By BRIAN BOHNERT - Fostoria voters on Tuesday will decide two races for ward seats on Fostoria City Council.

By BRIAN BOHNERT - Fostoria voters on Tuesday will decide two races for ward seats on Fostoria City Council.

Councilwoman Paula Dillon, 967 Buckley St., will compete with Daniel Steinacker, 1023 Gerlock Drive, for a four-year term in the 1st Ward.

Councilman Paul Feasel, 550 Summit St., will vie with Greg Flores, 645 Van Buren St., for a four-year term in the 2nd Ward.

Other Fostoria Council candidates are unopposed Tuesday.

1st Ward

Dillon retired from Honeywell after 30 years of service.

She is a member of the Fostoria Public Affairs Committee and the Board of Zoning Appeals, and has been involved in United Auto Workers Local 533 and the newly-revamped Fostoria Block Watch program. She is also a volunteer at ProMedica Fostoria Community Hospital.

Dillon said her past council experience, compassion and empathy for those she represents make her an effective council member.

If re-elected, Dillon said her focus would remain on job and economic development, and working with citizens in the 1st Ward to solve the problem of vacant houses.

"Of all the calls I've received from people this past summer, most of them have been about vacant houses," Dillon said. "The 1st Ward is big. It's very big. And there are a lot of really nice neighborhoods with empty, vacant houses."

Dillon said her personal experience of living next to a vacant house has helped her understand the "plight" of many homeowners who work to keep their property and their neighborhood looking attractive.

Steinacker, the challenger, is owner of Steinacker Ace Hardware, 1656 N. Countyline St.

Steinacker said he has been active in the community since coming to the city in 1992. He has served as president of Fostoria Rotary Club and as chairperson of Fostoria Economic Development Corp. (FEDC), plus a stint as chair of the Fostoria Chamber of Commerce.

He said his business acumen, experience with large budgets, and desire to help Fostoria grow and prosper make him a good candidate for council.

"I guess I'm not intimidated by the numbers, and I think I have some good insight and things I've learned that work and don't work for the city," Steinacker said. "And, over the years I've seen the good and bad with what we've done to attract business in town."

If elected to the 1st Ward seat, Steinacker said he hopes to go back to basics by increasing jobs, bolstering tourism and working toward his goal of a "small government" that benefits the rights of the individual, "free of restrictions."

"We've got to come up with something in this town that draws people here," he said. "We're no different from any other small town. We all struggle with the same battles. We're losing population, we're losing businesses, and we need to find new ways to bring income into the community."

2nd Ward

In the 2nd Ward, Councilman Paul Feasel faces a challenge from Greg Flores for his council seat.

Feasel, owner of Bliss Charters, has been the 2nd Ward representative since 2003. He is a former president and current member of Fostoria City Council's Finance Committee. He belongs to the city's Revolving Loan Fund Committee, as well as the Fostoria Economic Development Corp. and Fostoria Chamber of Commerce.

Feasel said his more than 27 years of local business experience and knowledge of the city's economic history make him an asset for the community as the city works to grow the economy.

"I believe in Fostoria. It's home," Feasel said. "And, from a professional standpoint, I think that I bring a business sense to the table that, in terms of finance, means I understand the need to balance a budget ... We need to stay focused on economic trends as we continue to make adjustments with the financial resources to remain competitive."

During his tenure on council, Feasel said the city has made strides toward bringing businesses to the area, including the development of several plans for alternative routes to connect the city to Interstate 75. If re-elected, he said he hopes to see the projects come to fruition so the local economy can thrive.

"I think that will be a vital entity down the road in terms of attracting businesses," he said.

Flores is the program director at Geary Family YMCA. He is also a member of the board of directors at Fostoria Chamber of Commerce, and serves on the Patient Advisory Council for ProMedica Fostoria Community Hospital. He is credited with organizing the Fostoria Cash Mob.

Flores said he is running for City Council because he wants to make a difference and inspire the younger generation to get involved for the betterment of the community, by working to fix budget and tax base issues.

"There are people out there who talk about the problems in their communities and they don't vote or don't get involved. I want to be a leader and show our generation that our voices do matter," Flores said. "I want to inspire others to get involved and make a difference."

Flores said his experience in retail management, combined with banking knowledge and people skills, would make him a good representative of the 2nd Ward.