EDMORE — The two candidates vying for the nonpartisan village president position in Edmore both bring respectable levels of experience to the position.
Incumbent Lon Leonard has served the past six years as president with six years of trustee experience prior to that. Challenger Chet Guild also boasts 12 years experience, both as a trustee and president.
“I bring experience, passion for the people and village of Edmore,” Leonard said. “I like to know how they’re doing, that they’re happy. I’m always interested in stuff happening around town, like our farm market.”
The farm market is one of Edmore’s recent success stories, according to Leonard. In fact, it’s doing so well the village plans to hire engineers to design and construct a permanent canopy over the market.
This is just one of many projects going on around the city that Leonard has had a hand in developing.
Not everything is rosy in the village, however. Leonard said local government is facing some difficult challenges, including a decreasing population.
“This is due to the plants closing and that sort of thing,” Leonard said. “It’s a real problem. We’re still suffering from the economy, where it’s at and what it’s doing.”
If re-elected, Leonard said he would continue to try to take advantage of the M-46 corridor that rolls through the village.
“It goes right through town,” Leonard said. “The trick is to get people to stop here in town on their way through. We need to find ways to get them to use our gas stations and stores.”
Development of the Heartland Trail — part of which travels through Edmore — also is critical to growing business, Leonard said.
In addition to serving on the village council, Guild’s public service record includes 25 years on the Home Township Fire Department and a longtime membership at VFW Post 2292. A Vietnam veteran, Guild said his main goal as village president would be to keep the community on a firm path future development.
“I want to keep the village running smoothly and moving forward,” Guild said. “Also, bringing in new business is a top priority. I guess my main goal would be to keep the municipality moving forward with several of the village improvement projects already begun by the council.”
Guild added that, as far as he knows, Edmore is currently not facing any “critical” issues or problems.
“But there are several projects that need to be finished,” Guild added.
A 50-plus year resident of Edmore, Guild said that, if elected, he would stay abreast of the needs of village resident and “just provide good government.”