Two candidates are running in the Nov. 5 election for the right to represent the City of Wilmington’s 2nd Ward on city council.
Below is the information we requested from the candidates.
I have lived in Wilmington’s Second Ward for over four decades, attending East End Elementary, Wilmington High School, and Wilmington College. After studying political science in graduate school at Ohio University and The Ohio State University, I taught at Wheeling Jesuit University. Currently, I am in my 20th year of teaching political science at Wilmington College. My wife and I have raised our four children in the Second Ward.
In January of 2019 I was appointed to City Council’s Second Ward, and since then I have seen how effective Council can be. This effectiveness has been applied to a wide range of issues. For me, though, it has been equally important that Council has worked in a spirit of cooperation that one rarely sees today. To be perfectly honest, I was very hesitant to join Council. I did not want to be part of the partisan politics — Democrats vs. Republicans — that I see in the news every day and which I teach about in class. This is not healthy for our country or our communities. So I was very pleased to learn over the past nine months that Wilmington City Council is a wonderful example of cooperation among individuals who are concerned about their community. In short, it has been extremely refreshing and has renewed my hope in governance. So this is why I am running—to continue to make Wilmington a great place to live and to be part of a government body that is a model for other local communities and the nation.
Economically, I believe Wilmington is in a good place. We have good leadership and much of the money we spend comes from outside grants. Yet as I speak to people in Wilmington, the conversations turn to homelessness and drug addiction. As a long-time board member of Sugartree Ministries, a professor at a community-minded College, and a member of a compassionate local church (Wilmington Friends), I have been concerned with these issues for decades. These are very complex issues that defy generalization, that is, people are homeless and addicted for different reasons and we must develop a multi-faceted approach. The good news is we have a wide range of well-equipped compassionate organizations and individuals seeking to develop solutions to help those individuals struggling, and in turn, make Wilmington a better place to live.
I am excited to continue to work on behalf of our community.
LOREN L. STUCKERT
Over the last several months, many people have asked me why I am running for City Council. They wonder why, at this juncture in my life, I would seek office when this is the time in life to sit back and enjoy. I am a retired school teacher of more than 20 years, which was a second career choice after more than 24 years in the insurance industry. Sherry and I have raised five productive children who have blessed us with involvement in the fruit of their labor. We have many off-spring, extended family and there is much to enjoy. I should, “relax, have fun, lay back.” However, I believe being a member of City Council is a worthy civic duty, and the many who have gone before continue to remind me of the importance of maintaining that civic duty, individually. My previous terms on City Council have given me valuable experience in dealing with matters that can only be decided on, by City Council. I am, by nature, a “trusted Hawk” when it comes to restraining the cost of city government. I believe it would be my responsibility to make sure that the funds for the primary responsibilities of city government — Police, Fire/EMT, Street Maintenance, Water, Sewer, Solid Waste, Parks, Transit and Sugar Grove Cemetery — come first and are adequately protected.
I believe we have to guard against the urge to spend taxpayer dollars on new purposes for city government without appropriate vote of support of city taxpayers. So many are worthy endeavors, but citizens have to have “a say,” as to how their money is spent.
My promise to you is that, I will listen to you. I will do my best to represent your point of view on matters before City Council. I will do my best to get you answers to any questions that you have about city matters/services. I will direct you to available city services, when needed. And, I will do my best to see to it that your tax dollars are spent wisely with a view to maintaining taxes at current levels.
We are a generous community; the small town with a big heart. Together we can see all needs met without each issue requiring tax dollars. I believe that is what I am hearing from members of this community and I am prepared to help you accomplish, just that.