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

Term: 4 yearsSalary: $18,842The Strongsville City Council has seven members, one from each of the four wards and three elected at large. There are six candidates for the three at-large seats. The three incumbents are Joseph C. DeMio, Kenneth Donner, and Duke Southworth. The three newcomers are Jim Carbone, Kelly A. Kosek, and Matthew A. Schonhut.
  • Jim Carbone

  • Joseph C. DeMio

  • Kenneth M. Dooner

  • Candidate picture

    Kelly A. Kosek Attorney

  • Matthew A. Schonhut

  • Duke Southworth

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?

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Age 40
Education J.D. from William and Mary, Marshall-Wythe School of Law B.A. from Allegheny College
Current occupation I am an attorney and a partner at Hahn Loeser and Parks LLP.
Qualifications for office I have practiced law for 15 years. I have been recognized as an attorney with high ethical standards and named an Ohio Super Lawyers Rising Star. I am also a mom of two young sons. I have held leadership positions in our community to help improve our community, such as leading my firm's Women's Leadership Initiative, chairing the Playhouse Square Partners board, and serving on the executive board of my son's PTA. I am also active in a a variety of charities, including Cleveland Hearing and Speech Center, Strongsville Women's League, and Strongsville Kiwanis Club.
Campaign Phone (216) 287-3619
Email address
I am running for Strongsville City Council because the status quo isn’t good enough. Our residents deserve a real choice for the future. The current City Councilmen have each been elected for more than one term. Plus, it's been sixteen years since a woman served on Strongsville City Council. Residents deserve to have a choice to elect someone who can bring change, a fresh perspective, and transparency to City Council.

I am concerned that Strongsville lacks a long-term, strategic plan for development. Families and residents should be City Council's top priority. Yet, it seems like concerns about traffic and flooding fall on deaf ears. Residents deserve a council woman who will listen respectfully and offer common-sense solutions. I excel at listening and problem solving, because, as a lawyer, that's my job.

As a mom with kids who attend Strongsville schools, I am concerned about Strongsville's future. In order to continue to be a vibrant, successful community, we need to attract young families to Strongsville. I believe that in order for our city to compete with our neighboring cities that we need to add family-focused amenities--like a splash pad or an ADA-compliant playground. The current council has not made families a priority and I intend to correct that.

I would like to re-create the Citizens Advisory Committee that existed under Mayor Ehrnfelt. The Citizens Advisory Committee would consist of a representative appointed by each City Council member and they would be a sounding board for ideas and they would be able to communicate residents' concerns. This would have been really helpful during the Slip Ramp issue in 2016 so that the concept wasn't sprung on residents.

I also want to ensure that our city does not suffer from urban sprawl. I will consider any proposal for development fairly, but will consider both the immediate and long-term impact of each and every proposed zoning change. Our city has significant traffic problems, and we do not need to zone additional land for retail space that will exacerbate our traffic and flooding problems. Strongsville has 1.5 million square feet of retail at South Park Mall. We’ve got The Greens, plus we have The Great Escape Plaza, the Costco Plaza, and strip malls up and down Pearl Road. Given that brick-and-mortar retail stores are struggling across our country, I am concerned that by adding more retail space that we are setting the city up for failure and more empty, abandoned storefronts.

One reason that I want to focus on families and residents is because I believe that we are sorely in need of ADA-compliant playground / splash pad. I would seek out grant money because it would enhance our community and attract young families.
Our biggest challenges are city planning, transparency, and budget issues.

Regarding city planning, Strongsville needs a long-term plan for city planning. We need to open a dialogue with our residents to make sure we're meeting their needs. We also need a plan for adding sidewalks, developing remaining land, and protecting our green space. City planning will also be instrumental in helping to solve our traffic headaches.

Regarding transparency, I've heard from many residents who are concerned that they don't know what is happening at City Council. I want to make sure that there is an open line of communication between council and residents. I would like to make sure that each city council meeting is available online for 2-3 weeks following the meeting. That would bridge the gap between the meeting and the approved meeting minutes being available to residents.

As the state continues to decrease the money it provides to Strongsville, we need to continue to be fiscally responsible, without compromising on our residents' needs. That means that we need to compete for good businesses and maintain services that attract new families to Strongsville. We will be facing infrastructure issues and we will need to be creative in how we meet those needs. We may need to make difficult cuts, but I am up to the challenge.
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