Aurora -- Reva Barner and Scott Wolf, the city's newest City Council members, credit their peers with making their transitions easier.
"The transition for me has been a smooth process for the most part," Barner said. "The mayor [Ann Womer Benjamin] and Council staff have been extremely helpful and knowledgeable."
Wolf said his transition has been "a great experience. I credit that in large part to the process conducted by Clerk Donna Hawks, Law Director Dean DePiero and the other members of Council, especially the more experienced members."
Ward 3's Barner was elected without opposition last fall. Wolf was appointed in January as an at-large rep to fill the remaining term of Womer Benjamin.
At-Large Councilwoman Amy McDougald also was elected for the first time last fall, but previously served in 2011 after being appointed to fill the vacated seat of Tom Dreher, who stepped down after moving from town.
Barner said the most challenging part about being on Council is "I had no political background. So people asked, 'Why did you decide to run?' My response was pretty straight forward -- I love this city.
"We have outstanding schools and beautiful parks, but mostly the character of the people who live here makes being on Council so rewarding."
Wolf said the most challenging part about being the position is "knowing at some point you're going to have to vote for or against something that's going to negatively impact someone."
"I have enjoyed getting to know the citizens in our community on a more personal basis," Barner said. "Although I represent Ward 3, I do not look at any issues as if they pertain only to my ward. I'm surprised at all of the positive opportunities that our community has to look forward to."
WOLF SAID what has surprised him is "the potential at the old Geauga Lake site and adjacent properties."
A zoning issue on the May 6 election ballot would rezone the former Geauga Lake land to mixed-use, which would provide more land use opportunities.
Barner said working with fellow Council reps "has been great." Even though they don't always agree, they respect each others' opinions.
"We always try to come to an agreement and decide what's best for the city," Barner said. "We're all different people with different ideas, but we share a passion for Aurora and strive to do what's in the best interest of residents."
Wolf said his experience with his Council peers has been "extremely positive."
"We won't all agree on everything all the time, but as long as everyone has the residents' best interests in mind when dealing with one another, we'll be effective," Wolf said.
Barner said she gets satisfaction when she hears back from residents that she was helpful in solving an issue.
"I strive to go above and beyond in pleasing the people in this town," she said. "I am utterly honored to have this opportunity to work for this amazing city."
Wolf said he enjoys day-to-day contact with residents along with "the satisfaction that is going to come years from now when I look back and see all the positive changes that came about as a result of decisions I was part of."
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