It doesn’t matter if you live in the city, unincorporated township, incorporated township, school district – the Tuesday, Nov. 2 ballot is loaded. As a community service, The Vermilion Photojournal invited all the opposed candidates to submit profiles and photos, answering questions by The Photojournal. Candidates were limited to 400 words. Mayoral candidates were limited to 750 words. Hopefully, the profiles that follow will give voters some information about each candidate. The Photojournal will spread out the profiles over a three-week period starting with this paper and ending Oct. 21. This week, the paper will feature candidates from Brownhelm and Vermilion townships, as well as the Vermilion Board of Education. Next week, the paper highlights the candidates for Vermilion City Council, and the finale will be Oct. 21 when the mayoral race will take center stage as well as the local ballot issues which include charter review, the storage facility initiative, and a library renewal.

                Residents in Vermilion Township have a crowded field this year. There are five candidates running for two seats on the Vermilion Township Board of Trustees. These are four-year terms. Competing for the seats are incumbent Ron Dickel, and newcomers Katie Lalonde, Rodger Scott, Joe Trinter, and Malcolm Williams.

                In Brownhelm Township, with the exit of two long-time trustees, Jim Northeim and Orrin Leimbach, the field is wide open. There are four candidates vying for two seats on the Brownhelm Township Board of Trustees.  These also are four-year terms. Competing for these seats are Greg Butchko, Bill McCourt, Tom Rini, and Kevin Sorrell. In addition to personal information about the candidates, all candidates for township trustee were asked what their priorities were, what they felt the most critical issues were, and how they proposed to tackle those issues.

                The Vermilion Board of Education has three individuals running for two seats, both of which are four-year terms. Incumbents Chris Habermehl and Sara Stepp are re-running for office, as well as newcomer Jill Treece. School board candidates were asked what their priorities were, in addition to a question about the ongoing pandemic: “Issues relating to the current pandemic are polarizing. How do you, as a school board member, plan to keep a balance on both sides of the issue and effectively keep operations running smoothly?” Also on the ballot, voters in the Vermilion Local School District will see another seat open for a two-year term. Current board member Eric Johnston is running for that seat unopposed.

                Next week, the Photojournal will feature all the opposed seats on Vermilion City Council, which include contests for president between current Council-at-Large Monica Stark and newcomer Larry Drouhard; council-at-large between current Council President Steve Herron and newcomer Homer Taft; Ward 1 between incumbent Emily Skahen and former city grant writer Pat Stein; and Ward 3 between newcomers Teresa Mayle and Drew Werley. We also invited the newest Ward 2 councilman-elect Greg Drew to introduce himself. Mr. Drew is running unopposed but is taking over the seat from longtime councilman Frank Loucka. Also running unopposed are Ward 4 Councilwoman Barb Brady and Ward 5 Councilman Brian Holmes.