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VOTE411 Voter Guide

Lakewood City Council, at large {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

Term: 4 yearsSalary: $10,000Meghan F. George, Tristan Rader, and Brian M. Taubman are challenging incumbents Tom Bullock, Cindy Marx, and Ryan P. Nowlin for the three available at-large seats.Lakewood operates under a city charter that provides for a Mayor/Council form of government and designates City Council as the legislative branch of government. The council consists of seven council members (three at-large and one for each of the city’s four wards).
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    Tom Bullock City Councilperson at Large

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    Meghan F. George Account Executive

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    Cindy Marx Lakewood City Council at Large and Practice Manager Raj Plastic Surgery

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    Ryan P. Nowlin Attorney; Lakewood City Councilmember

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    Tristan Rader Community Organizer

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    Brian M. Taubman Attorney

Change Candidates

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?

Education B.A., Political Science, American University M.A., Classics, University of London
Current occupation Public affairs consultant
Qualifications for office I have served nearly ten years on City Council, and I have a proven record of accomplishment. Additionally, I have more than twenty years’ experience in government, including work in Congress as a legislative aide.
Campaign Phone (216) 395-7593
Email address
It’s been my honor to serve nearly 10 years on City Council. In that time, our community has experienced many positive changes. Lakewood is not just on the right track—we’re flourishing!: -- City government is well-managed. -- Our schools are strong. -- We’re transforming our parks. -- Property values are increasing, and our housing market is among the most desired in the region. -- We’re attracting young families and retaining retirees. -- City leaders have met big challenges head-on, have strengthened City finances, and protected taxpayers, going 36 years without an income tax increase. -- Dozens of new businesses have opened, and $135 million has been invested in Lakewood’s economy from 2014 to 2017 (plus an additional $69 million for schools). -- Thousands of families are improving their homes, investing an average of $10 million annually from 2014 through 2017
I’m running for reelection to continue these positives changes and to make Lakewood the best we can be. I love our city and I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished. As an experienced Councilperson, I have a proven record of accomplishment and service: -- Stronger Neighborhoods: Helped create the Solstice Steps, revitalized parks like Kids Cove, supported home remodeling, enhanced housing inspections, increased sidewalk repair, and ensured tougher nuisance ordinances. -- Open and Transparent Government: Improved City’s fiscal strength; seeks out ideas from residents; respectful and timely customer service. -- Sustainability and Livability: Increased tree plantings, recycling, farmers markets, bicycle infrastructure, and championed sustainable practices at city hall.
Biggest challenge: maintain and reinvest in Lakewood’s century-old homes, our community’s core. The good news: Lakewood's resurgence in recent years has caused the median price of Lakewood single-family homes to skyrocket 53 percent since 2012, outpacing the region. We must continue to strengthen values but also address deferred maintenance (which persists) through consistent code enforcement and by expanding assistance to homeowners who face challenges in maintaining and improving their homes.
Age 36
Education B.A. Ohio State University Post-Bacceloreate and Education License - Cleveland State University
Current occupation Account Executive
Qualifications for office I have been involved with the City of Lakewood in numerous capacities throughout my lifelong residency. Additionally, my campaign has been endorsed by organizations representing the Lakewood Police, Firefighters and City Employees.
Campaign Phone (216) 544-6745
Email address
I am running for City Council at Large because I believe that my unique background and experience can bring a new positive, transparent energy to the City of Lakewood. We need elected officials who understand Lakewood values and who will listen to Lakewood residents’ concerns. As a lifelong and third generation resident and home owner, I feel I can bring fresh, new perspectives to City Council.
If elected, I will confront the many important issues that we face such as infrastructure, public safety, our housing stock and the budgeting process. As an older inner ring suburb we have unique needs and we need leaders who are creative in addressing them. We need to enforce our fair but firm building codes to be sure that the recent increase in housing values continues for generations to come. Most of the homes in our City are more than a hundred years old. We have different challenges than newer suburbs with newer homes so we must enforce the building codes already in place. Additionally, we also need to continue to attract new residents to Lakewood. With the 2020 census looming, we need to be sure that we stay above 50,000 residents as that is the threshold for the level of funding we receive from the Federal Government. We have had great progress over the years and will continue to pursue new opportunities as well as opportunities that enhance our beautiful historical homes. We cannot forget that we are the “City of Homes” and that we must restore these unique beautiful structures whenever possible. I am committed to Lakewood past, present and future and will work hard to gain your support. Our community deserves top notch representatives and I want to carry on that Lakewood tradition of excellence.
I don't believe there is one issue that supersedes the many issues we face as an older ring suburb. I believe that we need to continue to focus on the issues mentioned above such as public safety, infrastructure and our housing stock. These should be addressed with equal focus and creativity so that we continue to be a thriving community.
Age 66
Education Cuyahoga Community College
Current occupation Lakewood City Council at Large and Practice Manager of Raj Plastic Surgery
Qualifications for office Incumbent - running for re-election, Lakewood City Council - currently serving first term running for re-election, Chair of Lakewood Health and Human Service Committee, Member of Lakewood Housing Committee, Member of Lakewood Rules and Ordinance Committee, Council Adviser to Lakewood Community Relations Advisory Commission, Council Adviser to Lakewood Animal Safety and Welfare Advisory Board, Lakewood Loan Approval Board (two terms), Lakewood Citizens Advisory Committee (two terms), Grow Lakewood Committee Member, Lakewood Vision Project Participant
Campaign Phone (216) 534-1772
Email address
I hope to continue my focus on building an environment within the community that promotes a strong sense of civic pride by her residents, homeowners and property owners that contribute to her reputation as a safe and great place to live and raise a family while embracing her unique diversity of artists, entrepreneurs, and independent businesses. Lakewood's housing stock is one of her most valuable assets. Lakewood is a diverse community experiencing a renaissance that requires an active government to encourage economic development while preserving her distinctive neighborhoods and her unique housing the best interest of the City as a whole.

I believe that the goal of City Council is to listen to and respond to the needs of her people. As residents, no matter where we live in the City we want to walk safely on the streets, live with respectful neighbors, ensure the value of our property is safeguarded and feel a sense of pride in our City. I work to empower Lakewood residents to be involved in the community and to feel that all of Council works in the best interest of the City as a whole.
Lakewood is considered a unique community that provides an environment for all people to live and thrive. I embrace our diversity and on City Council I worked hard to introduce and pass our Human Rights Ordinance, sending a message to all that Lakewood is a safe place for everyone to feel at home and is the city of choice for first time home buyers.

My focus is on building an environment within the community that promotes a strong sense of civic pride by her residents, home and property owners that contribute to her reputation as a safe and great place to live and raise a family while embracing her unique diversity of artists, entrepreneurs, and independent businesses. Lakewood's housing stock is one of her most valuable assets. Lakewood is a diverse community experiencing a renaissance that requires an active government to encourage economic development while preserving her distinctive neighborhoods and her unique housing resources.
The opioid epidemic is the most challenging issue facing the City of Lakewood. I am proud that Lakewood facilitated the first community leaders meeting that brought city, county, state and federal organizations together to collaborate and align resources for those who are struggling with addiction. Lakewood will spearhead the Project SOAR program (Supporting Opiate Addiction Recovery) a collaborative community response to the opiate public health crisis in Lakewood. I will work closely with resources in our community to increase our outreach to make sure we educate children and adults to the signs of addiction. Knowledge is power. I will support the SOAR Project that helps those who seek sobriety meet success. I recommended $10,000.00 be set aside in the 2018 budget to support the success of Project SOAR. This crisis is not a personal crisis. It is a crisis that impacts our entire society. I will work to turn the stigma of addiction from whispers of embarrassment to shouts of encouragement.

Age 37
Education J.D., University of Maryland School of Law; B.A., Loyola University Maryland
Current occupation Attorney; Lakewood City Councilmember
Qualifications for office Served on Lakewood City Council since January 2011
Campaign Phone (216) 712-7582
Email address
Over the past few years, we’ve faced some adversity, stuck to our values, and made Lakewood stronger. Still, I know we have work to do. I'm proud to be a Lakewoodite and a member of Lakewood City Council. I will continue the fight to keep Lakewood on track.
Maintain a fiscally responsible city government; keep Lakewood's streets safe with level staffing of our police and fire departments; and stay focused on improving our housing stock and parks.
Fighting the opioid crisis; maintaining and improving our aging infrastructure; and complying with federal and state mandates to reduce our sewer overflows into Lake Erie and the Rocky River.
Age 31
Education Lorain County Community College: Associates of Arts, Business Kent State University: Bachelor of Business Administration Cleveland State University: Master of Public Administration Harvard University Kennedy School of Government Executive Education program graduate
Current occupation Organizer for Yes on Issue 2
Qualifications for office Formal education in government and urban affairs. Business experience creating two startups. Community outreach work for Greater Cleveland Food Bank and OSHIIP.
Campaign Phone (440) 315-2852
Email address
Twitter @twrader
My priority is to be an active, accessible representative for all in Lakewood. Whatever your color, gender, income level, age or faith, you should feel welcome in our city, and you should have a voice in the decisions that affect you.
Above all I hope to improve communication and inclusive government in Lakewood, and to be more proactive.

There are a lot of more specific things we can do better, as a city. I hope to do better for seniors, with improvements to accessibility and getting around. I hope to make lead safety for children a higher priority, and to work on bringing back some places for kids to go, like more basketball courts. I want to preserve our parks and green space, and protect all of our public resources from being lost to privatization. I hope to replace discriminatory policies, like Lakewood's pit-bull ban, with solutions that are both fair and safer for all.
Reversing losses to jobs and population will be among our biggest challenges in the next few years. Financial stability will depend on people and good jobs, and we've been losing both lately. There are opportunities for new development to help, but whether we make the most of them is up to us.

Better engagement is also key to this and most of our other challenges. The opioid crisis, for example, would not have been unnoticed by a 2016 assessment if government listened more. Poor processes and a lack of transparency have led to division and confusion, and that needs to change.
Age 34
Education Capital University Law School Juris Doctorate 2005 – 2008 Admitted to Ohio State Bar in 2008 Kenyon College Bachelor of arts, History 2001 – 2005 Shaker Heights High School 1997-2001
Current occupation Attorney
Qualifications for office Prior candidate for Lakewood Municipal Court Judge. Attorney for 10 years. A proud Lakewood resident who truly cares about the people, businesses, and animals of our city.
Campaign Phone (216) 346-1787
Email address
I'm running to bring much-needed change to Lakewood. Under the current regime, we have lost our largest employers, led the county in heroin overdoes, and haven't addressed rising crimes and necessary improvements for the city. I want to finally address those issues, and do it in a way that is open, honest, and transparent. I want the citizens of Lakewood to have a voice and a hand in our future.
As previously stated, I want to affect change. Specifically, I will focus on five key areas: bringing a new anchor employer (and more jobs) to Lakewood, creating a proactive and reactive approach to curbing the heroin epidemic, making Lakewood greener and more reliant on renewable energy, reducing crime, and shaping an open and transparent government. For full details on how I plan to do just that, check out
Three of the biggest challenges are the heroin epidemic, the lack of an economic plan, and the aging infrastructure of our city. But these challenges can be addressed and solved. We just need a council that's willing to do something. I am willing to do whatever it takes to improve the great city of Lakewood. logo


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