By Jeff Gallatin
City Council officials are expected to fill by March 21 the vacancy created by the resignation of longtime Ward 2 Councilman Paul Barker.
After interviewing the five candidates to replace Barker during a Feb. 28 committee of the whole meeting, council President Nicole Dailey Jones said current plans are to select Barker’s replacement by the March 21 regular City Council meeting. Dailey Jones said council has left open the possibility a special meeting could be called to have the vote to replace Barker on council. Barker resigned late in February so he could take a property maintenance inspector’s position with the city of North Olmsted.
In the interviews, Chris Glassburn, currently a political consultant, a former member of the North Olmsted School Board and a former aide to Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish, was the first interviewed. Glassburn cited his experience in working with Budish both when he was a state representative and county executive. He also noted he was heavily involved in the budget process.
After his interview, Glassburn stayed in the room while the other candidates were interviewed. Jones said since it was an open meeting, Glassburn could be in the room.
After Glassburn, Marco Cuevas, a project manager and Efforts to Outcome administrator for the Greater Lorain County United Way and North Olmsted VFW official, was interviewed. Cuevas cited his experience with the United Way as well as serving in the Army as valuable experience for the council post. Cuevas also chose to stay in the room while the other candidates were interviewed.
Patrick Kelly, a retired 25-year veteran of the Westlake Police Department, Fraternal Order of Police official and current uniformed bailiff in Rocky River Municipal Court, who was defeated by Barker in the 2009 election for the seat, was interviewed third.
Kelly said as a police officer he has dealt with the public all of his professional life. His police experience also has allowed him to work closely in a team concept with other municipal workers, Kelly said. He also cited his serving on the North Olmsted charter review commission. Kelly opted not to stay in the room after he was done.
Council then interviewed Daniel Rahm, a principal and assistant principal at different Lorain county schools, who also has been an education intervention specialist in Lorain County schools. Rahm said he has had a goal of serving on City Council as a form of public service, but said the timing was never right before. Rahm said his experience as a school administrator would help him on council and said his current school responsibilities with younger children would still allow him to serve on council. Rahm also opted to leave the room when done.
Janelle Zauner, a licensed social worker and currently a school-based therapist at Beech Brook, a behavioral health agency for children, was interviewed last. She said although she has no prior experience in serving in an elected office, she is enthusiastic about wanting to help her community in different ways. She said she has been involved in school activities and the PTA for several years.