Tiffin City Council hears from mayoral candidates

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Tiffin, Ohio— At a special meeting of Tiffin City Council on Friday, council members heard from four candidates seeking to fill the remainder of incumbent mayor Aaron Montz’s term.

Montz’s last day in office is Monday, July 4, as he leads the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership as the next president and CEO.

At a June 20 city council meeting, council chair Bridget Boyle said she intended to fulfill her obligation to be acting mayor for up to 30 days, but would not would not seek the remainder of Montz’s term.

According to the city charter, the council will have 30 days following the vacancy to elect a new mayor or it will be up to the judge of the Court of Common Pleas to choose. The council can choose any qualified voter from the town of Tiffin, and under rules set by the council, candidates had to submit their own nominations by June 27.

Candidates include:

  • Brian Cole, National Sales Manager for OSSTSports USA/JBA Services LLC
  • Third Ward Council Member Dawn Iannantuono
  • Zack Perkins, At-Large Board Member
  • Bryce Riggs, Executive Director of Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce and Destination Seneca County

Each candidate had the opportunity to introduce themselves and explain why they are seeking to become the city’s next mayor.

During his opening statement, Brian Cole said he has been part of the Tiffin community for more than 50 years, having moved to the town as a child with his family in 1970.

“I feel like Tiffin has so much to offer,” Cole said. “I hear a lot of grunts in the street when I’m walking. I think that’s unfair grumbling, and I felt like you could either be part of the problem or part of the solution. So when that happened, I really felt like it was time to be part of the solution and throw my name in the ring. I’ve been in leadership roles throughout my career, between coaching and the position I’m in now.

Dawn Iannantuono, who represents the city’s Third Ward on the council, said as a longtime resident of Tiffin she understands “all the cogs and behind-the-scenes connections here”.

“Being retired, I have time to get to grips with everything now and get to work as soon as I’m sworn in. When the people of Tiffin choose their new mayor on January 1, 2024, I’ll do whatever I can. can help the new mayor with a smooth transition before and after they take office, if asked,” Iannantuono said. “I will put in place a framework for Tiffin to continue to be successful.”

General Council member Zack Perkins said he just wanted to “make a difference in the community”.

“I never joined city council with the intention of being mayor,” Perkins said. “I just wanted to join the city council because I wanted to make a difference in the community. I think I have some kind of unique skills, and I feel like I can use them to make a difference. And that’s where it all comes from.”

Bryce Riggs, who is executive director of the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce and Destination Seneca County, said he’s always cared about the community and wants to see it succeed.

“I run because of the people, the community. It’s extremely important to me to continue to see the momentum we’ve seen,” Riggs said.

Following the candidates’ opening statements, board members asked several questions – some general and some specific to a particular candidate – regarding leadership styles, career and public service experience, plans for future, etc. Council members Iannantuono and Perkins refrained from asking questions.

Tiffin City Council intends to hold an additional special meeting at 6 p.m. on Monday July 11 in the council chambers to allow for additional follow-up comments and to vote on the nominations.

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