Eighteen Stow residents have submitted their letters of interest and resumes, asking to be considered for the vacant at-large City Council seat, left open when John Pribonic was elected mayor last month.
According to Council President Matt Riehl, the Councilmembers will each submit one name from the list to be interviewed for the seat. The interviews will then take place in executive session during a Committee of the Whole meeting beginning at 5 p.m. Friday. A City Council meeting will follow at 7, when it is expected the new Councilmember will be named.
The individual selected will finish out the term, which expires Jan 1, 2020.
When asked why the interviews were in executive session, Council President Matt Riehl noted the Ohio Revised Code allows executive sessions for "the appointment of a public official."
"This is nearly the exact same process that we used to fill the vacancy in Ward 2 a few months ago. The only difference is the way we are going to narrow down the candidates for interview," Riehl explained. "When Ward 2 was vacant, we interviewed everyone who applied. That is not going to be feasible when we're filling a vacancy that covers the whole city of nearly 35,000 residents. Having each member of council select someone to interview solves this."
Riehl added, "It's also not fair for applicants who interview last to hear the questions, other applicants' answers, gauge council's reactions, and then craft their own answers based on that when it's their turn ... I've worked to develop a process that is fair, taking into account the way previous councils have addressed vacancies."
The deadline for submitting a letter of interest and resume was noon on Dec. 20.
The 18 individuals seeking the at-large seat are:
• Nancy Brown — She is the owner of a business in Stow, Double Dog Day Care.
• Bruce Campbell — He is the director of the department of public safety for the city of North Royalton.
• James Costello — Retired and serving as the Ward 2 Council representative, he recently served as the city’s interim mayor.
• Cyle Feldman — He is the athletic administrator for the Stow-Munroe Falls City School District.
• Mario Fiocca — He is the transportation analyst for the J.M. Smucker Co.
• Sarah Haren — She is a foster parent for Summit County and a founding member of SMF Neighborhood Improvement & Community Enrichment (N.I.C.E.).
• Sindi Harrison — She is associate legal counsel for SD Myers.
• Douglas Herchick — A sales manager for Pepperidge Farm, he recently served as the interim Ward 2 Council representative.
• Claudia Keating — She serves on the Indian Trail Elementary School PTA Board and volunteers as the transport coordinator for Diabetic Cats in Need.
• Tiffany Leach — She is the senior tax accountant for The Davey Tree Expert Co.
• Jeremy McIntire — Retired from the Ohio Army National Guard, he is a resident engineer with CTL Engineering Inc.
• Tom McKinney — He was the P.G.A. Head Professional and General Manager at Fox Den Golf Course from 1978 to 2013 and co-head golf coach at Our Lady of the Elms since 2016.
• Chuck Obendorf — He is the national accounts manager for MTD Products Inc.
• Traci Person — She is a regional field manager for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio.
• Christina Shaw — She is the elected Democratic Party 27th State Central Committee representative for precincts in Summit, Stark and Wayne counties.
• Kari Suhadolnik — She serves on the Indian Trail Elementary School PTA Board and is a founding member of SMF Neighborhood Improvement & Community Enrichment (N.I.C.E.).
• Kelly Toppin — He is a vendor relationship risk specialist with PNC Bank and is an elected member of the Stow-Munroe Falls Board of Education.
• Pamela Wind — She is a staff psychologist at Kent State University and co-chair of AA Psychology Advisory Committee at Stark State College.