By Kevin Kelley
Jim Connole told West Life Monday he will not seek another term on Westlake City Council, either as council president or as Ward 2 representative.
Connole, who has represented Ward 2 since 2001, had obtained petition forms from the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections to run for the council president’s job. Mike Killeen, the current council president, initially told West Life he was not seeking re-election. Four days later, he said he will run again because Connole had told him he was dropping his plans. But Connole told West Life on Jan. 15 that he was still in the process of deciding.
Connole said his hesitation on deciding was caused by a medical issue that is being resolved. Despite the resolution of that issue, he said he had decided not to run for another term.
“I don’t want any divisiveness,” Connole said. “Micheal (Killeen) has chosen to run for four more years and I wish him the best.”
Connole, who served 10 years on the Westlake City School Board of Education, said he would wait until the March 8 petition filing deadline to see who is running before making an endorsement in the Ward 2 race. Current school board member Nate Cross filed his petitions for the Ward 2 seat Jan. 2. As of last week, former Bay Village Finance Director Steve Presley and Brian Thompson had obtained petition forms.
Another Council veteran who will not return next year is Ward 1 Councilman Ed Hack, who is not seeking re-election after more than a decade on the legislative body.
Former Westlake school board member Tim Sullivan has filed his petitions to seek the Ward 1 seat, setting up a possible reunion with Cross. If both are victorious, the two would sit next to each other on the council dais. The two were allied in opposing the scope of the $84 million bond project to fund new school construction and scrutinizing the district’s labor costs.
“This is an opportunity to serve the community that my family and I love living in,” Sullivan said of his candidacy.
Mark J. Miller has also obtained petitions for the Ward 1 seat.
All other council incumbents are currently without opposition, except for Mark Getsay in Ward 6, who is again being challenged by Robert Koenig. Mayor Dennis Clough and Law Director John Wheeler are also without opponents for now.
The primary election is May 7 for races with three or more candidates.