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Lyle Waddell receives nod for Falls seat

Lyle Waddell, who was appointed in recent months as 3rd Ward councilman in Newton Falls, has emerged as the best of three candidates for the seat, and he should advance to the fall general election.

Waddell, who has served as mayor for two terms before his council appointment, has done a good job at being proactive in planning for the village’s future. That includes his involvement in the annexation of 440 acres from Braceville that added $100,000 to the village’s budget. He also said he intends to continue working on stormwater issues that have plagued the third ward.

According to Newton Falls’ village charter, the two candidates who receive the highest vote tallies in next week’s election will advance to a runoff in the November general election.

Challenger Tesa Spletzer said she wants to focus on transparency in municipal government and giving higher priority to community assets like the parks and the community center.

A third candidate, Dougle Hankins, said he has no specific agenda, but simply wants to serve his fellow residents and make the village better.

Both Spletzer and Hankins possess criminal arrest records, which is troubling to us.

Spletzer previously has been convicted of disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, falsification and barking or howling dogs. Hankins was charged with operating a vehicle under the influence and ultimately was convicted of failure to control.

While we understand everyone makes mistakes, we believe our elected officials must be able to lead by example. These are not the examples we’d want to be followed.

Waddell, meanwhile, has been accused of evading public term limits established by the village’s charter because he resigned his mayoral post as it was coming to an end in order to take the appointment to council’s 3rd Ward seat.

We are not fond of that move; however, we do not believe Waddell violated any charter language.

In response to our questions about the issue, Waddell said he resigned from his mayoral seat to take the council appointment simply because he wanted to remain part of what has been developing during his mayoral tenure.

“Our new city manager is working hard, and I would like to see that continue, and I would like to be part of it,” Waddell said.

At the end of the day, we also believe he should be a part of it. We endorse only Waddell in the primary election.

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