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Former city council president back at helm

June 17, 2011

Wapakoneta City Council President Steve Henderson

A former president of Wapakoneta City Council is back in charge.
Auglaize County Republican Party Central Committee members voted Thursday to have previous council President Steve Henderson fill the unexpired term of former council President Don Jump, who officially vacated his office June 8.
“I was happy to be considered to fill council President Don Jump’s unexpired term,” said Henderson, who served for more than a decade as council president immediately preceding Jump’s term in office. “I think my experience as president of Wapakoneta City Council will lend itself greatly as I assume the position for the remainder of the year.”
Henderson, who made an unsuccessful run for the position of mayor in 2007, said he is excited about serving the people of Wapakoneta and working as a member of the current council.
“I think this city council, like the one prior to my leaving office, is very proactive, and I am looking forward to serving with them and as their president,” Henderson said.
Henderson is expected to be sworn into office prior to Monday’s city council meeting, scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. in council chambers at the Wapakoneta City Administration Building. Wapakoneta 3rd Ward Councilor Bonnie Wurst is president pro-tem.
Auglaize County Republican Party Central Committee members had two candidates from which to choose when deciding to replace Jump — Henderson and 2nd Ward Councilor Dan Lee.
“After much discussion, we thought it was a good idea to appoint someone with experience at being president to fill the unexpired term of council President Don Jump,”
Republican Party Central Committee Secretary Fran Engle told the Wapakoneta Daily News Friday.
“We also wanted to keep Dan Lee as the 2nd Ward councilor where he is doing a fine job,” Engle said.
“I thought the selection process and decision was well thought out,” she said.
“We all left feeling very good about the decision we had made.”
Engle also said committee members nominated Henderson to replace Jump on the November general election ballot.
Auglaize County Elections Board Director Carolyn Campbell said the Auglaize County Democratic Party can submit a name to appear on the ballot for the November general election. They have to file the paperwork prior to the Aug. 10 deadline.
Henderson served as a councilor-at-large in the mid-1990s prior to being named council president when Tony Valenti resigned after moving outside the city limits.
Henderson served as council president for more than 10 years before running for mayor of Wapakoneta in 2007 when former Mayor Don Wittwer retired.
Henderson lost in the primary election in May 2007 to now Councilor-at-large Tom Finkelmeier Jr., who lost to Mayor Rodney Metz in the 2007 general election.
Jump, who was first elected in 2007 and re-elected in 2009, announced at the June 6 city council meeting that he accepted the position of emergency response coordinator with the Auglaize County Health Department, a non-partisan position which required him to resign his post.

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