August 29, 2014

Elyria
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Tax foe joins county commissioner race

ELYRIA — An Amherst councilman who led the charge to place a 0.25-percentage point county income tax increase on the November ballot is one of five people planning a run for county commissioner.

Nick Brusky, 26, filed his petitions Friday to run against Democratic County Commissioner Ted Kalo. Both Kalo and Commissioner Lori Kokoski, also a Democrat, are seeking re-election.

“I actually circulated petitions for both seats, but people said they really wanted Kalo out,” Brusky said. “I definitely think it’s time for two new commissioners. The commissioners now believe taxing and spending to make Lorain County better, and it isn’t working and hasn’t worked for years.”

Brusky, who was recently re-elected to his fourth term as an at-large councilman, said his goal will be to do more with the money the county has. If elected, he would be the first Republican commissioner since David Moore held a seat four years ago, a point that Brusky has not considered.

“I don’t think party membership has anything to do with it,” he said. “Regardless of whether you’re Democrat or Republican, I’m best suited to do it because I understand what people are going through.”

Brusky said his initiative to place the sales tax on the ballot, which required getting more than 10,000 signatures in 30 days, was a result of him being incensed that residences were already dealing with a poor housing market and lower property values.

The commissioners passed the tax in early March, but it was soundly rejected by voters in November.

Kokoski has already filed her re-election petitions, and Kalo said he plans to do so soon.

“I look forward to campaigning for re-election,” Kalo said. “I’d like to finish what we’ve started in helping with Lorain County rebounding after all these years.”

Two other possible candidates pulled petitions earlier this month: David George, a steel mill worker from Elyria who plans on running for Kokoski’s seat, and Joshua Meszes, a bakery owner who ran against Commissioner Betty Blair last year.

Contact Adam Wright at 329-7151 or awright@chroniclet.com.