Defiance’s Ward 2 voters have two choices this fall when deciding their district’s city council representative.
The candidates are appointed incumbent John Hancock and political newcomer Angie Miller. The winner of the non-partisan seat on Nov. 5 gets a four-year term beginning in January.
Generally-speaking, Ward 2 represents constituents in and around Defiance’s downtown area, including the Lattys Grove neighborhood just south of there.
Hancock, 51, has been the Ward 2 representative since his appointment in January 2018. He had replaced Steve Waxler, who decided to run for an at-large seat in 2017, and was successful.
Prior to that, Hancock had been an at-large councilman, but in November 2017 he narrowly missed re-election for one of the three seats, finishing fourth.
A local realtor with Howard Hanna Realty and bus driver for Defiance City Schools, Hancock then threw his name in the ring as a candidate to fill Waxler’s unexpired at-large term. Council subsequently chose him over two other names in January 2018.
Miller, 48, is the owner of a downtown business — Handsome Tuxedo and Suits, 309 Clinton St.— and is giving local politics a try for the first time.
Previously, Miller said she spent 23 years in the entertainment industry, and has been a member of the Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists union since 1993.
She listed her involvement with a number of television productions, such as “CSI: NY” and “Las Vegas,” and noted that she was an assistant to actor Martin Short and TV/film producer Cyrus Yavneh.
The winner between Hancock and Miller will join three other successful candidates for ward council seats when their new terms begin in January.
Ward 4 Councilman Chris Engel is unopposed for a fifth, four-year term, while Steve Corbitt is without opposition for the Ward 1 seat now held by Pete Lundberg, who decided not to seek a third term.
Council’s three at-large seats — held by Joe Eureste, Jill Krutsch and Waxler — will be on the ballot in 2021 along with the non-voting president’s position — held by Dave McMaster.
Profiles of each of the Ward 2 candidates follow:
Address: 656 Washington Ave.
Education: 1986 graduate, Tinora High School, 1997 graduate, Northwest State Community College, associate degree in accounting; 2019 graduate, Defiance College, business administration
Family: wife, Lisa; daughter, Katherine; son, William
Occupation: licensed realtor, Howard Hanna Realty, Defiance; bus driver, Defiance City Schools
Previous political office: Defiance City Council at-large councilman, 2014-18; appointed Ward 2 councilman since January 2018
Reason for seeking office: “I want to give back to Defiance through civic service. Because of this, I have provided, and will continue to provide leadership with integrity and principle which is community-centered. I believe in promoting the safety of the city, affordable housing options, continual improvement of the public park system, quality water and sewer infrastructure, and economic/workforce development through teamwork. I firmly believe that when people work together, they just work better.”
Top goals: “1. I want to ensure taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars are spent on projects that enhance the quality of living in the city of Defiance, such as continued investments in the city’s water infrastructure, the city’s parks, and the historical and arts programming that is available.
“2. I want to work with the city administration to find more grant opportunities to be able to pursue even more ventures that improve our community for citizens of all walks of life.
“3. I want to promote the Defiance community strategic plan and work closely with the mayor and the team leaders to ensure that actions are being taken to accomplish the great goals established around the six pillars of connectivity, culture and education, economic development, health and wellness, housing and public perception of Defiance.”
Address: 907 Latty St.
Education: 1989 graduate, Defiance High School
Occupation: proprietor of Handsome Tuxedo and Suits in downtown Defiance
Previous political office: none
Reason for seeking office: “I want to support legislation that improves the standard of living and economic health of our people and community. I bring energy, passion and commitment to my ward. I support our city’s strategic plan and the people in our six-pillar teams which are: connectivity, culture and education, economic development, health and wellness, housing and perception.”
Top goals: “I would like to make sure we continue to maintain and improve our many alleys and streets that are traveled daily by our residents, keeping our neighborhoods safe and nuisance-free.
“I also feel it is important that we approve a sensible citywide sidewalk plan for safe pedestrian travel.
“I will also keep an eye on our city’s budget and expenditures so our Ward 2 neighborhoods receive quality services for the taxes they pay.
“I feel we need to continue to promote new incentives for downtown businesses and housing in order to create a vibrant environment for growth.
“I believe in giving back to my community. I am a member of the Main Street program involved in the community development block grant, co-chair of the Defiance Jazz Festival, patron of the Defiance Community Cultural Council, member of Historic Homes of Defiance, member of the Save Our 1918 School committee, and proprietor of Handsome Tuxedo and Suits in downtown Defiance.”