by KEN LAHMERS | EDITOR
Aurora -- City Council will head into the new year with a full complement of nine members after Council selected a replacement for former Ward 5 Councilman James Fisher on Dec. 20.
Kathi Grandillo of Cross Creek Oval, a current member of the city's planning commission, was chosen for the post out of three candidates interviewed that night, and will serve until the term expires at the end of 2013. She can run for a full four-year term in next November's general election.
The post became vacant after Fisher, who had served as Council president, was elevated to mayor following the November resignation of Lynn McGill, who stepped down for health reasons.
The other candidates considered were Bent Creek Oval resident Daisy Alford-Smith and the Rev. Dr. R. James Tasker of Hawthorne Drive.
In the first round of voting, Grandillo and Alford-Smith received the most votes from the other eight Council reps, then on the second round of voting Grandillo was selected unanimously.
Grandillo must step down from the planning commission. Mayor James Fisher will appoint her successor, with confirmation from Council required.
Grandillo was an unsuccessful candidate for a Council-at-large seat in 2011.
She has participated in the local Relay For Life event for 11 years, including as event co-chairman, and has held various offices and committee positions in the Walden Association.
She currently works for RFI Wireless in Twinsburg and previously worked for Corsillo & Grandillo Court Reporters and Certified Court Reporters in Cleveland.
"PRIOR TO my decision to become involved in the last election for one of the two at-large seats that were available, I carefully considered my motivations and qualifications," she said in her cover letter to the other Council members.
'Organization, experience, dedication and a passionate desire to serve were only a few of the concepts that occupied my thoughts.
"Upon further reflection, I became convinced that any individual willing to make the sacrifices necessary to enter this area would, in varying degrees, possess all of these qualities."
She said the value of her five-plus years of planning commission service "will be incalculable in ramping up for the rigors of Council.
"I am confident that, my contribution, along with that of the current members, will help the city of
Aurora achieve its full potential to continue and grow as a benchmark community."
Grandillo graduated from Lake Catholic High School in Mentor and the Academy of Court Reporting in Cleveland. She also is a member of the Aurora All-Sports Boosters and Aurora Orchestra Association.
Candidate Alford-Smith, a registered nurse, has a vast amount of experience in the public sector, having served as an appointed oficial at the state, county and city levels of government.
In recent months, she served on the city's master plan review commission as vice chairwoman. She has expertise in health and human services, education and nonprofit management.
She and her husband, Kenneth, who owns Hull Remodeling Co., have been residents of Aurora since 2006. A daughter of the couple also lives in Aurora, and five of their grandchildren attend the local schools. The couple also has four other children and a total of 14 grandchildren.
In November, Alford-Smith resigned as chief executive officer of the Girl Scouts of Northeast Ohio after serving for slightly more than five years. She spearheaded the merger of five Girl Scout Councils into one.
FROM 2004-06, she was chief operating officer of the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools and the International Commission on Health Care Professions.
Other posts held include director of the Summit County Department of Job & Family Services, deputy director of the Ohio Department of Human Services, branch manager/administrator for Staff Builders Home Health Care Services, director of the Cleveland Department of Public Health and an assistant professor and director of the Center for Urban & Minority Health for Case Western Reserve University's School of Medicine and Nursing.
She has served on dozens of boards and committees, and continues to serve on several others. She has earned degrees and certificates from Montefiore Hospital School of Nursing, Ohio State University, Excelsior College, the University of Akron and Cleveland State University.
Candidate Tasker has lived in Aurora for slightly more than five years, and previously resided in Lakewood. He earned religion-related degrees from Columbia International University, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and Fuller Theological Seminary.
He has held ministry positions at churches in Bay Village, Cleveland, Akron, Fremont, Schenectady, N.Y., Boston and Columbia, S.C.
He also was an accounts clerk for The Age Newspaper in Australia and branch/sales manager for Native Marketing and Supply Co. in New Guinea.
Phone: 330-541-9400 ext. 4189