Monday, October 22, 2018 Medina 31°


Election 2017: Fire chief to leave to become trustee and other races


GUILFORD TWP. — Fire Chief Jerry Winkler said he is looking forward to the next chapter.

Winkler, 49, was elected to serve as a township trustee Tuesday. He earned 538 votes (22.92 percent), according to unofficial results from the Medina County Board of Elections.

“I’m thankful for the trust the voters placed in me and the faith they have that I will do a good job,” Winkler said Wednesday. “It’ll be a good transition to allow me to continue serving the public, which is what I like to do. I’m looking forward to getting started.”

Winkler, owner of Digsby’s Pizza, Pasta, Pub Grub in Seville, said he will be retiring as chief at the end of the year to serve on the board.

“I’ve been talking about (retiring) for some time now,” he said. “With the family business, changes in the retirement system and the new building going up, the timing seemed right to get new leadership in and time for a new opportunity for me.”

On Sunday, the department celebrated the grand opening of the rebuilt fire station with the public. The project included rebuilding the roof for the approximately 10,000-square-foot station, which collapsed in August 2016.

A 2,000-square-foot addition also was constructed on the southwest end of the building that has a locker room for fire gear, a gear-cleaning area, a fitness center, public restroom, storage space and an entryway on the west side.

Winkler’s successor is being reviewed by trustees. They are scheduled to meet at 10 a.m. today in executive session to discuss candidates at the township hall, 3800 Greenwich Road.

“The staff there and the leadership at the department are fantastic,” Winkler said. “I feel very confident that they’ll continue … (to) provide fantastic services.”

Winkler started his career as a firefighter in the Central Fire District in Wayne County. He rose in rank and was serving as captain before coming to Medina County 11 years ago.

“It’s been a great career with tremendous opportunities,” Winkler said. “I’m ready for new challenges.”

Winkler said his goal as trustee is to “continue to promote the township and look after the best interests of the township and its citizens.”

Gene Morris, who tallied 554 votes (23.6 percent), won the other open seat on the board..

Incumbent Steven K. Fulton will end his 12 year run as trustee, coming up short with 442 votes (18.83 percent). Others seeking a seat on the board were Dan Bock (317 votes/13.51 percent) and Jonathan Strong (496 votes/21.13 percent).

Other races

  • Brunswick At-large Councilman Alex Johnson failed to win re-election with 1,739 votes. Former city councilman Joseph P. Delsanter was elected with 2,596 votes, along with incumbents Patricia Hanek with 3,178 votes and Brian K. Ousley with 2,620 votes, according to unofficial results. Dan Geyer (1,980 votes) and Jim Nabors (2,350 votes) also sought a seat on Council.
  • Laura Parnell (373 votes) was elected to the Ward 1 Medina City Council seat Tuesday by surpassing incumbent Brian Hilberg (303 votes) and candidate Kevin Consiglio (116 votes). Parnell will be the first woman on Council since Andrea Burdell-Ware, who was sworn in Jan. 1, 2010. Hilberg was appointed to finish out her term in March 2012 when Burdell-Ware moved out of the city.
  • Lee Potts was elected as Ward 3 Councilman in Wadsworth with 404 votes, according to unofficial results. He was challenged by Joseph Magnacca, who fell short with 391 votes. Potts was appointed to the position in August after John Sharkey retired July 31.
  • Lodi Village Council incumbents Patricia May (204 votes) and Cecelia Sivard (198 votes) fell short in Tuesday’s election to challengers Robbin Figura and Randy L. Jameyson, both with 230 votes. Incumbents Patricia A. Graham and Letha Mapes were re-elected with 244 votes and 298 votes, respectively. Jennifer Ridenour (178 votes) also sought a seat on Council.
  • In Chatham Township, Rick Dumperth did not earn enough votes (263) to retain his trustee seat. Newcomer Joe Aungst was elected with 385 votes and incumbent Russ Arters with 289 votes.
  • In the race to fulfill an unexpired trustee term, Denise Gumbita won with 268 votes against Samuel Brown (251 votes). Trustee Susanne Jurkowski was appointed to her seat in 2016 following the death of former trustee Charles Siman. She decided not to run this year to complete the term.
  • In Hinckley Township, Jim Burns edged out Scott Harrison by four votes — 974-970. Because the vote count is unofficial, it wasn’t immediately clear whether the tight race would merit a recount.
  • Also Tuesday, incumbent Raymond Schulte was re-elected with 1,546 votes and Becky Chattin Lutzko, who was unopposed, received 1,312 votes to fulfill the unexpired term currently held by Melissa Augustine. Augustine and incumbent David J. Sambor withdrew from the race.
  • Chuck Ricco, 562 votes, also sought a seat on the board.
  • Sharon Township Trustee Kimberly Bolas Miller handily won re-election with 1,448 votes Tuesday night. Write-in candidate Joe Canestraro was elected with 306 votes. Other write-in candidates were Jim Berry, 284 votes; F. Jeffrey Stroup, 158 votes; Donald Hammond, 81 votes; James Sherman, 67 votes; and John Winland, 126 votes.
  • Spencer Township Trustee Dale L. Jaycox will not return to the board next year. He tallied 224 votes. Jaycox was defeated by newcomer Tony Ramey with 303 votes. Incumbent Gary Flegel was re-elected with 376 votes.
  • Todd Zieja, a Medina Township police sergeant, was elected to the York Township board of trustees with 449 votes. He succeeds 28-year trustee Colene Conley, who chose not to run for re-election. Incumbent Richard M. Monroe Sr. was re-elected with 594 votes. Paul Gierosky (365 votes) and Mike Russo (356 votes) also sought a seat on the board.

Contact reporter Halee Heironimus at (330) 721-4012 or

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