By Kevin Kelley
Saying there is more work to be done in improving county government, Westlake Republican Dave Greenspan last week announced his intention to seek a second term representing the Westshore on Cuyahoga County Council.
Greenspan, a charter member of the council, formally made the announcement Dec. 5 before a gathering of supporters and fellow Westshore Republicans at Panini’s Bar and Grill in Westlake. His petitions have already been validated by the county board of elections, he said.
“I’m running ’cause we still have work to do. We’re not done,” Greenspan told supporters. “There are a lot of challenges that are facing our community.”
A native of Georgia, Greenspan said he knew very few local political leaders when he launched his campaign four years ago, but has since assembled a team that’s knowledgeable about the communities in District 1 – Bay Village, Fairview Park, North Olmsted, Rocky River and Westlake.
Greenspan said he based his 2010 candidacy on the principles of lower taxes, a smaller and more transparent government, and less regulation.
“I stood on those principles when I ran for office,” Greenspan said. “I stand on those principles today. They’ve been my guiding force as I’ve brought forward legislation and brought forward issues to the county.”
Greenspan said he is especially proud of his series of public town hall meetings to which he has invited county employees to discuss how county government is changing. He said he’s led 21 town hall meetings in the 35 months he has served as District 1 representative.
The 11 members of County Council work well together, Greenspan said, despite political differences. (Democrats outnumbers Republicans on County Council by an 8-to-3 margin.) Among their most important work was ensuring the county government was devoid of corruption.
“We now have in the county the toughest and most comprehensive ethics ordinance in the state of Ohio,” said Greenspan, who headed the committee that originated that law. Greenspan also touted his success in establishing a countywide inspector general position.
A county government corruption scandal that has resulted in numerous criminal indictments and convictions served as the impetus in 2009 for voters to approve a new county charter that established the council on which Greenspan now serves.
Greenspan spoke optimistically about the county’s future.
“As I tell people, whomever will listen, that we live in, in my opinion, the next boom region in the country if we manage it properly,” he said. “It’s ours to provide the strategic vision to make this move forward. This new county government – the structure is the right structure to make that happen.”
Some had speculated that Greenspan might run for the position of county executive, now held by Ed FitzGerald. However, Greenspan told West Life his re-election announcement precludes such a run. Fellow Republican Jack Schron, who now represents District 6 on the council, has Greenspan’s support in the race for county executive.
County Democratic Party leaders have said they intend to target Greenspan in next year’s race, although no candidate has emerged as yet, and none is obvious.
Cuyahoga County Republican Party Chairman Rob Frost said Democrats did Greenspan a favor by saying they are targeting him.
“They highlighted for Dave the job he’s doing as a watchdog of our county treasury,” Frost said.
In November 2010, Greenspan topped Democrat Nicole Dailey Jones, now president of North Olmsted City Council, by a 54.5 to 41.1 margin. Libertarian candidate Ryan McGilvray received 4.5 percent of the vote.