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Election picture clears in Uniopolis

August 27, 2013

Uniopolis Council

Staff Writer
UNIOPOLIS — The village of Uniopolis has appeared to have dodged at least one crisis as the November general election approaches.
Mayor Greg Ritchie filed his petition Monday with Auglaize County Board of Elections to run for the expiring mayoral seat. He filed shortly before the 4 p.m. deadline.
Ritchie formerly had been a member of the village council and served as its president. Ritchie took over the mayor position in December after Bill Rolston resigned from the post.
However, with both his former council seat and the mayor position terms expiring. Ritchie initially had decided not to run for either seat and did not turn in a petition before the Aug. 5 deadline to get
See Election, 6A
on the ballot. Besides the mayor’s spot, Ritchie’s council seat was one of four council seats also open. Marilyn Fleck was the only person to file a petition for the council seats.
Ritchie said he had been hoping others in the community would step up and run for the spots.
Dwindling revenue in the village had led to financial woes. Councilors proposed unincorporating, or dissolving, the village and placed the issue before voters last November. The issue failed and left villagers split on what direction the village should go.
“I thought some of the people that weren’t happy would try for some of the spots,” Ritchie said. “I didn’t want to see the town be unable to conduct business.”
Ritchie said existing councilors and others help persuade him to jump back in and file as a write-in candidate before the Aug. 26, 4 p.m. deadline.
No other candidates filed for the mayor or any of the other three council positions. However, Ritchie’s decision will help the village avert potential problems in filling the spots. With three council members and no mayor, the council would have been left with no council to conduct business.
The Ohio Revised Code allows the mayor to appoint council members. While the president of council can step in as de facto mayor, the council lacked the quorum needed to appoint a mayor.
Uniopolis is still left with only three council members, and Ritchie encouraged people who may be interested to come forward to fill the appointed positions after the first of the year.
Two other people throughout the county filed as write-in candidates as James Henschen filed for a New Knoxville Council seat and Glen Valenti filed for Waynesfield Village Council seat.

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