Galena mayor to face challenger Nov. 5


Longtime incumbent Village of Galena Mayor Thomas W. Hopper is facing a challenge from resident Jill Love in the Nov. 5 election. The full term will start Jan. 1, 2020.

The Gazette reached out to both candidates for a profile. Here are their responses, in alphabetical order.

Tom Hopper: A village resident for more than 33 years, Hopper, 60, is widowed and has two Eagle Scout sons who have graduated from Big Walnut High School.

“I have an engineering bachelor’s degree from Ohio State and an MBA from Miami University of Ohio,” Hopper wrote of his qualifications. “I have many years of experience in government operations, including Ohio Revised Code knowledge; municipal operations, regulations and laws; ethics rules and regulations; zoning and planning law; council and zoning operations; regional planning topics, issues and procedures; and local development trends. I have served as the village representative to the Delaware County Regional Planning Commission for 24 years and in many other village positions over the years. I have served on a number of Big Walnut Local School District committees, including currently being on the Facilities Committee and the Economic Development Committee. These wide-ranging positions and experiences give me a unique background in understanding the challenges of the fast pace of change in eastern Delaware County and especially to Galena.

“I have faithfully represented the village for more than 30 years through many challenging phases. My engineering experience has been invaluable in managing road, storm water, wastewater, and other infrastructure projects. I have extensive expertise in the operations and laws governing municipal operations, and I bring strong ethical standards to the mayor’s office. I have a thorough understanding of local political issues and development trends. I hope to continue representing the village with the same honesty and integrity as I have in the past 20 years. I have not served just as a figure head, but as a hard working member of the village team.”

Hopper said “development and growth” is the most critical issue facing the village.

“I would continue the ongoing project to update our subdivision, storm water, zoning and property maintenance codes so that our rules are enforced with all new developments. I would also work with the residents to help them understand how the complex process for approval of a new development works.”

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Jill Love: Originally from Delaware, Love attended St. Mary’s School and Bishop Watterson High School, and she has a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Arts from the University of Cincinnati. She is married and has three grown children.

“My family had an 85-year-old photography studio business on Sandusky Street, where I worked alongside my four siblings,” Love wrote. “Together, we learned the importance of integrity, long hours, and what it means to own a business and be an integral part of a community. Advocacy started young for me. I spent a large part of my young adulthood campaigning for a drug-free society. This passion led to an appointment by Ronald Reagan’s administration to The White House Conference for a Drug-Free America with an honorable title. I spoke at the United Nations in both Austria and Sweden. I also had the honor of working personally with Nancy Reagan and numerous Congressional and business leaders.

“Currently, I am the vice president of sales for a NICU Software Company. I’ve spent the past 30 years in the healthcare industry, with a concentration on business strategy, management, profit and loss statements, and national large account management. I have negotiated system contracts for the likes of Kaiser Permanente, The Cleveland Clinic, Rush Medical Center, and numerous other large hospital systems across the U.S. That experience will lend itself to strong critical and analytical thinking and relationship building. My experience also brings process management skills along with financial and organizational teamwork.

“I am running for office as an engaged resident of the village of Galena in order to bring a new vision for the village, a new, fresh energy, and the opportunity to serve the community. The village is at a crossroads for growth and innovation, and I feel my skill sets will bring new ideas to the table.

“Large development is the number one issue for the residents, and my plan is to better harmonize the community established master plan with the zoning code, tighten up the current zoning laws, work with surrounding townships so that we can better plan for the future of the entire surrounding community. Transparency is key so that the village can become part of the planning and have an integral part of the solutions that face us. I also am working on ideas that will bring new revenue streams into the village, local businesses and organizations.

“I believe my 30 years of well-rounded business leadership uniquely qualifies me for the position of mayor. I also believe it is time for a new approach, a new clean vision, and a strong representative for listening to the residents with utmost respect, transparency, and honesty. As your mayor, I will strive to always view the position as a vocation and passion, never just a job.”

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Also on the ballot, two members of Galena Council — Jason Hillyer and Todd D. Musacchio (who was appointed in January) — are running unopposed for a full term starting Jan. 1, 2020.



By Gary Budzak

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Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.

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