What are the challenges or issues facing the city?
Ostrander: Economic development is first priority — we must demonstrate to prospective employers that Vermilion is open for business. Vermilion has many prime, properly zoned areas ready for development. We need to greatly expand in the area of networking. Vermilion is located in both Lorain and Erie counties, which gives Vermilion a unique advantage to engage all networking organizations available — and fund accordingly. With more local employers in place, we will become financially capable of improving and properly maintaining our streets and other infrastructure — without increasing taxes to our residents.
Karney: I believe that the single most important issue is the lack of harmony in city government. This disharmony is an impediment to accomplishment. City Council members represent all of the people in their wards, not just the vocal few or their own interests. It is my goal to end the divisiveness so city government can move on and do the job they were put in office to do, i.e., represent the citizens.
How do you plan to address them?
Ostrander: I know that I single-handedly cannot address the issues which come to City Council as this requires a group effort and cooperation between City Council and the city administration. On all issues we need to come together collectively and agree on a plan and then implement it to be truly successful.
Karney: I can work with anyone, once fundamentals are established. Respect, hard work and communication between all Council members and the administration will go a long way to moving forward. Vermilion has tremendous potential and could be so much more than it is; its citizens deserve more than they are getting.
What makes you best suited for the job?
Ostrander: Having lived in Vermilion for almost 40 years and having served on Vermilion City Council for over 10 years (including nearly four as Council president) under three mayors, I know what is involved in getting the job done. I keep an open mind on all subjects and encourage discussion on both sides of all issues. I strongly encourage community involvement and have a reputation for listening to the needs of the community. I have the experience, qualifications, dedication and commitment to listen and respond for the good of all of Vermilion.
Karney: In my professional life I have had many years of experience dealing with all kinds of diversity and adversity. In all cases the issues that created conflicts were resolved. My many years in senior management have given me experience in running meetings, resolving conflicts, achieving productivity and providing customer and stakeholder satisfaction.
Education: Xavier University, bachelor’s degree in 1972
Family: Wife, Mary Kate; son Dan Michael, married and living in Tucson, Ariz.; daughter Nicolette Rose, married, living in Racine, Wis.
Job history: Retired in 2005 from Safety Components International Inc., as president of the European Automotive Group.
Web site: www.Karney4councilpresident.com
Education: Graduate of Vermilion High School; graduate of Monroe County Community College, Monroe, Mich.
Family: Nancy, wife of 31 years; son Jonathan, missile design engineer in Grand Prairie, Texas.
Job history: Current Vermilion City Council president; 1983 to present with Lithonia Lighting, where currently serve as a marketing technical support specialist; previous positions in manufacturing and engineering; U.S. Naval Air Reserves Aircraft electrician — honorably discharged in 1976