By Jeff Gallatin
All four candidates for the three city council at-large North Olmsted City Council seats said they are are focused on finding the best way to move the city forward during remarks at an Oct. 5 political forum at the North Olmsted branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library.
Incumbents Kevin Kearney, Duane Limpert and Angela Williamson as well as former Council at Large member Tim Smith, outlined their qualifications and answered questions pertaining to the at-large race in the forum sponsored by the North Olmsted members of the Cuyahoga County chapter of the League of Women Voters. Kearney is seeking his third full term, while Williamson has held her seat since being appointed in 2010, then re-elected in 2012. Limpert beat Smith in the general election two years ago after Smith was appointed to fill the seat when former Councilman at Large Mark Mahoney resigned for health reasons.
Kearney, a foreman for Cuyahoga County construction crews, said he wants to continue working on projects which will better North Olmsted.
He said positive work has been done in many areas of the city such as the recreation center, at Springvale, the wastewater treatment plant and in the city remaining financially sound after the effects of the poor economy during the Great Recession.
Kearney said he wants to be able to continue working in those and other areas, such as flood control projects and bettering the city infrastructure.
Limpert joked about being the son of longtime former councilman and city director Duane Limpert, while also indicating he has the credentials to stand on his own.
A Gulf War veteran and West Point graduate who obtained a master’s degree in finance from The Ohio State University, Limpert noted he is a project manager for Key Bank and can use his financial expertise when considering city business.
He also stressed his commitment to the city, noting both his and his family’s longtime record of service to North Olmsted, saying that long-term interest in the city will give him a broad base of knowledge on which to draw.
Williamson was the longtime chief executive assistant to the Cuyahoga County prosecutor before having to decide whether to retain that post and not seek re-election to council. She opted to focus on the council race and will resume work at the county after November as a bailiff for in the common pleas court system.
Williamson, who has a bachelor’s degree in organizational management, stressed her ability to stay focused on tasks while working with different people and organizations.
She said she has had a strong ability to communicate in working on different projects throughout her public service career, starting as a legal assistant in the city of Parma and continuing through her time with Cuyahoga County and North Olmsted.
Smith said he has a sense of unfinished business since he did not a get a chance to complete the term in the at-large seat to which he was appointed.
Smith said many people know him because of his roughly three decades of running Joe D’s Printing, a longtime North Olmsted business. He said he has learned to listen and work with people in making the business successful.
Utilizing what he has learned in business to aid the city as well as being active in community affairs such as being a sports referee has given him a strong ability to work with others which he wants to continue on council, Smith said.