November 21, 2014

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Lorain councilwoman changes her mind, says she’ll seek another term

LORAIN — Three months after announcing she would not seek another term, Councilwoman Anne Molnar, D-at large, has changed her mind.

Molnar

Molnar said Tuesday she’ll seek an eighth term, primarily because she wants to resolve security problems at the John F. Kennedy Plaza, a 144-apartment public housing complex at 1730 Broadway. She has continued to fight to remove mentally disabled people from living with elderly residents. Molnar said elderly residents are being “terrorized” by the younger, disabled residents, some of whom she said use or deal drugs at the complex.

Molnar emphasized that she doesn’t want to discriminate against younger residents but believes it’s dangerous to mix them with older ones. She has been lobbying Shaun Donovan, Department of Housing and Urban Development secretary, to allow only residents 55 years and older to live there.

“I really cannot leave. It’s going to take a long time to resolve this,” she said. “You know how slow government moves.”

Molnar served four terms from 1998 through 2005 and was defeated in the 2005 election. She retook office in 2008 and will complete her seventh term next year.

Often outspoken and frequently unwilling to go along with the majority, Molnar sometimes clashed with former Mayor Tony Krasienko and has occasionally criticized Mayor Chase Ritenauer’s initiatives since he took office in January.

“Anne is going to speak her mind, and there are some times it causes differences with the administration, and there are some times it causes differences with the party over the years,” said Paul Adams, Lorain Democratic Party chairman and Lorain County Board of Elections director. “She’s going to do her thing, and I think people know that and expect that.”

Adams, who took over as chairman in April after being vice chairman since 2008, said the party values the 85-year-old Molnar’s rapport with elderly voters. In mostly Democratic Lorain — all Council members are Democrats — the primary is often the de facto election.

However, Adams said the party usually doesn’t endorse primary candidates, and there are likely to be a pool of candidates seeking the three at-large positions on the Council.

“She knows that that’s not just going to be handed to her,” he said. “She’s going to have to work hard to get it.”

Molnar, who said constituents have been supportive of her change of mind, said her age won’t slow her down.

“I’m very proud to be 85,” she said. “There’s not too many people that are 85 like me and can do the job I’m doing.”

Contact Evan Goodenow at 329-7129 or egoodenow@chroniclet.com.