by Andrea Cole

Associate Editor

Stow -- The city's finance director and members of City Council plan to announce Tuesday their bids to continue in their positions.

Mayor Karen Fritschel said she will host a press conference for the candidates Jan. 23 at noon in Stow City Hall. The general election will take place Nov. 6. According to Clerk of Council Bonnie Emahiser, a primary election would take place Sept. 11 if there are more than two people running for a seat.

Finance Director John Baranek, who is serving in his 12th year, said he is running for a fourth term. There is no term limit for the position.

"I enjoy working for the citizens of Stow," he said. "Part of my job is to make sure the city is spending its money properly. I want to continue to do that."

Council President Ron Gauthier is running for the Ward 1 position. Ward 1 includes the area south of Graham Road.

Gauthier, who is in his sixth year as a Councilmember, said the achievement he is most proud of is "bringing the [Cuyahoga Falls Municipal] Court to Stow."

Council Vice President Jim Costello plans to run for the Ward 2 post. Ward 2 includes the portion of Stow from Norton Road to Fishcreek Road. Costello currently is in his second term on Council.

"I think we work very well together as a team," he said. "The city's stormwater improvements, planning the northwest quadrant and bringing the court to Stow -- these are all cooperative efforts."

Councilmember Mary Bednar will attempt to retain her Ward 4 position. Ward 4 is the west side of the city from Route 91 to the Cuyahoga Falls border.

Bednar, who is in her first term on Council, said "I'm running again because I really love what I do. I love doing something good for residents."

Councilmembers Ron Alexander, Janet D'Antonio and Sara L. Drew are running for at-large seats. At-large members represent the entire city.

Alexander, in his 12th year on Council, said, "I am pleased Council has elected me president two years running, and also president pro-tempore. I also have served as the Planning Committee chairperson for a number of years."

D'Antonio, who is in her 12th year on Council, said she believes Council works well together.

"One of the big reasons why I'm running is because of the good relationship Council has," she said. "We're able to make good decisions together. I am really excited about all of the economic development we have done."

Drew, serving her first term on Council, said she wants to continue in the position because "there are a lot of projects that we are working on that I want to finish. I also enjoy working with the people in the city."

Councilmember John Wysmierski, who represents Ward 3, did not return calls by press time.

Council terms are two years. Each term will begin Jan. 2, 2008, and run through Jan 1, 2010.

According to Fritschel, her term and Law Director Joe Haefner's terms are ending in November, and because of the two-term limit for both jobs, they cannot run again.

And although Deputy Law Director Brian Reali is not expected to attend the press conference, he announced his candidacy for the position of law director in a Jan. 18 press release.

Reali has served as the deputy law director for the city of Stow for the past seven years.

According to the Summit County Board of Elections Web site, the filing deadline for all candidates is June 13, 2007.


Phone: 330-686-3947