Last night’s council meeting

We had a brief meeting last night, with the highlight being council’s selection of Jim Costello as the interim mayor, to serve from May 14 to mid-November, 2018.

I truly appreciate the many emails, Facebook messages, phone calls, etc. from people encouraging me to seek the office of Mayor. To be candid, it would be a real privilege to lead this city. But I have a baby girl and wife–together with a law practice and campaign for state representative. There just aren’t enough hours in the day. Plus, Section 3.02 of Stow’s Charter requires the Mayor to “devote full time and effort during business hours, and such other times as are necessary.” Maybe someday, but not now.

Last night, my fellow councilmembers each said something similar. They just can’t afford to take a 6-month sabbatical from their day jobs. That includes John Pribonic, who has announced he will seek the office in this November’s election, and Matt Riehl, the council president who had the inside track for the job and truly agonized over passing up the chance to serve his hometown.

The only person capable to step into the Mayor’s office was Jim Costello, who has served as the Ward 2 councilman for more than a decade. With only one option, it made council’s job easy. We unanimously voted to make Jim the next mayor.

Jim is far from a last resort. He’s a conscientious and nonpolitical gentleman, and a Navy veteran. I’m very confident that the city will continue to run smoothly. And I’ve offered to personally manage any project or function on his behalf, if needed.

Jim’s appointment will leave a vacancy in his Ward 2 seat for 6 months. Council will vote to fill the seat in May. Anyone who is interested in seeking that position must live in Ward 2, and will need to submit a resume and statement of interest to the Council Clerk before close of business on May 9.

As for the Mayor’s office … Jim stated he did not intend to run to keep the seat past November. To my knowledge, John Pribonic is the only person who has announced to run for it. The winner in November would complete Sara Kline’s term, which ends Dec. 31, 2019. That winner could run again next year for a full 4-year term.

Other notes from last night:

  • The city is embarking on its largest road-paving program ever, beginning with Stow Road and surrounding streets. I’m hopeful that the city will continue to make large investments in infrastructure after I’ve left council. The residents deserve good roads.
  • Please be sure to vote in the May 8 primary election. If you’d like to vote for me, you will need to use a Republican ballot. That’s permissible even if you’re registered as a Democrat or Independent.
  • May 1 is the deadline to complete your Downtown Stow survey. CLICK HERE to take the survey. More than 650 people have already completed the survey. In May, we will vote whether to request proposals from developers.