New school board, city council members respond to election results
By Sarah Einselen
Galion’s school board will see little change once the newly-elected members take their seats next year. Incumbents Robert Zeisler and Dennis Long won the highest percentages of Tuesday’s votes and will be joined by newcomer Brian Owens, a 1993 Galion graduate currently employed at Mansfield Lahm Airport. Zeisler won upwards of 25 percent of the vote, closely followed by Long with almost 24 percent, and Owens edged out Kasy Wells to win almost 17 percent and gain a seat on the board.
City council retained one incumbent and will gain two freshmen councilmen.
The count will not be official until Nov. 21, when provisional ballots cast either on Election Day or by members of the armed forces deployed overseas will be added to the tally.
“I’m excited. I’ve got to thank all the people offering their support in the belief that I can help the Galion school system,” Owens said by phone after results were released late Tuesday night. “It’s going to be an exciting challenge for me.” The Air Force veteran is attending OSU-Mansfield in pursuit of a B.A. in business administration and is involved in youth athletics, including high school football.
Another political newcomer will join city council. Kenneth Bodkins, owner of Ken’s Auto Repair and co-owner of Victory Lanes, ran unopposed for an at-large council seat and received 1954 votes.
“People keep asking me, ‘what’s your agenda?’” Bodkins said by phone late Tuesday. “I don’t have one yet. I just want to do what’s right for the whole town. I’ve got to get my feet wet and see how the system works.”
Bodkins would have liked to have had a challenger, he said, but was happy the race was finished.
Current council president Gail Baldinger won reelection in ward three with almost 70 percent of the vote, defeating write-in challenger Shirley Clark, who presently sits at-large in council. “I do want to thank the voters for supporting me,” Baldinger said by phone. “I’ve enjoyed it and I want to continue moving forward.” He encouraged city residents to attend council meetings and communicate with their council members to improve the city.
A close race in ward one gave Paul Flannery a slim victory over retired Galion fire chief Mick Christini. “Well, the people spoke,” Christini said Tuesday night. “I didn’t run a very active campaign so it’s probably my fault,” he said, that he received fewer votes than Flannery once Tuesday’s votes were counted. “I hope everything goes well for the city.”