by Phil Keren
Silver Lake -- A former Silver Lake Council member is planning to challenge current mayor Bernie Hovey for the village's chief executive post this fall.
Patricia Grant, who served as an at-large Village Council member for a seven-year period ending in 2003, said she is collecting signatures to run for mayor.
"I've always been interested," said Grant. "It's something that I would really like to do. It would be a challenge."
The deadline to file petitions for the Silver Lake Village Mayor and Council races is Aug. 8 at 4 p.m. According to the Summit County Board of Elections, Grant and Hovey were the only people who pulled petitions to run for Silver Lake Mayor. Neither had filed with the Board of Elections as of July 26.
Prospective candidates for mayor must obtain 25 to 75 signatures of registered voters in the village to file to appear on the Nov. 6 ballot.
Hovey became mayor in March 2006 after then-mayor Warner Mendenhall resigned for health reasons. At that time, Hovey was the Village Council president, and the village charter states the president shall serve as mayor if the current chief executive is unable to finish the four-year term.
Grant said she has not decided which issues will be the focus of her campaign, but noted she favors trying "to move us ahead but keeping our uniqueness."
She also discussed some of the qualities she would bring to the office if elected.
"I think I'm good with people," she said. "I think I'm good at understanding a big picture."
Anyone who serves as mayor will be surrounded by capable employees and legislators, she added.
"There is a lot of talent up at Village Hall and on Council," said Grant. "That would make any mayor's job easier."
Grant said she considered running for election in 2003, but circumstances -- such as her children getting married and moving away -- put that idea on hold. In 2003, Mendenhall ran unopposed for re-election.
"I didn't know [in 2003] if I could give enough time to it," said Grant. "Now I have a lot more time."
Though she noted she thinks Hovey has "been doing a great job," Grant added, "It's nice to have a choice when you're voting."
Grant was a teacher at Lincoln Elementary School and at Preston Elementary School for during the 1990s, and also served as a substitute teacher. She is the president of the Silver Lake Garden Club.
The mayor's current annual salary is $22,500. The election will take place Nov. 6.