July 30, 2014

Elyria
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Lorain official wants to be mayor

LORAIN — The city’s deputy safety service director announced Tuesday that he is actively campaigning to become interim mayor.

Joe Arendt plans to garner support from as many Republican Party Precinct Committee people as he can before they gather Thursday to select someone to serve the remaining four months of former Mayor Craig Foltin’s term.

Foltin stepped down Aug. 2 to take a financial position with Cuyahoga Community College.

John Romoser, the Republican candidate running for mayor in November, is also seeking to be the precinct committee’s selection, but Arendt said he’s not trying to step on Romoser’s toes.

“It will be better for him to work on his campaign,” Arendt said. “I don’t think he’ll have time to act as mayor and run.”

Arendt said he also believes he’ll be good for the job with his experience working in the mayor’s office since Dec. 1. He became deputy safety service director after a staff shakeup when former Safety Service Director Craig Miller resigned after being convicted of lying to police.

“I have the ability to complete the things (Foltin) started, and I am really big on cooperation with the other department heads,” he said.

In June, Safety Service Director Mike Kobylka began investigating sexual harassment allegations made against Arendt by a secretary in the Community Development Department. That investigation has since been turned over to city adviser and former city Law Director Mike Scherach, who is looking into the matter while working with the secretary’s attorney, Kobylka said.

Romoser said he disagrees with Arendt’s notion that he’ll have a problem running a campaign and being mayor. In fact, he said it can only help.

“Incumbency always makes things easier,” he said. “I would prefer having the mayor’s job to get some of our programs started and to show people what I can do. I appreciate (Arendt’s) benevolence, but I think I can handle it."

Contact Adam Wright at 653-6257 or awright@chroniclet.com.