December 18, 2014

Elyria
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29°F
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LORAIN — COUNCIL 1ST WARD

Lorain residents are being asked to vote for a 1st Ward representative. There are two candidates on the ballot.

What are the biggest issues facing the city?

Gates: The biggest issue facing the city of Lorain is a lack of everything — a lack of jobs, a lack of tax revenue and not enough police or firefighters. All of these issues are inter-related and need to be solved for our city to grow and improve.
Szabo: The biggest issue facing the city and the 1st Ward are finances. We are a city deep in debt. The east side continues to be neglected. We have great potential for development in the Industrial Park. I want to continue to be a force to be reckoned with on the Council floor.

How do you plan to address them?

Gates: There is no easy way to address these problems. The first thing I would like to see done is to change the image of our city. We need to clean up the blighted properties and work to make Lorain a more attractive place for people to relocate to. People will not relocate to Lorain without making Lorain an appealing place. We need to better utilize our natural resources while at the same time ensure that our city is appealing for people looking to relocate to, whether they are residents or businesses.
Szabo: These issues cannot be solved with a quick fix. We as a city need to tighten our belts and eliminate the deficit. Lorain needs to learn to live within its means.

What makes you best suited for the job?

Gates: I feel I am best suited to represent the 1st Ward of Lorain because of my ability to work with others. Nothing can be accomplished alone, and I have spent the last several years forging the relationships I will need to improve our ward and to end the feeling of the residents of Lorain’s east side that we are the forgotten part of our city.
Szabo: What makes me stand out from the other candidates is that I think for myself. I do not follow any party lines. Every piece of legislation requires research. I research all issues and decide what is best for the east side and for Lorain.

Brian Gates
Age:
31
Party: Democrat
Education: Admiral King High School; attended The Ohio State University
Family: Single
Job history: Community Health Partners, health records clerk; previously worked for AFL/CIO

Melanie Szabo
Age:
36
Party: Independent
Education: Lorain High School; Lorain County Community College, associate’s degree in psychology; pursuing bachelor’s degree at Cleveland State University in non-profit administration
Family: Married, 3 children
Job history: Special event coordinator for the Lorain County Free Clinic, Lorain; former secretary for Christian Temple Disciples of Christ, current 1st Ward councilwoman