Nov. 3—ELIDA — With current Elida Mayor Claude Paxton not running for re-election, Elida voters will look to choose between two current village council members to take the reins going forward.
Village Council President Darryl Nichols is facing off against council member Larry Flick in Tuesday's election, with both candidates looking at a looming sewer improvement project to bring the system into compliance with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards that could cost anywhere from $7 million to $11 million.
"There are always constantly things to do," Nichols said. "We have a sewer project coming up where we have to comply with the EPA, and those are things that aren't our normal business."
"I want to see that get finished," Flick said. "That's going to start next year, and we'll finish it up."
Both candidates see their experience, along with their community ties, as being an asset in their bid for mayor.
"I've been on the council for 10 or 12 years," Flick said. "I retired from Elida schools as a custodian and a bus driver. I spent several years in motel management and restaurant management. I spent seven years in the Army and got out a captain."
An Elida resident since 1988, Nichols was elected to council in 1992 and re-elected in 1996, serving as council president. After the then-mayor resigned, Nichols became the new mayor, resigning a year later to spend more time with his family.
"I got back involved here six years ago, and I've been council president," he said. "So I do have experience."
With Elida residents telling council members that they are wanting better police presence along with better streets as well as parks, both candidates are hoping that the Elida Police levy on Tuesday's ballot will pass, freeing up money from the village's general fund to address the streets. According to Nichols, the village does not have the space in the village currently to accommodate parks.
"Our approach is to let the citizens vote," Nichols said. "If they really want these three items, we can get them two of the three. They have the right to vote for it."
"We want to get this levy passed," Flick said. "That will save us a lot of problems in the future."
Both candidates spoke well of each other, having worked together on village council. However, both pointed to their connections to the community as factors in their favor going into Tuesday.
"Being raised in Elida and spending almost all my life here in town, I maybe have a little edge knowing the community better and they know me better," Flick said. "But I don't know. I can't judge what other people will think."
"Using some of my past experience sometimes is helpful," Nichols said. "I'm 69 years old. I'm a retired factory worker from Dana Corporation. I spent 45 years inside the factory. And, I think I have a little bit of common sense."