Nov. 6 voters will have tough decisions to make about the future of the nation, state and county.
Wednesday night, the League of Women Voters of the Tiffin Area hosted several candidates, with many stances on different issues, but all had one goal in mind: to help the voter make a wise and informed decision on Election Day.
The four Seneca County commissioners attended and were questioned about the county's most pressing issues.
Republican Fred Zoeller, who is running against incumbent Democrat Ben Nutter, said bringing jobs to Seneca County is the "nucleus of (his) running for commissioner."
"We need to become a pitcher versus a catcher," Zoeller said about being more assertive in terms economic growth. "I think the attitude of the county has been more of a 'If business comes this way, I'll catch it,' but I believe we need to be more proactive."
Nutter, who has served eight years as commissioner, said government does not create jobs, but rather creates an environment for businesses to succeed, thus creating job opportunities.
Nutter said he and fellow commissioners have been able to give several manufacturing companies an opportunity to expand in the past couple of years.
Republican Holly Stacy, who is running against Paul Shoemaker for the seat now occupied by Dave Sauber, said Seneca County "needs to make sure that it touts the many assets it has."
She also said that working with city, state and federal governments is important in helping the local economy expand.
Shoemaker, who is running as a nonpartisan candidate, said he would work with other local leaders to bring new businesses to Seneca County.
He said focusing on retaining current businesses, big and small, also should be a priority for the commissioners.
When asked what the county's biggest budget priorities should be, Zoeller said, "Safety, fire and EMS are paramount."
Nutter said during his time as commissioner, he and the board were able to "weather the storm fiscally" when facing the biggest recession since the Great Depression, and were able to balance the budget without cutting vital services.
Stacy said the No. 1 priority is safety. She said if the county is not safe, people will not want to live in the area, and businesses will not want to operate here.
Shoemaker listed his top priorities in the order of safety, building maintenance and training staff.
In his closing remarks, Shoemaker said when he was young, there were more job opportunities in Seneca County. He said the county is losing people and tax money, and he wants to help bring people back to area he's lived for his whole life.
"When I set my mind to something, I get it done," he said. "You get what you see with me. When I tell you something, it's the truth, it's what I believe and it's what I will go for."
Stacy said she wants to bring her 26 years of combined experience from working at the Sandusky Chamber of Commerce and Old Fort Board of Education to the commissioners' office.
"I will certainly use (my experience) to do what I can to make sure Seneca County remains a great place to live, work and raise a family," she said.
Nutter said he is proud he and the other commissioners have been fiscally responsible and have made the tough choices during his eight years on the board.
He said he was able to address pressing problems Seneca County has faced for more than 30 years, and he pointed to getting the juvenile center built and to generating revenue by adding on to the county jail.
In closing, Zoeller said he wants to build economic growth by soliciting businesses to come to Seneca County.
"I love Tiffin," he said. "And we cannot grow in prosperity through budget cuts. I think the commissioners have done an adequate job at living within their budget, but that's not how we're going to grow."
Later, Mayor Aaron Montz spoke in support of the city's quarter-percent income tax increase.
If the tax does not pass, several services will be cut, including the fire department, which would close the north side fire station on most days, Montz said.
The city also would have to cut funding for parks programs, the city pool and fireworks.
Snow plow services also would be limited because the city will not be able to pay workers overtime to plow roads during the evening and weekends.
Montz said the city has taken steps to increase revenue or reduce costs, such as implementing a lodging tax for people staying in hotels in the city, renegotiating city contracts, regulating Internet cafes and reducing non-union city employees hours.
This is the first time the city has asked for an income tax increase since 1987.
"I was still in diapers in 1987," Montz said.
He said the tax would cost the average Tiffin resident 25 cents a day, and it is vital to maintain important services.
"Vote me out in three years, but please vote for this tax increase," Montz said. "I'm willing to take that blame. If you want to get mad at someone for asking for this tax increase, vote me out. But please, we need this tax increase to pass."
Candidates for state representative from house districts 87 and 88 as well as the two state senator candidates from District 26 spoke as well.
Tanyce Addison, a Democrat who is running against Republican incumbent Dave Burke (who did not attend Candidates Night), said she wants to provide a strong voice for the working class.
Democrat Jeffrey Lehart, who is running to represent the 87th District against Republican incumbent Jeff McClain, said he, like many Ohioans, has faced financial hardships, and with that experience, he has more knowledge of what the average Ohioan goes through.
McClain said he was able to improve Ohio's economy in the two years he's served as state representative. He said Ohio has gone from being ranked 48th to 4th in job creation since being elected.
Democrat Bill Young, who is running for state representative from the 88th District against Republican incumbent Rex Damschroder, said in the 38 years he's taught social studies and government at Ohio schools, he has stressed government should be powered by the people, not politicians.
Damschroder said when he took office two years ago, Ohio faced an $8 billion deficit and had 89 cents in the state's rainy day fund. He said he worked hard to turn things around, and provide the right tools for businesses to create jobs.
The League of Women Voters also gave presentations for state and local issues that are to appear on the ballot in the upcoming election.