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ST. MARYS — There will be at least two new faces on St. Marys City Council next year.
Longtime city councilors Bill Slemmons and Ron Ginter confirmed to The Evening Leader they will not seek re-election this year and will leave office when their terms expire. Slemmons, the 3rd Ward Councilor, has served on council for 18 years, and Ginter, a councilor-at-large, has served for 20 years.
“I think it’s time, every thing has to come to an end,” Slemmons said. “I think we need some fresh people in there. I really have enjoyed the job.”
Before joining council, Slemmons worked for 33 years in the city’s water department. He said he will miss serving the citizens the most when his term expires on Dec. 31.
“I think we all worked pretty well together,” Slemmons said. “I’ll miss working with the citizens of St. Marys, whether in my ward or not.”
During his time on council, Slemmons said the city has grown in several areas.
“The parks have really improved,” Slemmons said. “The roads, too. We are really proud of the streets. Everyone brags about St. Marys’ streets. I am also proud of our utilities.”
Slemmons also offered some advice to the new 3rd Ward Councilor.
“Just keep your head on straight and do what you think is right,” Slemmons said.
Ginter, who has been on council for 20 years, said his decision came down to one thing.
“I am 82-years-old and it’s time to let the younger people take over,” Ginter said. “I will miss my fellow members of council and not being up there Monday nights.”
Looking back, Ginter said he has seen a lot of growth in the city during his time in office.
“There’s been a lot of change restaurant-wise, and that’s been good,” Ginter said. “I’d like to see a movie theater out by the restaurants. Now, people always talk to me about the traffic, which I think is good because if we don’t have traffic, we won’t have business and they will all have to close.”
Like Slemmons, Ginter offered a piece of advise for the new councilors.
“Listen,” Ginter said. “There’s a lot to learn and there’s more to council than people think. Stress-wise, it can get to you. I have missed a few nights of sleep in my years.”
All seats for St. Marys City Council are up for election this year. Candidates wishing to appear on the primary ballot must submit paperwork to the Auglaize County Board of Elections office by Feb. 6.
The deadline for nonpartisan candidates seeking an office for which there is a primary election must submit paperwork by May 6. All nonpartisan candidates seeking an office for which there is not a primary election — township trustees and school boards — must submit paperwork by Aug. 7.