The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

Oregon Administrator Ken Filipiak is resigning. He will be the new city manager of Mentor, located just east of Cleveland, on the south shore of Lake Erie. His resignation is effective Nov. 28.

The Mentor City Council voted unanimously at a special meeting on Saturday to hire Filipiak, according to Mentor City Council President Bob Shiner. The city has a population of over 50,000, more than twice the size of Oregon’s 18,000.

City government is based on a city manager executive appointed by council instead of an elected mayor form of government. The city manager is accountable to city council.

Shiner said over 100 people applied for the spot, which has been temporarily filled by the police chief since May, when the former city manager retired.

Filipiak came out on top because of his “diverse background,” said Shiner.

“We found him to be a very smart guy. It all looked good on the resume and the interview process,” said Shiner.

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A Genoa business owner and candidate for a village council seat has made a request for copies of files in the computers used by the village police chief and administrator.

Through his attorney, Eric Hise, owner of the Bharmacy, 621 Main Street, sent a letter dated Oct. 19 to Mayor Mark Williams requesting copies of the memories in the computers of the chief and administrator going back to January, 2008.

Mayor Williams last Tuesday said he hadn’t seen the request but acknowledged it may have arrived at the town hall after he last checked his mail.

Hise said his request is unrelated to a lawsuit he filed in December, 2008 against Mayor Williams, Chief Randy Hill, and a village police officer, alleging the mayor directed the police department to harass his business.

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Marvin Belknap has started a support group, of sorts, for small businesses in hopes of resolving problems they share.

Belknap, who owns The Coffee Shop, and Tan Pro Oregon, held a small business forum with city officials to discuss those problems.

“We invited any business owner with 50 or fewer employees.  There’s a lot of concern that small businesses are faltering, and not able to make it in Oregon. So I wanted to host a forum so everyone could ask questions,” Belknap said at a committee of the whole meeting on Oct. 19.

Belknap hopes to form a small business task force outside the Chamber and Oregon Economic Development Foundation that would work with the city administrator, public service director, and possibly law director to find ways to promote small business and help “relieve some stress and burden on us.”

“A lot of our members are tired of seeing people go to the other side of the river to do things, to shop, go to dinner, enjoy themselves,” he said.

Some common concerns of small businesses, said Belknap, include relaxing a stringent sign code and architectural committee regulations “that drives business away.”

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Time is of the essence at Lake High School.

With an estimated ten years until all World War II veterans are gone, the school started to raise money two years ago in an effort to send World War II veterans to see the World War II memorial in Washington D.C. free of cost.

The money raised goes to the Honor Flight of Northwest Ohio organization, which has sent over 300 veterans since their inception in 2007. People at Lake have raised over $4,400, which has allowed nine veterans to visit the memorial.

Although the school doesn’t know the names of the veterans they helped send, the veterans are told why they went and who raised money.

The effort initially began when Jim Witt, superintendent at Lake Local Schools, received a letter from a woman in Walbridge telling him about the Honor Flight of Northwest Ohio.

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During Genoa’s “Meet the Candidates Night” Tuesday, council candidates focused on subjects other than the police department’s controversial underage alcohol sting.

Questions for the candidates were pre-determined by the Genoa Area Chamber of Commerce board of directors, and each candidate did not address every issue.
 

Regarding village spending:

Incumbent Steven D. Bialorucki: “In my opinion, the things I’ve seen on the projects we’ve done on the sidewalks and streets are positive. The things we are spending on are the right ones, quite honestly. Yes, we are spending money, but you have to realize $86,000 was grants. Local small government needs to maintain what we have and we are doing it in a mindful way of the taxpayers’ dollars.”

Challenger David N. Brown: “I’d think it would be irresponsible if I didn’t say we’re spending too much. Let’s try to get better communication, let everyone know how we can better communicate and let everybody give their input,” Brown said, suggesting a newsletter.

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