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Lakewood City Council, at large {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

Term: 4 yearsSalary: $13,000Eight candidates, including the three incumbents, ran in the Sept. 14 nonpartisan primary. The top six move on to the general election. They are incumbents Tristan Rader, Sarah Kepple, and Tom Bullock; and challengers Laura Rodriguez-Carbone, Mark A. Schneider, and Kyle G. Baker. Voters may select up to three candidates on the Nov. 2 ballot.Lakewood operates under a city charter that provides for a Mayor/Council form of government and designates City Council as the legislative branch of government. The council consists of seven council members (three at-large and one for each of the city’s four wards).

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    Kyle G. Baker

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    Tom Bullock

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    Sarah Kepple

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    Tristan Rader

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    Laura Rodriguez-Carbone

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    Mark A. Schneider

Información Biográfica

What specific experience do you have that you feel qualifies you to serve (or continue to serve) on City Council?

What are the top three Lakewood issues you would like to tackle and how would you handle them?

Do you favor or oppose requiring Lakewood rental property owners to accept Section 8 Housing Vouchers?

Do you think there are actions Lakewood can take to help protect Lake Erie?

Age 38
Education Lakewood High School (2002) Miami University, B.A. (2006) Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, J.D. (2009)
Qualifications for office My background shows how ready I am to help Council and Lakewood. After graduating from Lakewood High, I attended Miami University & then the Ohio State for law school. I am the son of a union carpenter, youngest of 7 siblings, & a first-generation college graduate. As the father to two young boys (aged 3 and 5), I want them to grow up in a thriving, diverse, safe, & welcoming community. I’m currently serving as Dir. of Real Estate and Sr. Assistant Legal Counsel at the Cleveland Metroparks, where I have protected of over 1,000 acres of new park land the region. I oversee the procurement/contract review process for major capital construction projects along with other important organizational and law enforcement issues. I previously worked as an attorney at a Cleveland law firm, where I gained experience representing both government and businesses. During private practice, I represented Akron against the US EPA for Clean Water Act violations due to combined sewer overflow issues.
Campaign email address kylebakerforlakewood@gmail.com
Campaign Phone (216) 469-1484
Twitter @kylegbaker
I’m a leader with a proven track record of getting things done in the private sector (Thompson Hine), public sphere (Cleveland Metroparks/Lakewood Planning Commission), and non-profit world (Lakewood Ranger Education Foundation/West Park Kamm’s Neighborhood Development). I worked on the team at Cleveland Metroparks that brought the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Projects to Northeast Ohio (Wendy Park Bridge, Whiskey Island Connector, & Red Line Greenway). When Cleveland Metroparks received funding in 2016 we did not own any of the real estate, had no detailed plans, & were facing an onerous federal process to obtain the funding. Over less than 5 years, I worked to acquire the property rights, design, and complete the transformative projects. That is the kind of pace government can work at, and I seek to bring that type of energy, expertise, and speed to Lakewood. Lakewood offers this unique set-up whereby the community can elect a 3-person team to represent them in the at large council seats. No one in this race has the real estate, development, & construction experience that I have from both the private and public sectors. There are millions of dollars of pending development projects and a giant hole on the corner of Belle & Detroit that needs to be developed in a way that fits with our community, provides much needed tax revenue to fill the gap created when Lakewood Hospital closed, and is something we can be proud of as a community.
(1) Pending Developments The Solove Developments, Studio West, & the former hospital site are major issues. The current Council & Administration have approved public incentives for 3 projects at over $20 million. The last time Lakewood approved TIFs for large-scale private projects was in 2004. I am not against public financing for private development or against the specific developments (all 3 are very important), but there needs to be a broad discussion about what benefits existing residents are getting from those investments/what precedent is being set going forward. When public incentives are approved, the property tax burden is spread across all other property tax payers in the City. (2) Sustainability/Climate Resiliency On Planning Commission, I became familiar with the Lakewood Building, Zoning and Planning Codes and the opportunities for further advancement from a sustainability perspective. There is an opportunity to make it easier for residents and business owners to install solar panels on their own buildings thereby reducing the carbon footprint. (3) Enhancing and Protecting Lakewood’s assets The existing social infrastructure of Lakewood (front porches, library system, school system, parks and natural resources, arts community, walkable neighborhoods, bicycle lanes, and vibrant business corridors) is our greatest asset. Public safety will always be a top priority, so that Lakewood can continue to be a safe and welcoming place for all people.
Affordable housing is a complicated & extremely important issue. Requiring rental property owners to accept vouchers is a blunt force tool when a more surgical tool like a scalpel is necessary. The program allows for vouchers to pay a portion of the rent, but the “Market Rent” is determined by an analysis of a five-county area. It also requires an inspection before the property owner can receive rental payments. The inspections can take anywhere between 4-8 weeks to occur. This could push out local landlords in favor of larger institutional investors. Requiring property owners to accept vouchers doesn’t allow for any consideration to fit Lakewood’s market. It’s a one-sized-fits-all approach that could and will have unintended consequences that could end up forcing out local property owners in favor of larger property owners that view property as an asset/balance sheet. I say all of this realizing that in some cases the denial of a renter because they have a voucher perpetuates systemic racism as nearly 90% of the recipients of housing vouchers in Cuyahoga County are black. I do think that there is a pathway to addressing source of income discrimination, but I believe it will take time, education, coordination with property owners both institutional and small, incentives, and work with HUD, CMHA, and County officials to see if there are ways to make the program more workable for Lakewood property owners. I would be committed to addressing the issue.
All of these suggestions enhance water quality because better habitat/plantings/management practices will hold back stormwater during wet weather which will decrease loads on the sewer system (decrease sanitary overflows) and create more natural habitat (supportive of pollinators). I would propose removing “milkweed” as a noxious weed from Code Section 1775.01 (a). I would encourage/publicize the benefits of replacing tree lawns and/or some portions of lawn into native beds with wildflower mixes. I would propose working with the Administration to investigate reducing mowed areas in Lakewood Parks and other municipally owned property (No Mow Zones). This would take a culture change and require collaboration between Council and the Administration to educate the public on the benefits of No Mow Zones (better habitat, less mowing/energy consumption, increased stormwater retention, etc.). As more redevelopment pressure comes to Lakewood and developers are seeking tax incentives, which are public subsidies for private development, I would encourage the Administration to see if stormwater detention tanks (similar to the large tank that is going to be installed under Cove Church parking lot) or other stormwater easements are helpful to the City and the Integrated Wet Weather Improvement Plan. This would equitably reduce the overall cost on ratepayers in Lakewood and help reduce sanitary overflows into Lake Erie and Rocky River thereby enhancing water quality.
Age 48
Education B.A., Political Science, American University, Washington, DC M.A., Classics, University of London, UK
Qualifications for office Most experienced member of Lakewood City Council: served since 2008—13 years and counting. Led City Council’s Finance, Public Safety, and Public Works Committees. More than 25 years in public service and government, including work as an aide on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. and for top Ohio elected officials including Sherrod Brown. Worked as senior leadership on three congressional campaigns and co-led a county field office for a presidential campaign. Represented a national foundation in Ohio and led advocacy statewide on clean energy, clean transportation, healthy agriculture, and retirement security. Currently serving as executive director of a statewide consumer advocate working to get affordable, reliable and clean power for Ohioans and for improved transparency and ethics in the wake of the HB 6 corruption scandal.
Campaign email address tom@tombullockforlakewood.com
Campaign Phone (216) 395-7593
Twitter @TomBullock3
It's been my honor to serve on City Council since 2008, helping Lakewood to travel a remarkable journey from fiscal jeopardy to stabilizing, to improving city services; to growing our storefronts and unique, local businesses; improving neighborhoods, raising home values; attracting young people, keeping empty nesters; helping us lead on walkability, cycling, tree conservation, and clean energy.

During my service, I’ve been among the most active members of Council, introducing legislation and initiatives, seeking out ideas from residents, and providing respectful and timely customer service. I have performed well, and Lakewood has made great progress: • City finances have improved so core services are sound and stable; • our housing market is among the strongest in the region; • we’re transforming our parks; • we’re attracting young families and retaining retiring residents; • City leaders have met big challenges head-on and protected taxpayers, going 36 years without an income tax increase; • dozens of businesses have opened and the first multifamily developments since 1975 are soon to break ground; • public art is brightening parks and commercial buildings, more every year; and • we’ve become a statewide leader on clean energy, electric vehicles, tree conservation, and walkability, and we continue to improve our bikeways to make cycling easy and safe for everyone.
There are more than three priority issues I’ve worked on (see above), but three top issues I’d like to work on in the years ahead include: 1. Keeping our foundation sound: remaining disciplined in responsible budgeting, effective management, and investment in workforce training and technology so our delivery of core city services (such as refuse, police, fire, street repair, and snow plowing) is reliable, effective, and cost-effective. Lakewood has come a long way in improving in these areas, and we can’t take that progress for granted. 2. Innovating every year: attracting residents through continuous improvement to our neighborhoods such as by slowing down cut-through speeders on more streets through expanded use of traffic calming; extending our investment in parks to include sports fields, so every square inch is beautiful, functional, highly used, and supports excellence in recreational sports; and extending options for affordable, 100 percent clean power to all Lakewood residents and businesses. 3. Addressing emerging strategic issues to position Lakewood for long-term success: attracting and shaping major commercial development so they add vitality, new residents, and new customers while fitting within Lakewood's context; building on our strength as a walkable streetcar town to make our city green and healthy--a place where health happens in neighborhoods (a type of resiliency that’s all the more important in the midst of the COVID-19 public health crisis).
I support implementing and strengthening the City of Lakewood’s existing affordable housing strategy, which is not a one-step, “silver bullet” approach but rather an eight-step “silver buckshot” approach. Lakewood has taken this approach since affordable housing is a need broader than the housing voucher program and affects residents outside the qualifying income bands, who also need help. Our eight-part affordable housing policy is a wholistic strategy that will be more effective in that it addresses the broader range of needs. This includes: 1 – Launch Rental Restoration Program Preserving Affordability 2 – Gap Financing for Rental Development Projects Action 3 – Non-profit partnerships with housing agencies 4 – Homeownership opportunities for low and moderate income households 5 – New Affordable Home Construction 6 - Connect property owners to resources and incentives 7 - Outreach & Advocacy to HUD by Administration and City Council to improve effectiveness and service delivery of housing programs in Lakewood. 8 – Incentivizing developers to build new housing units for moderate income (80% to 120% AMI) residents.
Yes there are, and City Council has been taking action for years on a crucial one that is directly our responsibility: to repair and improve our sewer system to reduce combined sewer overflows into Lake Erie during wet weather. During my service on City Council, I have voted to support tens of millions in investment to repair our sewer infrastructure and improve wastewater treatment and to plan for hundreds of millions more over the coming decades to meet our obligations under the Clean Water Act and to provide a clean, healthy Lake for our residents. This includes a recent vote in July 2021 to incorporate into Lakewood’s sewer rates billing for impervious surfaces and to allocate $25 million from federal COVID relief (ARPA) funds for sewer improvements. I also championed adding a sewer bill credit for tree conservation, rain garden planting, and other “green infrastructure” practices to provide property owners an incentive to do them—a proposal under consideration for the future. Finally, to address Lake Erie harmful algal blooms, Council passed legislation that I authored asking President Biden to use federal powers to coordinate a multi-state clean up plan, a step that proved effective for the Chesapeake Bay.
Age 42
Education Treu-Mart Youth Development Fellow- Case Western Reserve University | Master’s Degree in Library & Information Science- Drexel University | Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Art- Kent State University
Qualifications for office In my capacity as a Councilwoman at Large, I serve on Lakewood’s Small Business Task Force, the Americans with Disabilities Act Task Force, the Housing, Planning, and Development Committee, the Health and Human Services Committee, and I Chair the Rules and Ordinances Committee. I have served the public for over 20 years in schools and public libraries, leading technology education efforts for Cuyahoga County Public Library prior to launching my own tech-ed business. As co-founder and lead organizer of Action Together Lakewood Area I brought our community together to work to protect the Public Library Fund, restore the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, ensure affordable healthcare, expand civic engagement, and more. I was unanimously appointed to council in Feb of 2020 because of my unique background as a longtime public servant, community organizer and entrepreneur, and I use those skills to proactively communicate and help residents and our local businesses.
Campaign HQ Address 1223 Summit Ave
Lakewood, OH 44107
Campaign email address electSarah@keppleforcouncil.com
Campaign Phone (216) 200-5050
Twitter @sarahekepple
I began my career in public service at Lakewood Public Library, and as I moved into the Cuyahoga County Public LIbrary system, I worked with a diverse array of folks in numerous communities to address education disparities by leading and coordinating out of school time technology education, founding the county-wide robotics program, leading coding classes, and setting up video and audio recording studios for the public. Wanting to take this work to more people in more places, I launched my technology education business Gigalearn in 2014.

My technological and entrepreneurial background came in handy when I was unanimously appointed to Council in February of 2020. I wrote my first ordinance less than a month after being sworn in to allow council to meet remotely to serve the people, worked with our IT department to enable and encourage public participation through new and convenient technology such as our eComment platform, transitioned our streaming services to include closed captioning and remote public interaction, and proactively kept residents informed through timely video updates. As a business owner and a member of the city’s Small Business Task Force, I worked with our merchants and restaurants to adapt services to changing consumer trends, and enacted curbside express parking for online ordering and convenient pickup. I am running to continue to make our local government more accessible, equitable, and sustainable, and to advance our technological infrastructure.
1.Ensure that each resident, visitor, & business owner feels safe & fully supported in our community

2.Equitably develop properties & infrastructure to make our city more ecologically sustainable & accessible

3.Implement technology solutions for better communication, entrepreneurship, & education

I have proposed the formation of an Intersectional Safety Committee comprised of community members with a diverse combination of experience to work with City leadership to consider safety from a holistic lens and to nurture proactive measures to help residents rise from the mental, physical, and financial trauma of the pandemic, use research based approaches to buck the national trend of rising gun violence, and design a more sustainable future. Serving on the Americans with Disabilities Act Task Force and on the Housing, Planning, & Development Committee, I see the potential for our new development projects to provide affordable and accessible housing, pay prevailing wage to create good local jobs, utilize women & minority enterprises, and implement sustainability measures like reducing water runoff and adding to our tree canopy. Our recent allotment of ARP Funds provides an opportunity to strengthen sustainable and technological infrastructure. I will advocate for investments such as universal high-speed internet, transition of city vehicles to a smart fleet on a smarter, more stable grid, and a digital marketplace and delivery system to keep local dollars in our community.
As we work to balance rising home values with the availability of affordable and accessible housing, we need to be cognizant of the unique makeup of Lakewood, systemic obstacles to housing stability for marginalized populations, and the tools available. Of the 15,0000 vouchers available county-wide, about 11% are elderly, about 27% are disabled families and almost 90% are black, yet requiring that rental property owners accept Section 8 housing vouchers would be unlikely to yield the housing equity that we’d like to see because the majority of voucher recipients have household incomes of 30% or less than the median family income, which would not be sufficient even with the voucher to achieve monthly rent in a median valued rental property in Lakewood. Additionally, roughly 40% of our city’s housing units are one or two family homes, and many of these are owned by seniors and families who may not have the capacity of corporate entities to manage the paperwork and inspections necessary to accommodate the federal housing voucher program. Forcing vouchers would be unlikely to achieve the desired results and could unintentionally push out neighbors renting to neighbors, and would instead favor more corporate property ownership, unintentionally exacerbating the problem. Better solutions toward equity include continuing our partnership in the Cuyahoga Housing Consortium, incentivizing development of more accessible and affordable housing, and expanding rent gap solutions.
With Action Together Lakewood Area, I organized community efforts to pressure the federal government to fully fund the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. On council I supported a resolution to call for federal coordination of a multi-state effort to address toxic algae blooms, introduced tree legislation to reduce erosion, and recently voted to incentivize commercial properties to move toward permeable surfaces to reduce runoff. Our most significant investment toward protecting Lake Erie is, of course, our Integrated Wet Weather Improvement Plan. I recently voted in support of allocating $25 million of our ARPA funds toward the IWWIP, which is designed to virtually eliminate sewer overflow into our waterways and bring our city into critical compliance with the Clean Water Act. Lakewood property owners can be part of the solution through smart landscaping including rain gardens, native plants, mow-free lawns, and trees, and the City can model these strategies with community education efforts and exemplary practices in parks and public spaces and require any developer seeking tax incentives to build in stormwater management and green infrastructure. We also need to continue to advocate for federally coordinated efforts to address the harmful chemicals and invasive species coming into Lake Erie through commercial agriculture and shipping. As a community organizer used to being the squeaky wheel, and an avid kayaker who wants to enjoy a clean lake, I’m committed to this work.
Age 35
Education Bachelor's in Business Administration - Kent State Master's in Public Administration - Cleveland State Certificate in Renewable Energy Deployment - Yale
Qualifications for office I've spent the last three and a half years as a city councilmember, where I’ve focused on getting solar installed on city buildings, planning for a more sustainable future, and the unforeseen task of helping to lead the city through the COVID-19 crisis. Together we have accomplished some incredible things. We committed the city to 100% clean energy, are developing a Climate Action Plan, implemented a $15 minimum wage for all city employees, dedicated a brand new park, invested $25 million into our wet weather infrastructure, and implemented a state-of-the-art records request system to increase the level of government transparency here in Lakewood. I have learned so much and want to continue
Campaign email address twrader@gmail.com
Campaign Phone (440) 315-2852
Twitter @TWRader
I've worked on policy and politics at the federal, state, and local levels. I've also worked in social services, helping people connect to vital public benefits programs. At the Greater Cleveland Food Bank, my job was to advocate for my clients' needs. I connected thousands of people to food and medical resources. I've not only served on council here in Lakewood for three and a half years, but I've also passed many pieces of great legislation. I’m incredibly proud of these efforts, which have: committed the city to 100% clean energy, added solar to 4 city buildings, passed paid maternity leave, implemented a new state-of-the-art public records system, started the Tree Education Board, added a $15 minimum wage for city workers. Most importantly, I've been there for my residents. People know that when I can, I'll get results for them. And if I can’t personally do it, I’ll find someone who can.

All this said, experience is a bit overrated. I came to this job with a heart to serve and Lakewood saw fit to elect me to my first term. I truly believe this is what qualifies me more than anything else. Not everyone comes to politics or to a position like City Council with a genuine desire to serve. I want people to have an authentic connection to their government. This is what I want to continue to do.
1- I've initiated the development of Lakewood's very first Climate Action Plan. These kinds of planning processes take time and energy that I am ready to give. Leaving a healthy planet for future generations is critical. We need to do our part as a city and as a community and take responsibility for our emissions, our water, our air, our environment, and our future. 2 - Our sewer infrastructure has been and continues to be a big priority, and rightfully so. We just committed $25 million from the federal ARPA funds to aid in our progress and reduce water rate hikes. I'll ensure this kind of progress continues, as this work is essential to protecting our most valuable natural resource, Lake Erie. 3 - Community development - Safety and community start in the same place, on your street. I want to invest in our block clubs, bring back better public transportation--especially for seniors, including the circulator, complete the new Cove Church Comunity Center, implement participatory budgeting and increase community engagement activities.
I support state and local source of income laws or ordinances that prohibit discrimination against renters and homebuyers based on the source of their income. This includes housing choice vouchers. I am happy to see President Biden advocating for source of income protection at the federal level as well. These kinds of anti-discrimination laws are very important.
The work we are currently doing to improve our storm sewers is critical to protecting Lake Erie. Every time there is a storm that hits Lakewood, and there have been many as we all know, a portion of that rainwater mixes with sewer water and finds its way to the lake, untreated. We are working hard to solve this and it will take many years and many millions of dollars. This is one of my top priorities.
Age 39
Education B.A. Political Science and Government, Cleveland State University Master of Public Administration and Public Policy, University of Nebraska at Omaha
Qualifications for office Cuyahoga County Democratic Party Central Committee, elected 2018-2022 Chair, Ohio Democratic Party Hispanic Latino Caucus, elected 2021- Chair, Lakewood Anti-Racism Task Force, 2020-2022 Healthy Lakewood Foundation Planning Task Force 2017-2019
Campaign email address admin@lauraforlakewood.com
Campaign Phone (440) 610-4977
Twitter @laura4lakewood
I grew up in a working family that struggled to make ends meet, often experiencing homelessness and developing an understanding of the importance of community. Since then, I have focused on serving others; working to enforce civil rights law in public schools, saving lives through increasing access to care and transplantation for high risk patients, and now, serving on the Federal COVID Response team. I was appointed by Lakewood City Council to the Lakewood Wellness Foundation Task Force following the closure of Lakewood Hospital, and currently serve as the Chair of the city’s Anti-racism Task Force. Additionally, I was recently elected as the Ohio Democratic Party’s inaugural Chair of the Hispanic and Latino Caucus, where I will have the opportunity to help lift the voices of our fast-growing Latino communities around Ohio. I am also the current elected representative for my precinct in Lakewood as part of the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party where I have worked to connect our neighborhood to issues, candidates and opportunities to exercise our civic duty to vote. I understand the issues our community faces, and I’ve earned the trust of others to represent the community for some of our most sensitive issues.

Affordable Housing: One of Lakewood’s greatest strengths is our diverse community. For our city to continue to thrive, we must ensure families are able to build their lives and stay in Lakewood, growing roots and becoming invested in our community. I will work to ensure we have affordable housing for people of all ages and abilities, particularly for renters with disabilities, seniors, and families.

Small Business Support: Lakewood’s locally owned businesses are not only one of our greatest assets as a community, but they are also the source of most of the city’s tax revenue, and the core of our local economy. Like many across the country, they have suffered during the pandemic, and I will prioritize support for them as an At-Large Councilwoman. I have proposed investing in an economic development officer whose priority is to support small businesses and and owners of color, and establishing an economic recovery office to ensure funds received from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) are distributed equitably and prioritize local businesses.

Public Health: The pandemic has brought to light many of the gaps in our ability to address the health of the community. Lakewood has lost both our hospital and our public health department, putting us at a disadvantage in a new post-pandemic world. I have proposed a number of ways to improve our public health services for Lakewood residents, including providing access to health services in the new Lakewood Community Center.
As a Latina, I would not have been allowed to purchase my current home in Lakewood a generation ago, as it was part of the redlining that prevented people of color from owning homes in desirable neighborhoods.

I am in favor of an ordinance that prohibits property owners from discriminating against people with disabilities who use Section 8 Housing Vouchers. Further, I support other ordinances that would help address the historic racist housing policies that have targeted people of color. I believe we can address these historic injustices through a variety of ways that also ensures rental property owners continue to invest in Lakewood.
One of the most important, immediate actions we can take to help protect Lake Erie is to ensure we dedicate American Rescue Plan funds to help modernize our sewer and water infrastructure to minimize pollution in the Rocky River and Lake Erie. I support the recent actions by City Council to dedicate ARP funds to this work, as well as the new Impervious Surface Fee for residents that will bring down water and sewage bill rates and help modernize our aging sewers. I also support current work being done by the city of Lakewood to strengthen our water outfalls and would like to work with Cuyahoga County on ways to address erosion while also making our Lakefront more accessible through the Lakefront Public Access Plan.
Age 46
Education The Ohio State University College of Law, J.D. 2000 The University of Michigan, B.B.A. 1997
Qualifications for office Over Two Decades of Experience and Qualifications in Public Service -Prosecuting Attorney and Assistant Law Director, City of Parma Heights 2011-Present -State Representative (63rd District) 2009-2010 -Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, Cuyahoga County Major Trial Unit 2000-2009
Campaign email address mark@masattorney.com
Campaign Phone (216) 337-6268
I have spent my entire adult life, over twenty years, in public service. That experience separates me from the rest of the field in this race.

Since 2011, I have served as the Prosecuting Attorney and Assistant Law Director for Parma Heights. I had the privilege to serve as a State Representative for the 63rd District from 2009-2010. I began my career as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney for Cuyahoga County from 2000-2009, where I served in the Major Trial Unit.

I was appointed by the Cuyahoga County Executive to serve as a board member of the Cuyahoga County Group Plan Commission, responsible for the development, funding, and programming of Public Square and the Downtown Malls.

I am a past co-chairperson and multiple year member of the Lakewood Citizens Advisory Committee, responsible for recommending to Council allocations for federal block grant funds. In that capacity, I have recommended millions of dollars of investment in our parks, roads, senior services, early childhood education, healthcare services, and small business storefront renovations.

I have volunteered for Lakewood Alive, the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce, the Lakewood Rocky River Rotary Sunrise Club, and St. Luke’s Parish

As an active member of our city, I know our great sense of community, I know our neighborhoods, and I know the challenges we face. I have considerable and unparalleled experience to lead on City Council.
Many of our senior citizens and families feel that they are being priced out of our community. They cite high taxes, rising housing costs, and rising expenses. I intend to ensure that Lakewood remains affordable, especially for senior citizens. I propose devoting a portion of the COVID relief funds from the federal government to defer sewer and water rate hikes for senior citizens. I intend to work with organizations like Lakewood Alive to secure microloans so that seniors can afford upkeep of their property. I would work with our county and state governments to find innovative ways to defer increases in property taxes for seniors until point of sale. I would also incentivize landlords who provide affordable places to live for our seniors through our different city fee structures.

We cannot afford to let our community's reputation for safety slip, in reality or perception. I intend to address safety issues by working with our police to ensure they have the staffing, equipment, and training they need to keep us safe. We also need to address underlying causes of crime, like mental health, substance use, and poverty. Our police need to be perceived as fair and efficient.

Delivery of superior core services like road work, safety forces, senior services, and building services must be carried on as part of a balanced budget without raising taxes or draining our neighbors' bank accounts.
I oppose such a requirement. Forcing Section 8 Housing on all property owners would create a chilling effect on our housing market. Such an arrangement forces all landlords to enter into contracts with the federal government that they never intended to consider. Those contracts come with time lags, delays in payments, and increased costs that these landlords never contemplated when they invested in our community. To impose such a requirement after the fact would be against fair play and bring our housing market to a halt. A better pursuit to ensure affordable housing would be to incentivize landlords to provide affordable places to live through our fee structures and to address specific types of housing as a percentage of new construction.
Addressing our sewer and water infrastructure and moving the city towards a greener footprint are the two best ways our city can help protect Lake Erie. Lake Erie is the single greatest asset of Northeast Ohio.

Aging sewer and water infrastructure (our gray infrastructure) can lead to contamination of the lake. We must continue to emphasize and improve upon the City's Integrated Wet Weather Improvement Plan. During heavy rains, our aging sanitary and storm sewers comingle and contaminate the lake. We need to formulate a strategy to maintain our infrastructure, improve water treatment facilities, and avoid further EPA mandates. We need to do so in an equitable manner that will not price our residents, particularly seniors, our of our city.

The second way to protect Lake Erie is by moving towards a greener footprint. To do our part to stem global warming, the city needs to address our carbon footprint (our green infrastructure). We need to set goals for moving our city facilities and fleets towards a more environmental friendly, less carbon based status. Specific goals and benchmarks for things like city vehicle fleet conversions need to be considered further.