By Jeff Gallatin
All the numbers added up to a return to North Olmsted city government for Nicole Dailey Jones.
At its Jan. 15 meeting, City Council appointed Jones as City Council president by a 6-0 vote. She succeeds Duane Limpert, her longtime colleague. Councilman-at-Large Kevin Kearney, a longtime supporter of Jones, was absent on a planned trip out of town. Jones was the only person nominated and was elected without discussion. Former North Olmsted school board member Chris Glassburn and attorney and former North Olmsted police officer Steve Wolf had also sought the president’s position when Limpert resigned for family reasons.
A former Ward 3 councilwoman for five years, Jones resigned in early 2011 to take a position as communications director for Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald in the new county government that was being formed. She had won a heavily contested Democratic primary for the County Council seat representing the Westshore cities, then lost the general election to Republican Dave Greenspan. In all of his appointments, FitzGerald had required all his cabinet officials to resign from any other government position they held.
Jones said she’s pleased to be coming back to North Olmsted city government.
“It definitely helps that I know all the people involved in government and many residents,” she said. “I’m coming back at a good time with the city budget work getting under way. I’ll be talking to all the different people involved to get back up to speed on where we are right now in the city.”
Jones said FitzGerald has asked her to stay at her county post through the end of March.
She said she appreciates the support she has received from North Olmsted residents through the years, reiterating that she will seek re-election to the president’s post later this year.
Jones also indicated that when she sees the need, she will work on specific issues.
“It’s nice that the president has the ability to work on legislation, and if I see something that I feel needs to be done or an issue to be worked on, I’ll certainly be talking to my colleagues,” she said.
She noted that her opponents for the post also had strong qualifications.
Both Glassburn and Wolf praised Jones as a good choice.
“Nicole is well-qualified for the position,” Glassburn said. “I’m happy for her.”
Glassburn said he intends to stay involved in the city.
“Nicole brings with her not only her years of North Olmsted council experience, but here is a woman who is on a first-name basis with most of the county government; that is a tremendous resource,” Wolf said. “Say a superstorm knocks out our power for a number of days. Say the emergency power generator to the police department fails, causing the police to lose their lights, emergency phones and radios. If we don’t have another large generator in stock, our next stop is an emergency call to Cuyahoga County. Having someone who has that pre-formed relationship, who knows the workings of that government, can get us that generator much sooner that someone searching through the various offices in the hopes of stumbling onto the right person.”
Wolf said he will run for office in the city again.
“It is very important to me that the North Olmsted I was born in, that I grew up in, continues to be the North Olmsted I grow old in,” he said. “When I saw the president of council position open up, I offered my service in the hopes that I could work to keep North Olmsted vibrant.
“For this reason, I do intend to run for office,” he said. “Much will depend on who intends to run and the job they have done. A number of elected officials have a strong presence and are doing a great job. Others not so much. It is too early to tell, but again, I want North Olmsted to continue to be my home, and I intend to offer my service to the community to make that so.”