clean Energy project will create over 500 construction jobs.
“We also have projects in the foundation stage waiting to happen,” said Seferian. “I look forward to a second term to see that these projects get completed.”
Susor acknowledged Seferian’s accomplishments, but said it’s not enough.
“Those are all very, very positive things,” he said. “But look around our community. Good enough is not good enough. The general upkeep, the beautification, the things that make your community shine, has been lacking. Oregon is a great place to be. But our children are leaving because we have marched in place and we’re not moving forward. We need to have some vision, and invest in the future for our children and grandchildren so they want to stay here and raise their families. We need to beautify, and utilize our basic assets and tools for economic development. We’re doing good. But we need to do some things better and expand on other levels that sets us apart from other cities.”
Nine submitted petitions for all seven Oregon council seats up for grabs in November. Incumbents seeking re-election are:
• Mike Sheehy, 1129 Schmidlin Rd.
• Jerry Peach, 6113 Navarre Ave.
• Dennis Walendzak, 1774 Grand Bay
• James Seaman, 3555 Williamsburg
• Sandy Bihn, 6565 Bayshore Rd.
• Terry Reeves, 3239 Starr Ave.Challengers include:
• Tim Zale, 526 Park Way West.
• Kathleen Pollauf, 6720 Corduroy Rd.
• Marvin Dabish, 514 Haley Dr.
A charter amendment passed last year calls for council members to serve four year, staggered terms. The change replaced previous language in the city charter that called for all seven council seats to be up for re-election every two years. Three council members who receive the largest number of votes this fall will serve four year terms starting on Dec. 1, 2013. The remaining four on council will serve two-year terms until November, 2015, when their four year terms begin.