Hudson City Council President will not seek re-election in 2021

Legislative leader has one year remaining on third term in office

Phil Keren
Kent Weeklies
Bill Wooldredge

HUDSON — The leader of City Council said he will not seek re-election next year.

Council President Bill Wooldredge (At Large) told his fellow legislators at a Sept. 16 meeting to review the connectivity plan that he would not continue serving on council after his term ends in December 2021.

Wooldredge told the Hub-Times that he is 82 years old and has one year remaining on his third four-year term on council.

"It is time for some new and younger members of the community [to serve]," said Wooldredge.

Wooldredge was first elected to the at-large seat in 2009, and was re-elected in 2013 and 2017. He was the top vote-getter in each of those council elections. Wooldredge said he's served as council president for three years.

Wooldredge has recorded achievements and dealt with challenges during the past year.

In July, Hudson Mayor Craig Shubert asked the Auditor of State’s Office to investigate whether Wooldredge violated state law when using his council email account. In late August, the Auditor of State's Office told Wooldredge that if he is using his council email account to promote political campaigns, he should "cease and desist" from those activities "immediately." The auditor of state also said they would have their regional staff review the issue during the next regular financial audit of the city of Hudson. The auditor notified the Summit County Prosecutor's Office about the issue, but the prosecutor has not taken any action on the matter.

Wooldredge declined to comment on whether the auditor's investigation played a role in his decision to not seek re-election in 2021.

In December 2019, Wooldredge was re-elected as council president by a 4-3 vote. The nominee receiving three votes was council member Chris Foster (Ward 2).

In November 2019, Wooldredge was honored as the Good Day in Hudson Citizen of the Year for his service with organizations such as the Hudson Community Foundation, the Hudson Economic Development Corporation, and Akron Children's Hospital. The award is given annually by Frank Youngwerth, the host of the "Good Day in Hudson" program on Hudson Community Television.

There are two other at-large positions which also have terms expiring in December 2021. One post is held by Hal DeSaussure, who did not respond by press time to a message asking if he intended to run for re-election next year. The third spot is vacant after council members were unable to reach a consensus on an appointee to replace Dr. J. Daniel Williams, who resigned in March. Nicole Kowalski, Sherif Mansour and Sarah Norman are running in a special election Nov. 3 to fill Williams' unexpired term. The winner of that election would serve on council for one year and would then need to run for the full four-year term in November 2021.

Reporter Phil Keren can be reached at pkeren@recordpub.com, or on Twitter at @keren_phil.