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BG24 Newscast
April 11, 2024

  • Poetics of April
    As we enter into the poetics of April, also known as national poetry month, here are four voices from well to lesser known. The Tradition – Jericho Brown Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Brown visited the last American Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP 2024) conference, and I loved his speech and humor. Besides […]
  • Barbara Marie Minney in Perrysburg
    Indie bookstore, Gathering Volumes, just hosted poet and (transgender) activist, Barbara Marie Minney in Perrysburg To celebrate Trans Day of Visibility, Minney read from her poetry book – A Woman in Progress (2024). Her reading depicted emotional and physical transformations especially in the scene of womanhood and queer experiences. Her language is empowering and personally […]
Spring Housing Guide

BG candidates talk politics before election

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Hannah Finnerty, Holly Shively and Stepha Poulin (from the left) moderate the panel. 

Check out the Flickr story at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bgfalconmedia/sets/72157688285183314/

Candidates debated significant issues Oct. 23 during the City Council Candidate Forum to help residents make the most of their votes. Bowling Green residents will hit the polls Nov. 7, voting for two at-large candidates and council members from four specific wards in the city. 

The competing six at-large candidates running for ballot include two Democrats, one Republican, one Independent and two Green Party members.

For the ward races, 1st Ward candidate and current council member Daniel Gordon, a Democrat, is running against Hunter Sluss, a Republican.

In the 2nd Ward, Democrat John Zanfardino is up for re-election, running against Republican candidate Kent Ramsey.

For the 3rd Ward, the Democrat candidate Michael Aspacher is running unopposed.

The 4th Ward will see Democrat Scott Seeliger run against Republican William Herald.

During the forum, each candidate took stances about various issues. 2nd Ward candidate Ramsey and at-large candidate Carolyn Kawecka were not at the meeting. 3rd Ward candidate Aspacher was in attendance but did not answer questions.

For further information about the at-large candidates, see City Editor Paul Garbarino’s previous story about them.

At-large candidates

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Gregory Robinette, Republican

  • He opposes Bowling Green’s charter amendment, which would allow the city the ban pipelines going through its property. The amendment would also allow residents to enforce the law through nonviolent direct actions. “The charter amendment, I did believe it should go on the ballot … because people wouldn’t vote for it,” Robinette said.
  • On renewable energy, he thinks the city is doing fine. “The city’s done a doggone good job of finding renewable energy resources,” he said.
  • For Bowling Green apartments, Robinette said the city council was already trying to deal with some of the issues student renters face in the city. He endorsed personal responsibility when negotiating with landlords.
  • On State Issue 1, regarding rights for crime victims, he was opposed. “Their hearts are in the right place,” he said, “(but) I’m still not convinced about the language.”
  • “My primary goal is to help Bowling Green become a stronger city,” Robinette said. He wanted to increase the city’s revenue and help businesses succeed.

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Nathan Eberly, Independent

  • “We’re fortunate to where we’ve reached 40 percent of sustainable energy (for Bowling Green),” Eberly said. “We have a great environment.”
  • Eberly is also opposed to the charter amendment. “It violates freedom of speech,” he said.
  • Regarding student renting complaints, he said, “Some landlords have followed the law,” but also that “We need to empower you; we need to empower the renters.”
  • He supports private, market solutions, instead of passing more legislation.
  • “I’m leaning no,” against State Issue 1, dealing with rights for crime victims, he said. “I’ve been going to public defenders and prosecutors. So far, no one really has a favorable outlook on it.”

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Beverly Elwazani, Green Party

  • She does not support the charter amendment, because it promotes “lawlessness,” she said.
  • “I’ve been on a lot of porches … they’ve been scary, some of them,” Elwazani said, speaking about student rental homes. “There is no reason someone should be living in substandard housing. We need to take care of each other.”
  • For State Issue 1 about crime victim rights, she didn’t support it. “There’s a problem with the way the law’s written,” she said. People need to be able to have a fair trial, she added.
  • “Do you want to keep the same two-party system?” she asked the crowd. “Vote for change.”

Carolyn Kawecka, Green Party

  • Kawecka was not present at the debate.

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Holly Cipriani, Democrat

  • Cipriani does not support the charter amendment as it stands, she said.
  • For BGSU student rental residences, she said, “I do know what it’s like to live in the different apartments.” Holding landlords accountable “is not just about keeping up with appearances,” she added.
  • Cipriani promotes local business support and initiatives, as was  mentioned in our previous story.
  • “I don’t have a solid stance on that yet,” she said, speaking about State Issue 1.

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Sandy Rowland, Democrat

  • “The charter (amendment), I believe, is very poorly worded,” Rowland said, agreeing with the rest of the candidates who had spoken before her. She does not support it.
  • She believes measures could be taken to improve the student rental complaints, a view Rowland said came from her realtor career experience.
  • She doesn’t support State Issue 1 either, because “it doesn’t solve the problem; it may not be constitutional.”

First Ward

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Hunter Sluss, Republican

  • Sluss is political science major with the University. “I can be your direct relation” between the University and the community, he said.
  • He doesn’t support the charter amendment.
  • He said he supports market incentives to improve rental complaints, mentioning a similar program that worked in Sandusky, Ohio.
  • He’s “passionate about businesses and entrepreneurship,” he said.

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Daniel Gordon, Democrat

  • He said rental housing for certain citizens in the town has been lacking for decades. “Go to BGOhio.com … and make your voice heard,” Gordon said, urging citizens to contribute viable rental complaints. “There’s not too much feedback.” 
  • He doesn’t support the charter amendment. Regarding the Nexus pipeline, Gordon said, “There is not much we can do (to prevent it). Oversight will be done properly.”
  • “I believe in economic and social justice,” he added.

Second Ward

Kent Ramsey, Republican

  • Ramsey was not present at the debate.

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John Zanfardino, Democrat

  • Zanfardino was the only one to approve of the charter amendment. “A pipeline could go through this union” if a company pushed for it, without such strong legislation, he said. “I’m glad it’s out there,” he said about the amendment.
  • “I too think there’s grave concern about the rental properties,” he said. “We kicked the can … and we need to stop doing this.”
  • “Councilmembers respond to they hear from. I didn’t hear from students very much,” he added.

Third Ward

Michael Aspacher, Democrat and unopposed

Fourth Ward

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William Herald, Republican

  • He has not spent time researching State Issue 1 as of yet, he said. He is intending to research it soon, though, he added.
  • He was elected to Bowling Green’s city council in the 1980s, so he has useful experience, he said.
  • “I’m not going to point fingers at these pillars of the community,” Herald said, speaking of BG’s rental companies. He’s mostly concerned with the appearance of the city.
  • He doesn’t support the charter amendment, he said.

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Scott Seeliger, Democrat

  • Seeliger said zoning ordinances and better communication between landlords and renters could solve the rental degradation problem. “We need to communicate and work together,” he said.
  • He doesn’t support the charter amendment.
  • For State Issue 1, he said he was unsure as of yet. “I don’t have an answer,” he said.
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