UHRICHSVILLE (WJER) (Oct. 25, 2023) – City voters are picking a new mayor in this election.
Councilman Jim Zucal defeated incumbent Mark Haney in the primary and is now facing Republican mayoral candidate Suzanne Bower. Both believe the city is a great place to live and work but see room for improvement.
“I was taught years ago you’re either part of the problem or part of the solution, and I want to be part of the solution,” Zucal told WJER News. “I want to mend the issues with the village of Dennison. I want to make our community a better place to live and work and for family and everyone to thrive.
“A lot of people I’ve talked to have had issues that they have felt have not been adequately resolved. I would like to be part of the resolution,” Bower said. “I will be available. I will have regular office hours. I will return all phone calls. I will return all emails, and I will meet with anyone who wants to meet with me.”
Whoever becomes mayor won’t have to worry about a costly court battle with Dennison over a tax-sharing agreement that the city stopped honoring. Zucal and other council members recently approved a mediation agreement to resolve the dispute and voted to stop paying the Columbus law firm that has been representing the city.
“Our community fathers did a great job 23 years ago. They set up this plan when the new high school was built in Uhrichsville where there would be a share. I’ve said if the treasurer would have decided 23 years ago in the group that we are going to write a check to Uhrichsville and a check to Dennison, we wouldn’t have this problem.”
“Years ago, this was all that was necessary. Gentlemen shook hands in agreement and they kept their work and they knew they could trust one another to keep their word. This is the value that I’ve grown up with and this is the value that I still keep today.”
Zucal is a former administrator for the cities of New Philadelphia and St. Clairsville who’s in his third year on council. Bower is a retired machine designer and math professor who runs her own business doing real estate and mortgage loan closings.