Incumbents Retain Positions In St. Marys City, BoE

Staff Writers

Incumbents in both St. Marys City and St. Marys Board of Education races were victorious while New Bremen voters named their next mayor in Tuesday’s general election.

The largest race in St. Marys was the mayor’s race between Mayor Patrick McGowan and challenger Aaron Myers, with McGowan winning the race 752 (85.07%) to 132 (14.93%).

McGowan, 72, has been mayor of St. Marys since 2012 and was looking forward to continuing what the city has already in improving the city.

“I want to thank everybody who supported me and voted for me,” he said Tuesday night. “This gives me an opportunity to finish some of the big projects that we’ve got going on such as the new water plant and the electrical upgrades and we have some new projects that we have on the horizon that we will be working on in order to improve the betterment of the city.”

Myers, 34, became a write-in candidate when he officially filed prior to the Aug. 27 deadline. Myers had previously suggested city residents write him in for mayor, citing concerns over corruption and the status-quo.

The mayor’s proudest accomplishment is the improvement of the city’s electric grid — a never-ending project to keep improving the city’s electrical infrastructure — as well as working on other large projects such as expansion of the pollinator habitat project, revitalization efforts of the Miami-Erie Canal and downtown St. Marys, the restoration of the Reservoir mill and construction of a pedestrian bridge across U.S. 33, to name a few.

“I really enjoy what I do,” McGowan said. “It is nice to be able to come back, after working so many years in business, and do something that, to me, is fun and contributes to our city.”

St. Marys voters are also keeping the incumbent in the second ward.

Democrat Ken Koverman beat out write-in candidate Ashley Randolph 286 (89.66%) to 33 (10.34%). 

Koverman, 61, is serving his third term on St. Marys Council. Randolph is born and raised in St. Marys with her husband and two daughters and currently serves on the Civil Service Commission and Zoning Board. 

All other city races, including president of council, auditor, law director, council-at-large and other ward races were uncontested. 

In the three-way race for St. Marys City Schools, Brian Little and Ronda Shelby will be remaining in their positions on the board of education. Shelby brought in 1,141 votes while Little earned 1,042 as the pair beat out challenger Bob Valentine, who tallied 611 votes.

“I’m glad to keep this board together,” Little, the current board president, said of his re-election. “Great things are happening in our school and I can’t be happier to continue to be an intricate part of it.”

New Bremen voters have chosen their new mayor with incumbent Jeff Pape not seeking re-election.

Robert Parker won with 423 votes (59.83%) to Craig Hoffman’s 284 votes (40.17%).

Parker was serving on New Bremen’s village council and had been doing so since 2014.

If elected, he said he wants to focus on housing needs, specifically more options for senior citizens, more entry-level housing options and the addition of more land. 

He also wants to continue to explore resource sharing options with Minster and New Knoxville for equipment that is not used daily and EMS

Parker also wants to ensure that taxes remain low by being fiscally responsible with taxpayer money as well as continue to work on developing formal budgets for each department and work with the school to ensure they maintain, “an excellent campus.”

Hoffman had a 12-year run on village council that began in 2004. When he first started on council, his goal had been to become the next mayor. When former Mayor Robert Kline decided to step down, Hoffman decided to take his shot at the governing position. 

The position went to Pape but after a councilor was transferred out of state for work, he was appointed to their position. 

After 16 years as mayor, Pape announced earlier this year.

All other local races were uncontested, including Minster, New Bremen and New Knoxville council and New Knoxville mayor. 

Township races were also uncontested in German, Jackson, Moulton, Noble, St. Marys and Washington townships.

Other board of election races were uncontested in Minster, New Bremen and New Knoxville districts. 

Fire renewals in German and Noble townships passed. 

Voters in German Township were for the tax levy 88-10, while Noble Township votes passed their renewal 241-35. 

New Bremen voters were also in favor of a replacement of the fire department’s tax, 600-105, for a 2-mill, 5-year tax to provide ambulance service and emergency medical service.