By Jeff Gallatin
Mayor Kevin Kennedy is expected to make it official tonight that he’s running for re-election.
Kennedy has scheduled a “campaign fundraiser and announcement” event for 5 to 8 p.m. tonight at the Community Cabin in North Olmsted Park. It will be Kennedy’s second major community gathering in less than a week, since he held what has become an annual business meet and greet last Thursday in the Springvale Country Club’s clubhouse area.
Kennedy declined on Monday to cite specifically what he would announce tonight, but indicated he would be revealing his plans on whether he would seek re-election.
“I’ll be able to say more about it after the event,” he said. “There will be things to talk about afterwards.”
Kennedy said a crowd of about 150 to 200 is being planned for.
“Anybody who wants to come for the announcement is more than welcome to come out,” he said.
Kennedy indicated he is feeling fine, a reference to his back surgery last year which kept him out of his office for several weeks.
“That won’t be a problem,” he said.
Kennedy won the mayor’s office four years ago by defeating current North Olmsted school board President John Lasko in the general election. That duo had advanced to the general election after beating incumbent Mayor Thomas O’ Grady and businessman Tim Smith in the four-way primary.
At the business meet and greet, Kennedy, members of his administration and organizations like the North Olmsted Chamber of Commerce, as well as Cuyahoga County Councilman David Greenspan, who represents North Olmsted and other Westshore cities, met with business people from throughout the community to let them know what resources are available to them from the city, county and other governmental bodies.
At that meeting, Kennedy and other officials noted the increased strength in the relationship between the city and chamber, as well as businesses in general.
“Business is our lifeblood in North Olmsted,” Kennedy said. “We have to have a strong business community to be successful.”
Kennedy, who operates a computer business, said he will continue to use a business model for City Hall operations.
“Our businesses contribute so much to this city; we need to continue to help them and work with them wherever we can,” he said.
John Sobolewski, director of the North Olmsted Chamber of Commerce, lauded Kennedy’s administration and its efforts to work with businesses, saying his administration has had the best relationship with businesses of any recent North Olmsted administration.
“Our relationship with the city is the strongest it’s been in years,” he said. “The mayor is a businessman and knows how to work with businesses. He and his staff put a lot of work into it, and it shows in the relationship we have now.”