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Independence City Council {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

Term: 2 yearsSalary: $10,000Newcomers Vern Blaze and Dale A. Veverka are facing off against incumbents Carl F. Asseff, David S. Grendel, Kathleen Kapusta, Tom Narduzzi, Jim Trakas, and Patricia Wisnieski for seven seats on council.Independence City Council consists of seven members, elected at large, for a term of two years beginning on the first day of January following their election. A Council member may serve no more than five consecutive terms of office.Incumbent Bob Wagner is not running.
CHOOSE TWO CANDIDATES FROM BELOW TO COMPARE
  • Carl F. Asseff

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    Vern Blaze Council At Large (Running for)

  • David S. Grendel

  • Kathleen Kapusta

  • Tom Narduzzi

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    Jim Trakas CEO American Online Learning Center

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    Dale A. Veverka Retired teacher

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    Patricia L. Wisnieski Incumbent, Council at Large with City of Independence

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Biographical Information

Why are you running (or running again) for mayor or a seat on City Council?

What do you hope to accomplish while you're mayor or on City Council--for your ward or for your whole city?

What do you think are the biggest challenges facing your community? And, if applicable, your ward?

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Age 55
Education BBA - Accounting. MBA - Finance. MPA - Local Gov't Management.
Current occupation Real Estate Appraiser
Qualifications for office Education Noted Above. 16 years as Council At Large. 6 Years on Planning Commission. 7 Years in Administration (Mayor's Office).
Campaign Phone (216) 642-4244
Email address vernblaze@live.com
I have a passion for Independence like no other, have lived here virtually my entire life, have ably and successfully served Independence in multiple capacities dating back to 1984, and desire and always strive to make Independence better tomorrow than it was today.

First – Consistent application of the Exterior Property Maintenance Code to maintain the housing stock and yards and prevent decline. Invest more into this program to enhance its effectiveness (Appealing Neighborhoods).

Second – Install video surveillance cameras in public spaces throughout the City to deter crime and keep the neighborhoods safe – an extra set of “eyes” throughout the City at all times, assisting the Police Department (Safe Neighborhoods).

Third – Develop City-owned and adjacent properties in Downtown as per the 2015 Area Plan Recommendations featuring mixed use development on a scale that is applicable for our community, consisting of office, retail, residential and green-space uses.
Maintaining the community’s status as a “premier” N.E. Ohio community in which to live, work, visit and raise a family, in a county that has seen population decline, and many communities within it are experiencing numerous challenges. The “challenge” for Independence is to not rest on its laurels, and recognize that it needs to continue to advance forward every single day if it is to maintain its status as a leading N.E. Ohio community.
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Age 52
Education 1987 B.A. The Ohio State University 1983 Diploma, Independence High School
Current occupation Operates www.AmericanOLC.com offering behavioral correction intervention programs and industrial training.
Qualifications for office Independence City Council 3 Terms Ohio House of Representatives 4 Terms 1LT, Company Commander HHC/1BN/4CSSB Ohio Military Reserve
Campaign Phone (216) 524-2114
Email address jimtrakas@yahoo.com
Facebook http://jimtrakas
To help provide a better quality of life for the residents of Independence by using the experience accumulated in 14 years of public service, innovative ideas that may provide for more effective government, and to be an advocate and voice for the people of the community.
Provide stronger value added services at the lowest possible cost for our residents. Provide leadership that will lessen the possibilities of large scale flooding during and after new development. Keep Independence a safe community with police and fire protection and swift response to crime and medical emergencies for EMS services. Continue a development plan that does not adversely affect the character of our community while providing services and an environment that protects and enhances the values of residential and commercial property. Lastly, to increase the green space and natural environment options that residents have to enjoy our community and be able to shop, dine, and provide entertainment options close to home while increasing the day to day living advantages of our community.
1. Working to preserve our environment and lessen damage from storms while better containing water flow. 2. Develop a downtown center that residents can be proud of and utilize for enjoyment, while not increasing the traffic flow by building a stunning Heritage Park and related retail industry to serve our residents and business workers. Make downtown vibrant on both sides of Brecksville Road, and revitalize an area that has long not been an optimal use of an important public area. 3. Continue to provide strong infrastructure upgrades like road and sewer improvements to enhance the quality of life of Independence residents. 4. Attract appropriate development and retail that compliments the needs of our community and enhances existing business and retail opportunities, while providing a stable tax base that limits taxation for both the city and school district. 5. Better address the opioid drug crisis that has taken lives through enhanced programming and innovative new approaches that can help all residents battle substance abuse and addiction. 6. Manage city finances so that while we are in good times, we are prudent if rough times come.

Age 65
Education BS, M in Education- Kent State University
Current occupation Retired
Qualifications for office I have spent the last 6 years reviewing legislation, attending virtually all Independence City Council meetings, caucuses and committee meetings, and studying city issues.
Campaign Phone (216) 524-5977
Email address squirrel70amx@sbcglobal.net
Independence city council has formed a cohesive group that works to include a wide variety of ideas, research, and opinions individual members provide. My goal is to provide an additional voice of the people to the positive climate.
As a member of city council-at-large, I hope to focus on what's best for the whole community. At the same time, it is critical to represent the values and the rights of residents as solutions develop. Key issue include development of the North East quadrant, greenspace in the center of town, and continuing the efforts to improve infrastructure.
Being responsive to the citizens of Independence and their concerns. Council meetings should always demonstrate civility and open dialogue in the legislative process. It is critical for council to maintain open and meaningful dialogue with the Citizens of Independence.
Education Bachelors of Science Business Management, CRC® (Certified Retirement Counselor), Various investment licenses
Qualifications for office Having served on Independence City Council for 18 years, 4 years elected as Vice Mayor. In addition, service on the Planning commission, ZBA, all 7 council standing committees as well as council liaison to the Shared use facility. Bachelors of Science business management degree, various investment licenses and vast experience in financial planning.
Campaign Phone (216) 524-8104
Email address pwisnieski@wowway.com
I love the City of Independence and would like to continue to make a difference while giving back to my community!
My pledge will be to continue working hard to keep Independence financially solid, maintain low taxes, keep property values strong, keep Rockside Road businesses strong, continue to find ways to address our Senior Citizens quality of life, Strengthen/Enhance the Arts in Independence and address aging infrastructure in older neighborhoods.
1) Continued stress on our city budget due to diminishing resources 2) Smart growth: keeping the city vibrant and growing, but maintaining planned controlled growth 3) The financial strains of addressing the aging infrastructure in our neighborhoods (Sewers, Streets & Sidewalks)

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