There were no shake-ups leadership-wise in the city last week as Stow voters opted to re-elect all City Council incumbents.
But for some of the incumbents re-elected, it may be a bittersweet victory. They know they only have two more years to serve, as term limits will keep them from returning to their seats in the 2019 election.
All but Ward 4 Councilman Bob Adaska will be ineligible for re-election after this term is completed.
"All seven incumbents won, and it wasn’t by coincidence," City Council President Mike Rasor said. "This City Council has obtained positive results for the community over the past six years, particularly when it comes to the city’s finances. Voters in this low-turnout election, who are usually the best-informed voters, rewarded our bipartisan approach to problem-solving and the successes that have flowed from it."
Addressing stormwater problems and creating a downtown for the city are among the priorities of the three incumbents who were returned to the three open at-large seats on Stow City Council in the Nov. 7 General Election.
According to final but unofficial results from the Summit County Board of Elections, John Pribonic was the top vote getter with 4,439 ballots cast in his favor, followed by Rasor with 4,314, Brian D’Antonio with 3,648, and Tom McKinney with 2,601. The votes are scheduled to be certified Nov. 28.
The Council seats have two-year terms that begin on Jan. 2, 2018. Pribonic has served on Council since 2008, Rasor since 2010 and D’Antonio since 2012.
Pribonic pledged his priorities in his next term will include "continuing to address the everyday needs of our residents, diligently continuing our work on solving our stormwater issues in the entire city of Stow and the forward progress of creating a Downtown Stow that all our residents can utilize and enjoy."
"I want to continue repealing stupid laws, start negotiations with a developer of Downtown Stow and devote more money to road repairs," Rasor said.
D’Antonio’s priorities, he said, are to "continue to improve and build on our stormwater infrastructure plan and continue down the path of building a solid plan for a downtown gathering and recreational space that may include retail, restaurant and residential space and will not be funded with tax dollars."
Ward 2 race
Constituents returned Ward 2 Stow City Councilman James Costello to another two years in office. Costello received 1,004 votes, while his challenger, Doug Herchick, garnered 616. Costello has represented Ward 2 since 2004.
"Through this cooperative effort on council and with the administration," Costello said, "we will continue to maintain, repair or replace our aging stormwater infrastructures and roads; strengthen our economic development efforts to generate additional city revenue; and hopefully see the completion of the repurposing of the Sto-Kent shopping Plaza and the new Plaza on Route 59 as well as a city ‘gathering place.’"
Ward 3 race
Brian Lowdermilk will continue to represent the residents of Ward 3 on Stow City Council.
Lowdermilk defeated challenger Christina Shaw, garnering 833 votes to Shaw’s 589. Lowdermilk has served three terms as the Ward 3 Council representative.
"We ran a campaign focused on the issues that affect our residents most such as our police, fire, infrastructure and the court deficit," Lowdermilk said. "Every resident has questions and concerns about our roads, water system and stormwater. They know I will continue to focus on the things that affect them on a daily basis and impact their families’ safety, security, taxes and quality of life.
"Another one of my priorities," Lowdermilk stated, "will continue to be making sure that our residents have factual information about any potential outsourcing of safety services."
Ward 4 race
Voters returned incumbent Bob Adaska for a third term as the Ward 4 representative. Adaska received 914 votes, while his challenger, Mario A. Fiocca, garnered 759. Adaska served previously on Stow City Council from 1992-95.
Going forward, Adaska said he is committed to "staying focused on issues that affect our neighborhoods." According to Adaska, "The city once again applied for grant money to upgrade key roads throughout Ward 4. If the grant money is approved, I would like to apply a portion to Hudson Drive from Springdale Road, south to the Route 8 Overpass. I want to continue upgrading neighborhood roads and stormwater systems across Ward 4."
Twitter: @ EllinWalsh_RPC