Candidates passionate, dedicated to village
Both candidates vying to serve as Cridersville mayor have a dedication and passion to continue to make their village a better place to live.
Incumbent Lorali Myers, brings eight years of experience and a passion to see the projects started while she was mayor carried out. Her opponent, Tony Zuppardo, says his accessibility to residents and dedication to the village will benefit the residents of Cridersville.
In her first term, Myers, who was elected in 2007 to become the new Cridersville mayor, took over for former Mayor Robert Conner.
Myers served as a member of village council starting in 2003 and served as council president from 2005 to 2008, prior to becoming mayor.
“I have a true passion for the village overall, and for the residents and also for the operation side and to see the village grow and expand,” Myers said. “I have a passion for being a part of a great community.”
A native of Cridersville, Myers attended Cridersville Elementary School and graduated of Wapakoneta High School.
She moved away but returned to the community in 1994 to raise her three children in the village where she had a positive experience growing up in.
Myers said if villagers honor by re-election her, she will continue to see through many of the projects started during her first term, which includes the Safe Routes to School sidewalk project, upgrades to the local parks in the village and economic development in the village.
Another issue that the mayor will be faced with in the next year is the fiscal responsibility and Myers said that her experience serving the village will help with the understanding of this area.
Myers said she will also help to continue with the improvements of the village and making it a great place to live.
“There’s always an opportunity to improve in all aspects of life,” Myers said. “Part of what I continue to look at daily and continue to embrace are those opportunities to improve and when to make those improvements.”
Myers said that the most important duty of the mayor is leadership to the council members and community residents.
“The bottom line is that I truly regard this community as a home,” Myers said, “and hope I have the opportunity to continue to be a leader in the community and be able to embrace what Cridersville offers and look for opportunities of improvements, such as economic development and safety of residents.”
Zuppardo, who has lived in the area for 55 years, said he decided to run for mayor because he has the desire to help solve problems as efficiently as he can and always be on call for the residents.
The retired assistant police chief of Shawnee Township said he has the time to dedicate to the village and will always be available. He is currently in his first term as a village councilor.
“The mayor should be accessible during the day and evening hours,” Zuppardo said. “I will have office hours to be accessible to the public.”
Zuppardo vows to sit down with members of the village who have an issue or problem, and will always be available for telephone calls.
“It is important to be able to reach the mayor at all times,” Zuppardo said. “I feel much more accessible than the present mayor.”
Zuppardo also says he will make it a priority to follow through with things that need to be done in the village.
“There’s no follow through with what we do. Things need to be followed through to their completion,” Zuppardo said. “If a year later we don’t get around to it, there’s a problem with that and that goes back to having time to do this.”
Striving to become part of the solution is a part of Zuppardo’s philosophy.
“I feel like if you don’t want to be part of the solution, you are part of the problem,” Zuppardo said. “I want to be part of the solution.”
One problem that Zuppardo wants to solve is the updating of the village’s website.
“Cridersville’s website has not been updated for two years,” Zuppardo said. “This website should be something to advertise Cridersville.”
Zuppardo’s goal is to bring advertisement to the village’s events, council meetings, special meetings, job postings, etc., to the resident’s attention, so everyone has the opportunity to take advantage of what is currently going on.
Spending is another issue that Zuppardo wants to address and get into order.
“We only have ‘x’ number of dollars available and I will see to it that the dollars are spent in the most efficient way,” Zuppardo said, “because we are dealing with other people’s money.”
Zuppardo says that he will take advantage of applying for all government grants that are available for the village.
“The responsibility of the mayor is to go after and receive as many grants as possible,” Zuppardo said. “I have the time to search for them and I will search for them.”
Another issue that he will address is monitoring the overtime for public employees.
“I have checked with other places and they don’t have problems like we do,” Zuppardo said, regarding the overtime issue in the village.
Also, to help budget money more efficiently, Zuppardo says that the jobs that can be taken care of by the village should be.
“I feel we could and should take care of things ourselves and instead we pay outside entities to take care of it,” Zuppardo said.
If the village is able to take care of a certain job in the village themselves, then Zuppardo will focus on this option, instead of hiring the job out to an outside company.
An instance that Zuppardo brought up was pumping out the water in a hole in the ground near Waverly Street.
“Rather than having our people pump out the basement, $4,900 was spent on the hole to get the water out,” Zuppardo said. “We could have gotten it done ourselves. There are things that we hire out that don’t need to be hired out.”
Zuppardo also wants to continue to see through different projects in the village, including the Main Street tree lawn issue.
“The Tree Commission was a step in the right direction,” Zuppardo said of the newly re-establish group that helps suggest landscaping to help beautify the village.
Zuppardo said that he has the time, interest and dedication to do this job.
“I want to do my best to be part of the solution,” Zuppardo said.