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Four file for five council seats

July 30, 2014 - Oxford Village is suffering from a shortage of candidates.

Only four people filed for the five village council seats up for election in November.

The filing deadline was July 22.

Incumbents Maureen Helmuth, Sue Bossardet and Bryan Cloutier are all running as is retired village Clerk Rose Bejma.

Three of the seats carry four-year terms, while the other two come with two-year terms.

Helmuth, Bossardet and Cloutier are running for four-year seats, while Bejma is seeking a two-year seat.

Bejma worked for the village from 1975 through 2005, spending the last 16 years as the municipality's clerk. Following her retirement, she's continued to work on-and-off for the village on a part-time basis.

The fifth seat will have to be filled by either a write-in candidate or someone appointed by the newly-elected council.

Write-in candidates must file paperwork with the village by 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 24.

Write-in candidates are not required to circulate and submit nominating petitions like candidates who appear on the ballot, but they must fill-out and submit a declaration of intent to the village or township clerk.

Candidates must be at least 21 years old, a registered village voter and have lived in the village for at least six months prior to the date of election. Council members are paid $15 per meeting and can earn no more than $500 per year, according to the village charter.

Village President Dave Bailey, who's served on council since 2009, decided to not seek re-election because his employment status may require him to relocate if he so chooses.

"I'm in kind of an uncertain position," he said. "I presently have three jobs and all three of them are mostly inactive. I might find myself tempted to relocate to a place where I might find significant employment more quickly.

"I don't think that's going to happen, but as long as there was some uncertainty about it, I thought I should not make a commitment (of) either four years or two years to my municipality . . . I don't feel good about the decision because I've enjoyed my time on council, but it's the decision I have made."

Originally, Cloutier, who was appointed to council in September 2013, didn't intend to seek election, but he has since changed his mind because he feels the work he helped start is not yet finished.

Cloutier said the village has "made a lot of changes" with regard to the way the municipality "operates and functions" and there's still more to do.

"A lot of things are in (the works) to try to simplify things, make things more transparent," he explained. "Knowing (these things) really need more time and deserve time, I made the decision to willingly step up and try to extend my time here."

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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