7 running for 3 Lebanon City Council seats

At least one relatively new face should be joining Lebanon City Council in January.

As many as three could wind up on top of the seven-person field running in the Nov. 5 election.

Councilman Jim Dearie is not seeking reelection.

Incumbents Jeff Aylor and Mark Messer are.

Former council members Jim Norris and Steve Kaiser, forced to end re-election bids in 2017 when their nominating petitions were rejected, are running again.

RELATED: Petition flaws end reelection bids

Ryan Tasseff, who finished last two years ago among six candidates for four council seats, is also back on the ballot.

New this November are Adam Mathews and Joe Shafer.

Matthews pulled nominating petitions two years ago but never filed for the race in which his law partner, Dearie, was reelected. He and Shafer are running for council for the first time.

RELATED: Warren County candidates already circulating petitions for November election

Other than the incumbents, Tasseff, 37, said he was the most up-to-date on council issues, having attended meetings and work sessions for the past two years.

“I am the only resident that goes there on a regular basis,” said Tasseff, an engineer with Procter & Gamble and owner of Lamp Post Cheese in Lebanon.

Norris, 66, a retired local teacher and veteran of four council terms, and Aylor, 51, a manager with Makino in Mason, with three council terms, pointed to the importance of experience in effectively serving the city.

“I was a part of decisions that had very positive impact on water supply, our electric footprint, and storm and waste water management,” Norris said in a text message last week.

While pointing to his experience as a reason to reelect him, Messer, 35, a two-term incumbent and owner of Messer Fit in Lebanon, said all the candidates would make good council members.

More on this and other Nov. 5 races, issues

“It’s a win for the community that we have so many strong, independent, conservative people running,” Messer said, adding he wanted to be reelected to help promote ongoing city initiatives. “We would not be losing anything with the election, whatever direction it goes.”

Aylor said he was hoping to return local residents who work outside city limits the full credit on local income taxes. Norris said the move was needed to help fix local roads.

“Candidates for Council today that use the whisper campaign to vote out those members running who supported this issue, join others on Council presently that never once have offered any other solution,” Norris added.

Aylor joined Tasseff in warning voters against candidates promising to solve everyone’s problems.

Mathews, Shafer and Messer said they were working to connect with absentee voters, as early voting began.

RELATED: Petition flaws foil reelection plans

Kaiser, 67, who runs a local accounting business, said voters might be wise to wait until election day.

“Things can change,” said Kaiser, who served one term on council. “New information can come out.”

Kaiser also said he wanted to be reelected to use his financial background and council experience to funds gathered for road repairs through the 0.5 percent income tax credit reduction was actually expediting a reduction of the city’s backlog of overdue projects.

“It still doesn’t seem fast enough,” he said.

Shafer and Mathews filed early and have been running hard for much of the year in their first bids for a council seat.

Like Kaiser, Shafer said he was urged to run by friends.

MORE: 6 candidates for 3 Lebanon City Council seats in 2015

Shafer said his run was ignited by Craig Hughes, a friend who died earlier this year.

“He planted the seed,” said Shafer, 36, who operates a landscaping business.

He circulated a survey to gauge what mattered most to local residents.

“I’m not in the race to knock any of the incumbents out,” Shafer said. “I’d just like to add to our success story.”

Mathews, 31, said he has learned about city operations through work on the local parks and recreation committee. Through this and other local organizations, Mathews, a lawyer and former naval engineer, said, “I’ve been able to help in a way providing fresh ideas while working with people who have existing influence.”

Messer singled out Mathews as a strong candidate and Mayor Amy Brewer backs him.

“I’m looking forward to working with them to achieve our city’s goals,” Mathews said. “Everybody gets three votes.”

The winners are elected for four years and paid $6,000 a year or $9,000 a year if selected by the council as mayor.

Lebanon City Council Candidates

Jeff Aylor, 51, manager, 3 council terms

Steve Kaiser, 67, accountant, 1 council term

Adam Mathews, 31, lawyer, no council terms

Mark Messer, 35, local businessman, 2 council terms

Jim Norris, 66, retired teacher, 4 council terms

Joe Shafer, 36, local businessman, no council terms

Ryan Tasseff, 37, businessman, engineer, no council terms

For more on the candidates and their positions, visit vote.daytondailynews.com/build.do

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