Wednesday, November 5, 2003

New faces join Mason and Lebanon city councils

By Erica Solvig
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Ohio's fastest-growing city was gaining two new council members and retaining the only incumbent running, in the early results of Tuesday's election.

Mason voters were electing newcomers Steve Osborne and C. Anthony Bradburn, and re-electing Councilwoman Charlene Pelfrey, according to early, unofficial tallies from the Warren County Board of Elections.

This was the first year that term limits, approved by voters in 1993, restricted long-time council members from running.

The six-candidate race was one of several city council decisions Warren County voters made during Tuesday's election.

The other major race was in Lebanon, where eight candidates were vying for three spots on city council. Early results there showed voters ousting all but one incumbent.

Managing growth and preserving the county seat's historical roots are key in Lebanon, according to the eight candidates who ran for three spots on city council.

With 64 percent of city precincts reporting, J. Matthew Rodriguez led with 20 percent of the vote, followed by Jeffrey Aylor with 16 percent and incumbent Benjamin Cole with 15 percent. Incumbent Ron Pandorf and former councilman Mark Flick each had 12 percent of the votes.

With 52 percent of Mason precincts reporting, Pelfrey led with 26 percent, followed by Osborne with 22 percent and Bradburn with 15 percent. Coming in fourth was Denise Fath with 14 percent of the vote. They will fill the spots councilmen Dick Staten and Jim Fox currently hold on council.

Among the challenges the new city council members will face is finding a way to ease downtown traffic and revitalize the central business district in this suburb of nearly 26,000 residents.

Candidates had voiced different ideas on the issue, but a central concern has been how to reroute truck traffic away from the downtown so it can be more pedestrian friendly.


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