Thursday, January 17, 2008

At - Large Interview Part 2

Well, it took about 15 - 20 minutes. It was an open meeting, there were some members of the public there. They are interviewing all 9 people. They did 5 Monday and 4 Tuesday.

Each council member asked a question, they basically asked the same question of everybody.

Mike Dever - What particular issues do I intend to work on.
I told them the first thing we need to do is get the financial house in order before we can begin to tackle the rest of the issues. But, did go on to state that I would be interested in Public safety and then Housing.

Mike Summers - Asked me about living in Akron and if that is were I was from.

Niki Antonio - What attributes to I bring to the council that may be different than everyone else. I kind of botched this question, but I felt strong enough about the way I answered it.

Tom Bullock - Asked about my time commitment and working for the firm.

Kevin Butler - Asked if I had to campaign today, would the issues be similar to what it was back in 2005. I said pretty much the same just the order was different than two years ago.

We will know on Saturday, they are going to knock it down to two people. I think they want Fitzgerald to interview the finalists too.

Here is how the Lakewood Sun Post viewed it:
Empty city council seat should be filled soon

By Julie Kreuz
Lakewood Sun Post

City Council hopes to select a person to fill the empty at large seat by Saturday.

Council members started interviews Monday for the seat left open when Edward FitzGerald was elected mayor in November 2007.

"I want to nail down a process for the selection," said Council President Michael Dever.

In past votes, council members gave Council Clerk Mary Hagan three names, which were then voted on. This year council discussed whether discussions should kept in executive session to protect the candidates and the council.

"Sometimes it can be construed as a deliberate process to choose and not choose," said Ward 1 Councilman Kevin Butler.

Council will be able to discuss the candidates in executive session, but they must keep deliberations to public meetings, said Law Director Nora Hurley.

Holding a ballot must be done in an open meeting, she said.

In the interviews Monday and Tuesday candidates were given five minutes to talk about themselves, and then were asked a series of questions about what their goals would be as a member of council.

Paul Beegan, an architect for various projects around Lakewood including a converted duplex on Bunts Road and member of a vast amount of community organizations, said he wanted to assist in establishing a budget for the city.

Stephen Davis, who has served on several city commissions and on committees for Lakewood schools, said there were several issues that needed to be addressed but one of the most important would be the city charter, which he said could be changed to make things more efficient.

Diane Helbig, who helped set up a block watch stretching from Warren Road east to Wyandotte Avenue and from Lakewood Heights Boulevard north to Madison Avenue after an armed robbery occurred on Athens Avenue in 2007, said her main priorities would be safety and children.

Stephen Hoffert, who was the unit manager for the Wastewater Treatment Facility for the city, said he wanted to use a hardlined approach that didn't put up with "crony-ism" and would use public resources as efficiently as possible.

Tim Carroll, who ran for a seat on council in 2006 and is well known by current council members for his involvement, said he wanted to use a customer service approach for residents.

Ruth Koenigsmark, with a background of 22 years in human resources management and who has worked closely with many community groups including Lakewood Commission on Aging, said economic growth, safety issues and making residents feel they have a connection to the new council are important to her.

Edward McCartney, who has studied religion, law and politics independently, is interested in making Lakewood focused on faith.

Brian Powers, a graduate of Harvard Law School and member of community groups such as Campaign for Lakewood's Future, said fiscal balance and protecting the safety of residents would be his goals.

Daniel Shields, who has been a member of various community groups including Lakewood Charter Review Commission and who ran for the Ward 3 council seat in 2007, said he would focus on safety and economic growth to prevent foreclosures and empty storefronts.

I emailed the Sun Post about correcting the year I ran.

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