By Kevin Kelley
Five candidates are seeking the Ward 2 City Council seat now held by Jim Connole. That means a nonpartisan primary vote will take place May 7, with the top two vote getters advancing to the Nov. 8 general election. But those holding the three citywide offices, including Mayor Dennis Clough, will run unopposed in November.
The filing deadline for Westlake municipal candidates was Friday.
After considering a pursuit of the council presidency, Connole decided not to seek that or re-election to his Ward 2 seat. Westlake Board of Education member Nate Cross and former Bay Village Finance Director Steve Presley would appear to be the frontrunners in the race for the open seat. Cross, who voted against placing the $84 million bond measure to fund new school buildings on the ballot, is employed as the executive director of the Northern Ohio Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Now the finance director in Pepper Pike, Presley currently serves as chairman of Westlake’s Civil Service Commission.
Also seeking the Ward 2 seat are Brian Thompson, an attorney and certified public accountant; Nick Nunnari, the assistant service manager at John Lance Ford; and Marie Novak, a member of the Westlake Council of PTAs.
Presley, Thompson and Nunnari applied when Connole announced his intention to resign in November 2010. Connole later changed his mind and stayed on.
Another longtime councilman not seeking re-election is Ward 1’s Ed Hack. Shamus Cusick and Lynda Appel, a member of the Westlake Councl of PTAs, have filed to run for Hack’s seat. Tim Sullivan, a former Westlake school board member, filed petitions to run for the Ward 1 seat but withdrew three weeks later, according to Cuyahoga County Board of Election documents.
In Ward 6, Robert Koenig is again challenging incumbent Mark Getsay. In 2009, Getsay defeated Koenig, 63 to 37 percent.
Incumbent Councilmen Dennis Sullivan, of Ward 3, Michael O’Donnell, of Ward 4, and Ken Brady, of Ward 5, are all running unopposed for re-election.
Westlake’s three citywide offices had no candidates file beside the incumbents. That means Law Director John Wheeler faces no opposition in his run for a third term. City Council President Mike Killeen, the legislative body’s senior member, will also run unopposed. And Clough is without opposition in pursuit of his eighth term as mayor.
“Obviously I’m very pleased to have the opportunity to serve the people of Westlake for an additional four years,” Clough told West Life.
“I look forward to American Greetings moving in and in resolving the water issue,” the mayor said, referring to a planned switch of water suppliers from the city of Cleveland’s Division of Water to Avon Lake Municipal Utilities. Clough said he wants to continue offering residents quality services and maintain the city’s strong financial position.
Also on May 7, Westlake voters will decide on a 5.9-mill operating levy for the Westlake City Schools. And Westlake Porter Public Library is asking voters to renew a 2.8-mill levy.
The deadline to register to vote in the May 7 primary is April 8. Absentee voting by mail begins April 2.