By Jeff Gallatin
A four-person field for the mayor’s office is the only city race that will require a primary in this year’s municipal government elections.
Incumbent Debbie Sutherland, the longest-serving mayor in Bay Village history at 13 1/2 years, heads the field as she seeks another term. Unlike the last election, when she faced a single opponent – former Councilman at large Jim Scott – she has three opponents this time. They include Marty Mace, a former city firefighter who was one of the leaders of a citizens and safety forces group that challenged how the city was determining fire department staffing levels. The other challengers are David Volle, a former police officer and building inspector for the city of Bay Village, and Claire Banasiak, a school teacher.
In the other two citywide races, both council at large positions are on the November ballot this year. Dwight Clark, a longtime area banking official who has been active in many community organizations, is unopposed in seeking another four-year term.
Steve Lee, an attorney who also has been active in many community groups, is also unopposed in his bid to finish the last two years of the position to which he was appointed when incumbent Scott Pohlkamp resigned late last year to concentrate on the startup of his new business. Normally, the two at-large positions are on different four-year election cycles; however, because of the timing of Pohlkamp’s leaving, the position was placed on the ballot in this year’s election.
In the four ward races, three of the four ward seats have contested races in the November election. In the only race with one candidate, longtime Ward 1 Councilman Dave Tadych is unopposed in seeking re-election to the post.
Among the other three council races on the ballot this year, Clete Miller, who is completing his first term on City Council as the Ward 2 councilman, is seeking re-election this year. Prior to serving on City Council, Miller was a member of the Bay Village Municipal Planning Commission. He is opposed by Paul Vincent, a general-practice attorney. He most recently served on the Bay Village Schools Citizens Advisory Council.
In Ward 3, incumbent Karen Lieske is completing her first term on City Council. She also has served several years on the Bay Village City school board and made one unsuccessful bid for the mayor’s office in 2005. She is opposed by Walt Halun, a longtime business manager in several fields. He also unsuccessfully sought the Cuyahoga County Council District 1 seat that was ultimately won by Dave Greenspan.
Longtime incumbent Mike Young is seeking re-election to the Ward 4 City Council seat. He currently is vice president of City Council and chairman of the Finance Commitee. He is opposed by Thomas Henderson, who is making his first bid for elected office. Henderson has a heavy finance background and currently is a senior project manager in international financial operations at the Cleveland Clinic. He is a director and past treasurer of the nonprofit, Promise Partners.
Council President Paul Koomar is two years into his current term, and the post is not up for the re-election for two more years.