Willard council candidates tout experience, skills

WILLARD Four candidates are vying for three council seats in the City of Blossoms. Incumbent council members Larry Jacobs, Solon Kousma and Diana Olson are running, as well as recently retired city clerk JoAnn Jones.
Aaron Krause
Jul 25, 2010

WILLARD Four candidates are vying for three council seats in the City of Blossoms.

Incumbent council members Larry Jacobs, Solon Kousma and Diana Olson are running, as well as recently retired city clerk JoAnn Jones.

Jacobs has served on council for more than 20 years. He said he is running again because the city has upcoming projects he wishes to see through.

"I thought they're going to need my experience to complete these projects," the 62-year-old Jacobs said.

He said he wants to hear input from motorists who use the U.S. 224/Ohio 99 intersection, since it is slated for a widening project. The city is also poised to buy a new aerial fire truck.

"I want to make sure the equipment out there meets our needs for the money spent," he said.

Jacobs said he believes the top concerns facing his constituents are preventing crime and forming a Drug Awareness Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program in the schools.

As far as crime goes, Jacobs said he wants to establish a neighborhood watch program, publish outstanding warrants in local media and work with the courts to combat crime.

Jones said she would have no priorities if elected to council.

"You have to work with the administration on the issues," she said. "I do know I will not vote one way or the other just because the majority of council does. Also, I will not have any personal agendas. I will try to do what is best for the city as a whole, and you also have to listen to the people."

Like Jacobs, Jones also feels experience is one of her assets.

"I love my community and since I have worked at city hall for so many years, I feel my experience would be very beneficial on council.

"I also have worked with all but three city managers, so I had first-hand knowledge of a lot of projects that were accomplished."

Kousma, 74, is finishing up his first term in council, and wishes to continue his service to the city.

"I want to try to help our community get better," Kousma said. "We're in a real tight fix as far as money is concerned."

He said he feels recruiting businesses to Willard would employ more people and bring more money into Willard.

Also, repairing roads and getting rid of drugs within the city are other issues Kousma wants to tackle.

"It makes the city that much better," Kousma said, referring to the necessity of driving drugs out.

Diana Olson, 47, said she wants to continue using her management and communications skills to serve citizens. Olson is finishing up a four-year term on council, and has 16 years of human resources experience at the Tiffin and Willard branches of Mercy Hospital.

Olson said she feels the top three issues are bringing more business downtown and making sure the city is attractive to business; helping keep Willard a thriving community and keeping the cost of living affordable.