STOW — Election Day on Tuesday will bring many new faces to the city’s executive and legislative branches.

The position of finance director and five of the seven City Council posts are all term limited out this year. The only council seats not facing term limits are Ward 2 and Ward 4.

In Ward 4, incumbent Councilman Bob Adaska is not seeking re-election. The only incumbent council member running for re-election is Sindi Harrison in Ward 2; she is being challenged by three candidates: James Andrassy, Tom McKinney and Chuck Obendorf.

This means that at least six and possibly all seven council positions will be occupied by newcomers in 2020.

There are six candidates vying for three at-large council seats: Cyle Feldman, Jeremy McIntire,Traci Person, Brad Ruth, Christina Shaw and Kelly Toppin.

Steve Hailer is running unopposed for the Ward 3 spot, while Mario Fiocca and Denise Tonelli are vying for the Ward 4 post.

All council posts carry two-year terms.

In the executive branch, Jim Costello and Elgie M. Underwood are running for finance director, and Susan K. Steinhauer, Jaime Marie Syx and Dan J. Weisenburger are competing for the law director’s position.

Current Finance Director John Baranek cannot run due to term limits. Law Director Brendan Mackin — who was appointed to replace Amber Zibritosky after she was selected to be the clerk of courts for Stow Municipal Court — said he would like to seek election to the law director’s job but noted he is not eligible because he does not live in the city.

Both the finance director and law director offices carry four-year terms.

One post that will not change in Stow is mayor. Mayor John Pribonic is running unopposed for a full four-year term. Pribonic was elected last November to fill out the unexpired term of former Mayor Sara Kline, after she resigned to take a position in Cuyahoga Falls.

City of Munroe Falls

While the Stow mayor’s race is unopposed, voters in neighboring Munroe Falls have a contested race for mayor between incumbent Mayor James Armstrong seeking his second term and City Councilman Mike Barnes.

The mayor’s office carries a four-year term.

In Munroe Falls’ City Council At-Large race, incumbent John Hegnauer, along with challengers John Impellizzeri and Frank Larson are competing for two available four-year seats. In Munroe Falls’ Ward 2 council race, incumbent Chris Ritzinger is facing a challenge from James D. Smith.

Stow-Munroe Falls Board of Education

There are five candidates running for three, four-year seats on the Stow-Munroe Falls Board of Education: Nancy Brown, Antoinette East-Jenkins, Lisa Johnson-Bowers, Eddie W. Norman and Jessica A. Wright. Johnson-Bowers is the only incumbent running for re-election.

Stow Municipal Court

Stow and Munroe Falls voters will also get to help decide the race for Stow Municipal Court Clerk and Stow Municipal Court Judge. In the clerk’s race, Amber Zibritosky is seeking to keep the post that she was appointed to earlier this year. She is running against Bradford Chapman, Jeff Iula and Steve Stahl.

In the judge’s race, incumbent Kim R. Hoover is vying for re-election against John E. Chapman and Tania Nemer.

Both the clerk and judge seats carry six-year terms.

There are three candidates running for two posts on the Summit County Educational Service Center Board: Christina Barry, H. Sean Fremon and Tina Young.


There are three three requested charter amendments on the ballot. Issue 40, if passed, would impose term limits on planning commission members. If this amendment is passed by voters, a member would not be allowed to serve more than two consecutive four-year terms on the commission.

Issue 41, if passed, would amend the charter to state that municipal leaders must obtain voters’ approval before the city enters an agreement to "transfer control" of its dispatch center from the city to "regional or multi-agency control."

Issue 42, if passed, would require voters to approve all pay raises for elected officials. It would also include a provision preventing council from passing a pay cut for elected officials in the 75-day period following each municipal election in November.

There are also two liquor options on the ballot: Issue 43 is for Stow Precinct 3-C and would determine whether Northeast Siam LLC DBA Bangkok Thai Restaurant, 3767 Darrow Road, should be given a liquor permit to sell wine and mixed beverages. Issue 44 is also for Stow Precinct 3-C and would determine if Northeast Siam LLC DBA Bangkok Thai Restaurant should get a liquor permit to sell wine and mixed beverages on Sunday between 10 a.m. and midnight.

Stow and Munroe Falls voters will get to help decide the fate of four county measures.

Issue 14 is a renewal of a 2.95-mill, six-year issue for the County of Summit Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board.

Issue 15 is a request to amend the county’s charter to place the Department of Human Resources under the direction of the county executive and create the position of equal employment opportunity administrator under the direction of the Human Resource Commission.

Issue 16 is a request to amend the county’s charter to allow county council to set its own rules, including its order of business and the identity, term and procedure for electing its officers.

Issue 17 is a request to amend the county’s charter to provide for a uniform process for filling vacancies in county elected offices, other than the Court of Common Pleas, both before and after 120 days before a general election.

Polls are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Nov. 5. For more information, call the Summit County Board of Elections at 330-643-5200 or visit

Reporter Phil Keren can be reached at 330-541-9421,, or on Twitter at @keren_phil.