8 contending for 4 Euclid Council seats, 2 for president
With current Euclid City Council President John Monroe vacating his seat, two candidates vying to fill it will appear on the Nov. 7 nonpartisan ballot — challenger Alisa Boles and current council member Charlene Mancuso.
The winning candidate will serve a four-year term and earn $13,000 in 2018. There are currently 34,208 registered voters in Euclid, according to the Cuyahoga County Elections Board.
President of Council Boles
Boles, if elected, said she would tap into all available resources to further marketing, economic and community development, and citizen engagement.
“I think Euclid needlessly suffers from an inferiority complex. We need to make sure our residents know about everything we have to offer and we should all do our part in promoting our city to others. I can’t think of another suburb where you have Lake Erie, a Lake Metroparks (property), an ice arena, an abundance of neighborhood pools, a rock climbing gym, indoor beach volleyball, a golf course and even a disc golf course — especially not one that also has an awardwinning library and convenient access to downtown Cleveland, University Circle and other regional cultural centers.
“As I talk to folks around Euclid, I am hearing concerns about underutilization of business districts, housing code enforcement, street and tree maintenance, tax equity, transportation equity, education and engagement of youth, property values and adequacy of safety forces,” she said. “I am invested in the success of this city. I embody the change Euclid needs to move forward. Economic development and community development go hand in hand. Many of our quality-of-life problems are symptoms of our economic situation. On the flip side, anything we do to make Euclid a better place to live and work can attract new residents and business owners to our area.
Mancuso believes her background as an administrator responsible for large budget health care programs has prepared her to understand the nuances of dealing with financial matters in a public arena.
“I think my experience, my passion and my commitment to moving Euclid forward makes me the best candidate for Euclid Council president,” she said. “We need to make sure our housing stock, whether rented or purchased, meets the safety standards needed, that houses are demolished in a timely manner when left by property owners, and that our businesses have a clear path and consistent process to address new or ongoing needs that will increase the likelihood of their success in Euclid.
“I want to work with my colleagues to assure safe neighborhoods where we can all enjoy our homes, our yards and our neighborhoods. I would like council to be a driving force in establishing and/or fostering neighborhood associations that can bring neighbors together. When we know each other, listen to each other and understand each other more, we can overcome most obstacles.”
In addition to the president of council seat, races in four of Euclid’s eight wards also will appear on the ballot: Ward 2; Ward 4; Ward 6; and Ward 8. A total of eight council candidates are running for four seats.
The candidates are Lee F. Bock, Patrick Delaney, Laura J. Gorshe, Brian T. Moore, Angela K. Steele, Richard Tolton and John M. Wojtila. Ward 2 incumbent Madeline Scarniench is retiring. Incumbent Kristian Jarosz of Ward 4 is running unopposed.
Those elected will earn $11,000 in 2018.
Ward 2 Moore
If elected, Moore said housing will be a central priority.
“It is my intent to assist with programs to help homeowners and renters maintain and improve the quality and appearance of the housing stock in Euclid,” he said. “Regarding neighborhood engagement, Euclid has an outstanding set of programs that help create an atmosphere of understanding and communication amongst its very diverse communities. I intend to fully support the growth and expansion of these programs.”
Moore also would focus on safety, and would seek to create an effective means of communication between residents and safety forces so that the city’s police and residents are more capable of understanding existing issues.
“I have been a servantleader my entire life and desire to do so in the position of Euclid City Council, Ward 2,” he said.
Tolton did not return a News-Herald questionnaire.
Ward 6 Bock
Bock, like many of the candidates, feels the city’s housing programs need to be stronger.
“The Waterline Replacement Program needs to be furthered in the ward,” he said. “And communication within the ward needs to be greatly improved. Elected officials should be seen in the neighborhoods.
“Having lived in the ward for 44 years, I have the experience and knowledge to see that Ward 6 is moving forward and receiving its share of improvements. I know where to go and who to see so that positive things happen. I want to serve the ward and will work hard for all my neighbors.”
“Economic development, safety and housing are three areas that need to be prioritized,” Delaney said. “Euclid needs to rebuild its tax base, not just defer to raising taxes. We need to focus on our potential and resources to attract new businesses. Crime, too, continues to be a concern. The safety forces must maintain and even increase levels of safety in the community, that can be (done through) more personnel and technology. It also shows the urgency on restoring the tax base to bring in more resources to deliver this to the community.
“The city must commit to increasing the value of our housing stock. We have the opportunity for more housing starts since the postwar era. We need to market the city’s strengths and attract residents and reduce the amount of vacant homes.”
Delaney describes his position as incumbent an honor, and, if re-elected, plans to also challenge the administration with checks and balances.
“Euclid City Council needs experienced leadership, and I bring that,” he said. “I respectfully ask the voters to keep proven leadership and experience on Euclid City Council and vote Patrick Delaney.”
If elected, Wojtila, who served Ward 6 from 2008 to 2011, would make safety and security the ward’s highest priority.
“This will help promote stability and foster growth,” he said. “I will continue what I previously started while on council with the update of our zoning code, which needs to be current and relevant, fostering positive redevelopment. I would work to try and create neighborhood associations where they don’t currently exist.
“Utilizing this experience along with my 32 years as a civil engineer working in real estate development, my voice on council will be fortified by knowledge, integrity and vision. I am active in the community and will work tirelessly to represent the residents of Ward 6. I am extremely proud of my previous accomplishments on council and hope to resume these efforts.”
Ward 8 Gorshe
Gorshe feels the greatest issue facing Euclid is revenue, and the necessary funds to maintain streets, repair infrastructure and hire more police and fire, as well as purchasing new service department equipment. If re-elected, she plans to address these concerns and more.
“Residents have come to know me well over the past few years as their council representative,” she said. “I provide service and offer resolve. I have and will continue to meet with residents at their homes, at the sight of an issue or in coffee shops. We will continue to discuss next steps and work together. I have and will continue to be the residents’ advocate, being mindful of their pocketbooks.
“Euclid is in a time of change, a change where experience matters. I am an experienced leader with proven results. I will continue to work for sound investment strategies that impact our quality of life in the neighborhoods, our housing, safety, and obtain the right businesses so that our community will continue to prosper. The city has monumental debt, now in repayment, a declining tax base and a higher poverty rate than most neighboring cities. I will be working hard to find ways to increase revenue to the general fund without adding more of a financial burden to our already taxed residents.”
If elected, Steele would like to implement more resources and mentoring programs for the city’s youth between the ages of 14 and 18.
“I would like to establish a LifeSkills program and partner with the schools, our local businesses and some of our senior citizens,” she said. “This program will be set up to follow the child from ninth grade until they graduate high school. The program will be geared on teaching children basic skills which adults take for granted. This program will get them prepared to go on to college or the workforce.
“I would also help in partnering with the police department and the community. Having the police get a better understanding of the culture of the citizens, while the citizens get to know the police and have more positive interactions with them, will create confidence in the police department. This will help with bridging the gap with the people of Euclid and the police department.
“I believe it is time for a change and I am the one who can bring those changes and bright visions to reality,” she said.