NORTH ROYALTON – So far, Ward 1 Councilman John Nickell and Ward 3 Councilman Dan Langshaw are the first to file their petitions for the November general election.
Langshaw, who was appointed to the seat in March when the late Ward 3 Councilman Don Willey died March 1, was the first to file his petitions April 29.
Nickell filed his May 9.
Ward 2 Councilman Gary Petrusky, Ward 4 Councilman Paul Marnecheck and Ward 5 Councilman Steve Muller have all pulled petitions but have not yet filed them.
Marnecheck stated his intentions to file earlier this month and has even switched day jobs to be able to do so. He and Ward 6 Councilman Dan Kasaris both worked for Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty who last month announced that his employees cannot seek an elected office, regardless if it is a partisan or nonpartisan position.
Marnecheck resigned from his post with the prosecutor as the statewide outreach administrator to the Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce. He started his new job May 20 as the COSE (Council of Smaller Enterprises) manager of small business solutions for the Greater Cleveland Partnership so that he can pursue reelection.
Kasaris is still employed with the prosecutor’s office and is considering all options.
Each ward councilman needs 50 valid signatures from registered voters of his ward to file. These are two-year terms, and council may only serve six consecutive terms in any one position.
Council President Larry Antoskiewicz is not up for reelection, as his seat is a four-year term.
Nickell, who is currently wrapping up his third term, said it was important for him to throw his hat into the ring again. Flooding concerns were the driving force behind him seeking a council seat originally in 2007, and this continues to be a near and dear issue to him even now, despite the significant strides that have been made.
“I want to ensure one of the largest storm projects to date gets completed early next year in Cedar Estates. Land was purchased to put in a detention basin and address other issues and areas in that development that have been problematic for 15 to 20 years,” he said.
Work is expected to begin early next year.
Nickell, 50, said he also wants to continue to be a part of the good things that are happening in Royalton.
“There are a lot of good things happening in Royalton. The YMCA, the new library being built, the Master Plan Advisory Committee, which I serve on, that is looking at the future of the city and how we want it to be. I want to be a part of that,” he said. “I enjoy the work.”
Mayor Bob Stefanik chose Nickell as one of the committee members because he has been very adamant and vocal about the need for sidewalks along major roads, which is one aspect of the city the plan will analyze.
Nickell prides himself on having a cordial, productive working relationship with Stefanik and his colleagues on council.
“We don’t agree on every point, nor should we, but there is a lot of discussion at our committee meetings about issues. On the majority of issues, we are a cohesive council who has really worked together in a positive manner to improve the city of North Royalton,” he said.
Nickell graduated from The University of Akron with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and has been employed with North Royalton City Schools as the technology director for the past 15 years. He is an active member and former board of director member of Royal Redeemer Lutheran Church.
Langshaw, who served on the North Royalton Board of Education prior to being appointed to council, announced Feb. 2 his plans to seek the seat. This was a month prior to Willey’s untimely death. Willey had reached term limitations and was wrapping up his sixth consecutive term when he succumbed to lung cancer.
Langshaw, 27, has said he is very humbled and honored to be able to finish out Willey’s term. Now that he has had a sampling of council for nearly two months now, he said he’s definitely hungry for more.
“My resolve is even greater now. I am actively helping my residents out, responding to a lot of issues, whether it be flooding, oil wells, you name it. They like the fact that I respond quickly,” he said. “I would like the chance to continue. I would like to continue the good things we are doing as a city. I also want to make sure that Ward 3 residents have a positive voice on council and are well-represented. I want to continue my commitment to serving my community on council.”
Langshaw has been able to step into Ward 3 rather seamlessly and is well-versed in current affairs, having regularly attended both council and council committee meetings for more than a year, prior to announcing his plans to run.
He is and has been walking door-to-door meeting with residents for some time now.
“I am very busy out in the ward. I am not going to wait until November. I am going door to door now, talking to residents, listening to what their concerns are. The more doors I go to, the better councilman I become, and hopefully, I can be their representative in the next two years,” Langshaw said. “And, I’m getting a good workout too.”
He has been taking his new role on council very seriously. Langshaw has created a spreadsheet to track residents’ concerns and ensure that he follows up with them in a timely manner.
“The list grows and grows, but I am checking things off too,” he said.
Langshaw, a U.S Army veteran, has worked as a veterans’ service representative for the U.S. Veterans Affairs Department the better part of a year. He graduated, with honors, from Cleveland State University with a bachelor’s degree in political science.
Councilmen have plenty of time to file, as the deadline is not until Aug. 7.
So far, none of the incumbents have opposition.