CRIDERSVILLE — A large crowd gathered for an election forum — an event that has not been held in the village for many years.
The Cridersville Lions Club held their first-ever Election Forum on Thursday at Otterbein Cridersville, and the civic organization’s president says she was pleased with the event.
“It was much better than I had expected,” Lions Club President Stacey Myers Cook said. “I feel like it was very well received and it seemed like everyone was happy with the format.”
The Lions Club held the event as a service to the community.
“We were looking for another service project for the club,” Myers Cook said. “This is a good time to open the floor up and hear about the two levies and hear from the two mayor candidates.”
Approximately 60 people listened to speakers, Cridersville Council President Eric West and Fire Chief Ron Mertz, as they spoke about the two renewal levies that are being put on next week’s ballot.
West and Mertz spoke briefly on the levies, and then opened the floor up to questions.
“With the turnout, this is obviously fulfilling a need in the village,” West said, prior to talking about the 2-mill property tax renewal levy for the village.
The most important item West wanted to stress during his discussion is that taxes will not increase if this tax levy is passed, they will stay the same because this is a renewal levy.
Mertz talked about the 2-mill fire and rescue property tax renewal levy and said this levy, if passed, will generate approximately $38,000 per year for the village’s fire and rescue budget.
After the levy discussions, the two mayoral candidates, incumbent Lorali Myers and her opponent councilor Tony Zuppardo, had an opportunity to give a brief presentation and then answer questions, which were previously submitted by village residents.
During Myers’ speech, she made a point to the audience that with Beverly Wood recently resigning as a village councilor and two other councilors deciding against running for re-election, there will be three new people joining the council in the new year.
“Having a new mayor with three new council members would be a young government,” Myers said.
Myers said she would be honored to continue her duties as mayor for the village and help continue to be a leader for the village and for the village council.
Zuppardo said that he has a passion for the village of Cridersville and has had experience in budgeting in management.
“I think the fiscal responsibility is important and needs to be addressed,” Zuppardo said. “I am a hands-on type of person.”
The retired assistant police chief said he has the availability for this position.
Both candidates agreed that bringing in new businesses is an important topic to work on as economic development is important to both candidates.
Greg Myers was the moderator for the event, and Myers Cook was pleased how everything turnout out for this forum.
“We wanted to make sure residents were informed,” Myers Cook said.