United Way official takes over for Walter

From the time this Wapakoneta area native sought an elected position to represent his sixth grade class, he knew he wanted to serve others in political office.

Starting later today, Randy Fisher will get his chance on a larger scale as he becomes the newest member of Wapakoneta City Council.

Fisher is set to replace Councilor-at-large Steve Walter, who resigned effective Dec. 31 for health reasons, at the first meeting of the new year for Wapakoneta City Council set to begin at 7:30 p.m. today. When he learned Walter announced his resignation at the Dec. 3 meeting, Fisher wanted to take advantage of opportunity to serve.

“I believe very firmly in serving our community — I think that is the most important thing,” said Fisher, who is scheduled to be administered the oath of office at the beginning of today’s meeting. “I want to continue Steve’s idea of a progressive platform and to help  out middle class families in Wapakoneta.

“My biggest issue that I care about most deeply is being a good councilman,” he said. “I don’t have any one particular issue that I am most concerned about except making sure our city is a great place to raise children and to live and work.”

Fisher, who serves as executive director of The United Way of Auglaize County, also said he loves the challenge of representing the entire city and not just his ward.

“I look forward to representing all the residents of Wapakoneta and not just those in my neighborhood,” the 4th Ward resident said. “I think we have to do a better job building a stronger community.

With the new year, Council President Steve Henderson must re-assign councilors to committees. Walter served as chair of the Utilities Committee and served as a member of Communications and Rules and Health and Safety committees.

“I am really interested in serving on the Health and Safety Committee and outside of that I am open to serving on any other committee,” Fisher said.

Henderson said he plans to discuss upcoming committee assignments with Fisher and possible committee assignments with all councilors  as well as their areas of interest. Typically, he announces the assignments at the first meeting in January.

“I am really looking forward to working with Randy Fisher, I find him to be a fine young man and a great fit for council,” Henderson said, mentioning Fisher works with community groups, volunteers as well as other service agencies and local businesses in his current position at The United Way. “I think some of his strengths are he is very community-minded and always has been. He has served as president and past president of the Wapakoneta Rotary and he is an obvious choice because he has always put the residents of Wapakoneta first.”

Fisher will serve the remainder of Walter’s term which ends Dec. 31. Fisher indicated he intends to run for the seat in this year’s upcoming elections and has already started circulating his petition to be placed on the ballot.

The primary election is in May, with the primary deadline in early February. The general election for the seat is in November.

He was one of three candidates interviewed Saturday morning by the Wapakoneta Democratic Central Committee for the open council seat. Former Wapakoneta Fire Chief Steve McClintock and long-time resident Jeff Van Meter, who worked at Ametek-Westchester Plastics for 33 years, also sought the position.

In a correspondence and resume to the committee, McClintock pointed out his strengths in the public and private sector.

“Being a public servant for 30 years, I have the experience, ability and background of working with the general public, city department supervisors, mayors and members of council,” McClintock wrote. “Being a former business owner and manager of men, I feel I have the ability to open-mindedly listen to both sides of an opinion.

“I would like to be a part of the continued growth and development of the city of Wapakoneta,” he said.

Van Meter, who served in the U.S. Marines and has been a member of the Wapakoneta Police Department auxiliary since 1984, said he gained valuable experience for the council position by serving in board positions for The United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America union.

“I have been considering running for council for sometime now and would be very appreciative for the opportunity to fill this position,” Van Meter wrote in his letter.