Aurora -- The city is promised a new mayor, as six candidates are seeking the city's mayoral seat in the Nov. 5 general election. Precincts will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
The candidates include 14-year City Council member John J. Kudley Jr.; Council member Ann Womer Benjamin, an eight-year state representative; project management consultant Mark J. Demyan; Delbert Dunbar, president of Dunbar Distributors; sales management consultant John Monroe; and Tom Plunkett, fire chief for the village of Reminderville and senior fire captain in Maple Heights.
Current Mayor James Fisher, who was sworn in as mayor one year ago after then-mayor Lynn McGill stepped down for health reasons, has decided not to run for a full term.
All candidates have expressed a strong desire not to seek new taxes during their four-year term unless residents strongly support a project that would require a levy or bond issue.
Although only Kudley and Womer Benjamin have held political office, the others said they believe they have the necessary experience to sit in the mayor's chair.
Four candidates are running for one Council-at-Large seat: 16-year Councilman-at-Large Joseph Kastelic, McGill, former Ward 6 Council rep Amy McDougald and Scott Wolf.
For Council's Ward 1, incumbent 17-year rep James L. Vaca Sr. is running against challenger Richard Duncan.
For Ward 5 Council, incumbent Kathi Grandillo, who was appointed to the seat last year when Fisher became mayor, is running against challenger Jim Tasker.
IN RECENT weeks, the Advocate has published profiles of the contested city races. They can be found online at www.auroraadvocate.com.
For the Ward 3 Council seat, Reva Barner is running unopposed, as Ward 3 incumbent Carl Rausch is not seeking re-election.
Barner and her husband, Al, have four children ranging in age from 4 to 13. She is a Kent State University graduate with a degree in rhetoric and communications, and has spent 16 years as a sales executive for two large pharmaceutical companies.
"I am excited and committed to becoming a proactive voice for the community and a wise decisionmaker," she said. "I am honored to work with City Council, and the mayor, and be a part of our local government.
"I support controlled growth and better accessibility and visibility for our businesses. I am committed to hearing from the community and putting their ideas on the forefront.
"Aurora already is a charming city; just a few changes will connect the city better."
For the Aurora Board of Education, three incumbent veterans -- President Gerald Kohanski and members Pam Mehallis and Beverly Kuch -- are running unopposed.
Five issues also will be voted on by Aurora residents, including Issue 6 (a 1.2-mill additional police levy) and Issue 7 (request to rezone a 0.67-acre lot on East Garfield Road from commercial to residential).
Also on the ballot are the following countywide renewal issues: Issues 1 (2 mills) and 2 (0.9 mills) for the Portage Board of Developmental Disabilities and Issue 3 (1 mill) for the Mental Health and Recovery Board.
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