By Kevin Kelley
Angelo Russo, an attorney who has been active in the Fairview Park Chamber of Commerce, was selected to succeed Pete Matia as the Ward 5 representative on City Council.
Matia, who first joined council as an appointed member in May 2009, resigned last month when he moved to a new house located outside the boundaries of Ward 5.
A registered Democrat, Russo said he previously had not interest in seeking elective office. Russo has been a Fairview Park resident for the past 10 years.
Russo is a common name in the Northeast Ohio political world. However, Angelo said he’s not related, to his knowledge at least, to other Russos in the area who have held political office.
In his application letter for the Ward 5 seat, Russo said his background as an attorney and business owner will allow him to bring an added perspective to council.
His law firm, Russo and Associates, specializes in bankruptcy, real estate and business law. His law offices are located in a building he owns at the corner of Lorain Road and West 214th Street, on the floor above Cyclone Pitas.
A graduate of Cleveland State University and the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Russo previously served as president of the West Shore Rotary and was an officer and trustee of the Fairview Park Chamber of Commerce. He remains active in both organizations.
Russo also helped launch the Fairview Park Relator Conference, a program of the city and Fairview Park City Schools that promotes the community’s attributes among area real estate agents. He also taught the continuing education course that’s been part of the conference.
Among those who applied for the vacant council seat was Richard Deem, the former Fairview Park police officer who unsuccessfully challenged Mayor Eileen Patton in her 2011 re-election bid. Council also interviewed Donald Wiese, Gail Nanowsky, Gene LaValle, Michael Hughes, James “Brandon” Davis and Robert G. Tishler, Jr.
William McCroden applied but later withdrew before the interview stage.
Wiese and Tishler applied in 2009 for the vacant seat for which Matia was selected. In November of that year, Wiese unsuccessfully challenged Matia for a full term.