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The Bruin

Meet the Candidates for the Wadsworth City Council at-Large Election


This November 7, Wadsworth citizens will have the opportunity to vote for City Council at-large. The four candidates include Susan Hanlon (Republican), Michael Reese (Democrat), Dan Rospert (Republican), and Tom Stugmyer (Republican). Of the four candidates, Rospert and Stugmyer are currently seated and running for reelection. 

“Right now, I’m a councilman at large, which means I’m not dedicated to one ward, I help people out throughout the entire city,” said Rospert. “As a councilman, I help oversee the budget and write ordinances and resolutions and pass them through the city.”

Rospert, 52, was first elected for the 2022–2023 term. He has lived in Wadsworth since 1992 and has owned Hilliard-Rospert Funeral Home since 2006.

“It was two and a half years ago I decided to run just because I love this city and I want to be a voice of reason,” Rospert said. “I think my background in business and my communication with residents is something I wanted to bring to the table … and make sure our finances are being used properly and our departments are functioning well.”

Rospert’s involvement in the city does not stop at City Council. He has been involved with the Council’s Public Safety Committee as well. Rospert feels his experience in both the Public Safety Committee and City Council has given him solid experience.

Dan Rospert is currently seated on City Council. He is both a long time resident of Wadsworth and a local business owner.

“Just learning the processes of the council, understanding the budget better, and knowing the inner workings of the city. It does take some time to understand, there’s a whole channel of processes when it comes to the city,” Rospert said. “It’s been a learning curve, but I’m much more prepared to understand and move forward.”

Rospert feels one of his best traits is his communication and willingness to ask questions. He believes that his ability to ask questions on behalf of residents and his rapport with residents makes him an important messenger between citizens and the administration.

“I think my open line of communications, I really am willing to sit down with any resident, regardless of education level, race, work ethic, religion, or creed. Each individual of this city makes us a community, and I represent the entire community,” Rospert said. “I want to listen to each and every person and make sure that the administration hears that loud and clear and be a buffer between the citizens and administration.”

Tom Stugmyer, 66, has been seated on City Council since the spring of 2016 when he was appointed to fill a vacant seat.

Stugmyer has been a very active community member, having taken part in the Board of Directors, President of the Main Street Board, and the Chamber of Commerce Board. Other local boards he’s a member of include The Village of St. Edward, Salvation Army, Wadsworth Grizzly Community Foundation, and the Wadsworth Older Adults Foundation.

Tom Stugmyer has been on City Council for seven years. He was first appointed to fill a vacant seat during the Spring of 2016.

“I think my strongest assets are that I’ve been on City Council for seven years and have a lot of experience and also my involvement with the community,” Stugmyer said. “I’m on the Wadsworth Older Adults Foundation board, so going from the seniors to the schools to the Salvation Army, I really do get a broad range of knowledge of what the city might need.”

Stugmyer has seen much of the downtown infrastructure project progress throughout his time on City Council. One of Stugmyer’s top goals is to start figuring out the direction of that project, and how it can be done without hurting downtown businesses.

“The one thing that I can see being really upfront here now is this downtown infrastructure project. It needs to be handled,” Stugmyer said. “The top priority with me is going to be trying to minimize the impact that that work will have on the downtown businesses. The businesses down here are still struggling or coming back from COVID, whether it’s employees or getting supplies or anything else.”

Stugmyer firmly believes that the downtown infrastructure project must involve local businesses’ input.

“I think any decisions that are made, all the business owners need to have a seat at that table,” Stugmyer said. “Once we have the big plan, I want to start talking to the businesses about how do we minimize it [the impact the work will have on downtown businesses].“

Michael Reese a local relater in Wadsworth, is running for City Council at-large. Reese has been very involved with the community having a seats on local boards.

Michael Reese, 47, has lived in Wadsworth on and off his whole life and is now very involved in the community. Reese has been a part of the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors for six years, and he is the volunteer coordinator for Main Street Wadsworth, Balloons Over Wadsworth, and Black Box BBQ.

“The reason I want to get into the City Council is as I’ve lived my life, I’ve decided that I really enjoy public service, and I really love helping people,” Reese said. “As I’ve been thinking about that, I think it’s a natural step to get involved in the city and help guide some of the decisions in the city. I really love living here, so I want to make sure the city grows and grows in the proper direction.”

Some of Reese’s goals include improving the city’s recycling system and adding more services for the elderly community, such as helping with groceries and snow shoveling. Reese is also invested in seeing our city parks taken better care of. In addition to those goals, he believes he can bring new voices to city government.

“One of the biggest things I think I can contribute is that I’m the only Democrat running for city council. I always tell people I’m a Democrat, but I’m really very centrist,” Reese said. “But I feel there is a large demographic in Wadsworth that feels that they have no voice, so that’s one of the biggest things I think I can bring to City Council. I think I can bring a voice to those people who don’t believe that they have one in city government.“

Reese believes his ability to see things from both points of view and work with people to find common ground is very well suited for Wadsworth City Council.

“One of the big things is just getting people to work together, I think that’s super important because then things run more smoothly,” Reese said. “I can find that common ground, and I think that’s one of the things I can bring that maybe some of the other candidates cannot.”

Overall, Reese urges citizens to use their voices to get involved in the city and vote. He encourages everyone to feel they can contribute to town policies regardless of their political affiliation, family situation, or financial background.

Susan Hanlon is shown in the picture above.

“My biggest thing is just go out and vote. It doesn’t matter if you vote for me or someone else; be informed and know what’s going on in the community,” Reese said. “Get out and vote; you know your voice really does matter, especially in a community like Wadsworth; sometimes elections come down to just a handful of votes. Your voice really does matter here, and I’d like to see people contribute to that.”

Candidate Susan Hanlon, 67, was not responsive to contact attempts by time of publication. Hanlon was interviewed by The Medina Gazette, more information can be found at the following link.

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Katie Allen, Print Editor-in Chief
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    Danielle FascioneOct 31, 2023 at 11:08 am

    Thank you, Katie for taking the time to do this! We will be voting for only Michael Reese in hopes of some balance and real change in the city!