MAUMEE, Ohio — For more than a year, the city of Maumee has been in political turmoil.
But with Mayor Richard Carr headed toward what appears to be a decisive win over John Jezak, the city could be taking a big step toward political normalcy.
"I think you just go in and do your job and don't play partisan politics with the citizens of Maumee - be fair and be honest," Carr said late last night about the key to his apparent victory.
Unofficial results show Carr win with a 687-vote lead, 59% to 41% over Jezak.
The city has been sharply divided since an August, 2018, ethics report was released. Carr believed that Jezak was behind the report, which, among other things, questioned Carr’s rapid promotion of Human Resources Director Susan Noble.
Carr has staunchly defended his personnel decisions and blamed Jezak for costing the city thousands of dollars by initiating the report.
After the mayor recused himself from the situation, City Council President Tim Pauken placed Jezak on administrative leave from his role as city administrator. Jezak had served in that position for nearly 20 years before retiring in April.
Two months later, Jezak announced his bid for mayor, setting off near-daily social media battles between his supporters and those of Carr.
But Jezak said Tuesday afternoon that he believes that the city will now come together, regardless of who prevails in the election.
Carr believes that will be the case too, pointing to the fact that two of Jezak's allies on council - David Kissinger and John Boellner - will not be back during the next term. Gabriel Barrow and former police chief Jim MacDonald were the leading vote-getters for council late last night.
"The citizens of Maumee have spoken," Carr said, adding that he now hopes to focus on several senior citizen issues in his next term.