By Jeff Gallatin
Mayor Kevin Kennedy is taking a more active role in the only contested city council race on this November’s ballot by endorsing incumbent Ward 3 Councilman Paul Schumann.
Kennedy has sent a letter to the editor to area newspapers (seen in West Life’s letters to the editor section on pages 6 and 7 in this edition) formally endorsing Schumann over his opponent, Jeff Peepers. Schumann was appointed to the seat earlier this year to replace Nicole Dailey Jones, who resigned to become director of communications for new Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald. Peepers was also one of the candidates who applied for the position then as well.
Kennedy said it was an easy move.
“Paul’s a great guy, he’s done a fine job since joining city council several months ago,” Kennedy said. “He’s a sharp person who’s picked up on council and city business very quickly. He’s been endorsed by most of the officials at City Hall already.”
Kennedy noted he already had his name on Schumann’s campaign literature endorsing him for council.
“This is just another step in the process,” Kennedy said.
Schumann, current head of the Olmsted Historic Society and a real estate agent, said he appreciates the support.
“That’s really great of the mayor,” Schumann said. “I think it counts for something with other people when they see something like that.”
Schumann said even though he’s gotten the mayor’s endorsement he’s still going to exercise his own best judgment on city matters.
“I appreciate it, and I think the mayor is doing a good job working on city issues like dealing with the sewer problems and working on getting business into the city,” Schumann said. “But, I’m still going to be my own man and I would expect that there will be some issues where we don’t agree at times. But, I would expect that we would both handle it professionally and work for the best interests of the city.”
Peepers, who has been one of the leaders in North Olmsted Community Council activities for many years as well recreational activities and working in business for years, said he understands the move by Kennedy.
“The mayor certainly can do something like that if he chooses to,” Peepers said. “I understand it. Right now I think it’s a win-win for the city and the citizens of Ward 3. If Paul wins the race, then they have a good city councilman. If I win the race, they’ll have a good city councilman. This is all just a part of running for office.”