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Tiffin City Council hears from mayoral candidates

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Tiffin, Ohio — During a special meeting of Tiffin City Council on Friday, councilmembers heard from four candidates seeking to fulfill the remainder of outgoing Mayor Aaron Montz’s term.

Montz’s final day in office is Monday, July 4, as he goes on to lead the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership as its next president and CEO.

During a city council meeting on June 20, Council President Bridget Boyle stated she intended to fulfill her obligation to be acting mayor for up to 30 days, but would not be seeking the remainder of Montz’s term.

According to the city charter, council will have 30 days following the vacancy to elect a new mayor or it will be up to the common pleas court judge to choose. Council may choose any qualified elector of the city of Tiffin, and per rules set by council, candidates were required to submit their self-nominations by June 27.

The candidates include:

  • Brian Cole, National Sales Manager for OSSTSports USA/JBA Services LLC
  • Dawn Iannantuono, Third Ward Councilmember
  • Zack Perkins, At-Large Councilmember
  • Bryce Riggs, Executive Director of the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce & Destination Seneca County

Each candidate was given an opportunity to introduce themselves and outline the reasons why they are seeking to become the city’s next mayor.

During his opening statement, Brian Cole said he has been part of the Tiffin community for over 50 years, having moved to the city as a child with his family in 1970.

“I feel like Tiffin has so much to offer,” Cole said. “I hear a lot of grumblings out on the street when I’m out walking around. I think it’s unjust grumblings, and I felt like you can either be part of the problem or part of the solution. So when this came up, I really felt like it’s time to be part of the solution and throw my name in the ring. I’ve been in leadership roles my whole career, between coaching and the job I have now.”

Dawn Iannantuono, who represents the city’s third ward on council, said that as a lifelong resident of Tiffin, she understands “all the workings and behind the scenes connections here.”

“Being retired, I have the time to familiarize myself with everything now and hit the ground running when I am sworn in. When the residents of Tiffin select their new mayor for January 1, 2024, I will do everything I can to help the new mayor with a smooth transition before and after they take office, if asked,” Iannantuono said. “I will be setting in place a framework so Tiffin will continue succeed.”

At-large Councilmember Zack Perkins said he simply wants to “make a difference in the community.”

“I never joined city council with the intentions of being mayor,” Perkins said. “I just wanted to join city council because I wanted to make a difference in the community. I think I have kind of a unique skillset, and I feel like I can use that to make a difference. And that’s where it all stems from.”

Bryce Riggs, who serves as executive director of the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce and Destination Seneca County, said he’s always had an interest in the community and wants to see it succeed.

“I’m running because of the people, the community. It’s extremely important to me to continue to see the momentum we’ve seen,” Riggs said.

Following opening statements from the candidates, councilmembers asked several questions — some general, and others specific to a particular candidate — regarding leadership styles, career and public service experience, plans for the future, and more. Councilmembers Iannantuono and Perkins abstained from asking questions.

Tiffin City Council intends to have an additional special meeting at 6 p.m. Monday, July 11, in council chambers to allow for additional follow-up comments and to vote on the nominations.

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