Classroom to council chambers: Wapak’s Chad Doll seeks 4th Ward seat

The thought of entering public service as an elected official crossed his mind years ago when a Wapakoneta man was in high school and again in college when he was studying political science.
Earlier this year he decided to act on it.
On Nov. 8, Chad Doll should be elected the city’s 4th Ward representative on Wapakoneta City Council. He, like the other six members of council, is running unopposed for the council seat. His post was vacated by Dan Graf, who is running for an at-large seat.
“I thought the timing was right,” Doll said of throwing his proverbial hat for the first time into the political arena of elected office. “I toyed with this idea for awhile, and I’ve had an interest in public service for some time. When Dan Graf (current 4th Ward councilor) decided to run for councilor-at-large, it seemed like a good opportunity to act on my dream.”
His interest in seeking office has roots in being a government and history teacher with the St. Marys City Schools, he said, as well as his wanting to make a difference in the community he lives.
“I feel a sense of trying to do something to make the community of which I am a part of better,” Doll
told the Wapakoneta Daily News. “I think it stems from my family — I am a teacher, my mother was a teacher — wanting to make a difference in the community you live.”
Since high school, Doll said he had an interest in political office and serving the public.
For nearly the past year, Doll has been attending Wapakoneta City Council meetings to gain a greater understanding of the issues facing the city and of the process he studied in-depth in college.
“I think some of the biggest issues facing the city of Wapakoneta is to maintain and improve our infrastructure — not only for the citizens that live here but in trying to attract industry or business that we want to locate here,” Doll said. “The other issue, which is true for any community, is improving and strengthening your local economy.”
Having attended meetings where there is a diversity of councilors’ views expressed, Doll said it shows him more of how the process works in a realm of respect.
“I studied political science throughout college so I haven’t learned a whole lot more about the process by attending the meetings,” Doll said, “but I did learn about the relationships among councilors and I am encouraged that the members of city council have a professional respect for each other, they work well together and they have the interest of the community at heart. When they have disagreements, they are very civil and I find that encouraging.”
Doll, who earned his bachelor’s degree from Miami University, said one of his professors specialized in local government and taught Doll and his classmates well about what to expect at village and city council meetings.
While he has a grasp of the myriad and wide spectrum of challenges facing council in the future, Doll said his constituents need to know his thought process on approaching those matters.
“Whenever I have been in a decision-making position, I try to listen, I take in a lot from both sides and I try to educate myself as much as I can and work to look at the big picture,” Doll said. “In the end, I try to do what is right.
“I am not naive enough to think that people will agree with every decision I make,” he said. “I will try to do what is right and to do what is best for the community.”
Doll, who lives at 713 W. Auglaize St., with his wife, Kristin, and his three children, John, 10, Lauren, 9, and Nathan, 6. He is a history, government, economics and civics teacher with St. Marys City Schools.
A seat opened up on Wapakoneta City Council when Councilor-at-large Wilbur Wells decided against seeking his eighth term in office.
Along with Doll, running unopposed for Wapakoneta City Council are 1st Ward Councilor Jim Neumeier, 2nd Ward Councilor Dan Lee, 3rd Ward Councilor Bonnie Wurst and councilors-at-large Dan Graf, Steve Walter and Tom Finkelmeier Jr.