The four candidates for council's three at-large seats are all council veterans.
NORTH CANTON Voters will see some familiar names this November.
The city's entire seven-member council will be elected next month.
Council Vice President Doug Foltz (Ward 1) and President Daniel "Jeff" Peters (Ward 2) are running unopposed.
The four candidates for council's three at-large seats are all council veterans.
At-large incumbents Mark Cerreta, Daniel Griffith and Marcia Kiesling all are seeking re-election. Former mayor and city councilman Daryl Revoldt is looking to unseat one of them.
In Ward 3, incumbent Stephanie Werren will face Jon Snyder, a former council president and Ward 4 councilman. Snyder resigned from council in 2014.
And in Ward 4, BJ Boyajian, a newcomer with a family history in North Canton politics, is facing off against incumbent Dominic Fonte.
Council is a nonpartisan role and members serve two-year terms.
Candidate information is from a Canton Repository questionnaire filled out by the candidate and available at CantonRep.com.
Jon Snyder, 71, previously served on council from 1998 to 2014.
He's running because he has "concern for our future when I see the current lack of leadership facing us. I know how to lead politically and honestly serve citizens," he wrote.
"I worked thousands of hours to maintain the vibrancy of North Canton, always putting the citizens and businesses first. I have never lost my vision for this community," Snyder wrote.
Snyder said his previous tenure on council, where he was the "architect of numerous balanced city budgets" and participated in labor and contractual agreements makes him most qualified for the position. He also cited his ability to be available to constituents and his working relationship with Canton officials and surrounding township trustees. As well as his "tremendous historical knowledge of past practices and actions concerning city government, zoning and permit requirements."
If elected, Snyder said he would: propose to reinstate weekly council meetings; expand the time and limits on public speaks at council meetings; and "open government so citizens are able to navigate at an easier pace."
Snyder is the regional manager of Tuxedo Junction.
Stephanie Werren, 48, has served as Ward 3 councilwoman since 2012.
"I help solve problems. I connect them to people who can make a difference in their outcomes. ... It can be a daunting process working with government and I want to make that process as easy as possible. In the end, I hope that I have improved the lives of our North Canton residents," Werren wrote.
North Canton Council works well together, and "I want to be a part of the momentum going forward," she wrote, noting council's work improving communication and taking proactive measures in the area of finance.
Werren wrote her experience on council, as well as her work as director of Leadership Stark County, makes her the most qualified candidate. She cites her work improving communication in Ward 3 and advocating for projects in the area. She also wrote she's learned the importance of collaboration and partnerships and will continue to advocate for those opportunities for the city.
"I am forward thinking, I look for ways to take something good and make it great and I work well with others. I value relationships and I learn from others," she wrote. "I understand I may not be the expert on every issue, but I will make sure to find you the person with the most knowledge and expertise to answer your question."
If re-elected, Werren said, she would advocate for "purposeful and targeted plans in place for economic development." The city needs better tools in place to attract businesses to the area. North Canton also needs to include its largest employers in economic development conversations and work on collaborations and partnerships. "We cannot do this alone and need the insight and guidance of others to move us forward in this area."
BJ Boyajian, 40, is the only newcomer in North Canton's council races. Her grandfather was active in North Canton, serving on city council and as city administrator, she said in a phone interview.
Boyajian is a lifelong North Canton resident, who "wants to be part of the group to enhance North Canton's appeal, strengthen our character and prioritize community development," she wrote.
"I cannot remember a time that I did not plan on running for North Canton City Council. The timing is right and based on the constituents' feedback, change is needed," she wrote.
She cites her work in the financial industry — she's vice president of retail banking and branch manager of KeyBank — and skills in budgeting, customer service, leading for change and process as reasons why she's most qualified.
"I know my skill set would enhance North Canton's City Council. I have held a leadership role for 20 years — I am a decision maker and independent thinker," she wrote.
If elected, Boyajian would exercise financial responsibility and stop wasteful spending; prioritize community development, particularly the Hoover District project; and work on transparency between the city and residents with effective, consistent communication.
Dominic Fonte, 57, is seeking his second full term. He was appointed in 2014 to replace Snyder.
Fonte wants to "bridge the gap of communication between the city and the constituents. I want to make a difference in the community I live, work and have raised my family in. I want to continue getting results for the city."
His 29 years of building his business and reputation "using the core values of trust, respect, hard work and results" make him most qualified for the job.
"These are all qualities that are needed for good leadership in the community," he wrote.
Fonte notes that he launched a YouTube channel and Facebook page to keep residents informed on current events, meetings and projects.
If reelected, Fonte would continue to improve communication between the city and citizens; enhance road, gutter and drainage systems to a higher standard and focus on business development in the Hoover District and the Main Street corridor.
Fonte is self-employed realtor.
Mark Cerreta, 58, has been an at-large councilman since 2011. He's a lifelong resident of North Canton and has always been involved in the community, he wrote.
"I have the passion to get things done and I enjoy representing the community of North Canton. I look forward to continuing to make North Canton a special place to live, learn, work and play."
He cites his seven years as a councilman and involvement in many of the city's most recent improvements and changes as factors that make him the most qualified candidate.
"I have a vision of what I would like to see North Canton become for my children’s children," he wrote. "As a life member of this city, I have been involved and know the people who live here. With that knowledge and my experiences in business, I have the knowledge and capabilities to get things done."
If re-elected, Cerreta would continue working to create "a community atmosphere that is safe and clean with all the desired amenities" and attract new businesses and residents to the city. His goal is to make North Canton a "first-class middle class city."
Cerreta is a professional health care representative with Pfizer.
Daniel Griffith, 40, has been an at-large councilman since 2011.
The city is at pivotal stage of development, he wrote.
North Canton needs to continue finding ways to provide excellent city services without increase the burden on taxpayers — increasing the number of jobs and attracting young families, he wrote.
"I have a deep desire to continue to craft thoughtful solutions to these problems and ensure that they are carried out in an efficient and effective manner."
Griffith points to his work as chair of council's finance committee and enthusiasm to work through the city budget line-by-line as reasons why he is the most qualified candidate.
"Effective local government is about the details. It is less about politics and more about finding practical solutions. I am passionate about taking the time to work through the minute details that make an enormous difference," he wrote.
If re-elected, Griffith would work to simplify the permits and inspection process, to reduce red tape and recruit more businesses as well as support homeowners. He wants to develop a comprehensive economic development plan with input and buy-in from schools, the chamber of commerce and Walsh University. The city also needs to retain its outstanding safety services, he wrote.
"If we can reach all of these goals, we will have one of the strongest communities in the state of Ohio," he wrote.
Griffith is senior vice president, regional trust manager at Huntington Bank.
Marcia Kiesling, 47, served as an at-large councilwoman from 2001-2005. She was elected again in 2007 and has been on council since.
Kiesling enjoys being part of the conversation regarding issues in the city as well as part of the solution.
"I am involved in many aspects in the community and believe I can help make a difference by bringing a different view to certain issues," she wrote.
Kiesling points to her years of experience as one of the factors that makes her most qualified for the office.
"I have walked the city eight different times while campaigning and this year will be my ninth," she wrote. "This is vital to knowing what people want and are thinking."
If re-elected, Kiesling would continue the work she's already doing. She cites: the Zimber Ditch project and the collaboration between multiple agencies; ongoing road paving and waterline replacement projects, a new economic development agreement with the North Canton Chamber of Commerce; and ongoing work at Dogwood Pool. "And continue to help navigate and gently push the Hoover District project along. Although this project has been a little frustrating for us all, we continue to be hopeful it will end up being a wonderful project," she wrote.
Kiesling is a family nurse practitioner with the Aultman Health Foundation.
Daryl Revoldt, 66, has been involved in North Canton politics since 1981. He served as councilman from 1981-1998 and again from 2007-2011. He was mayor from 1998-2001.
"In the last two years, there have been a series of operational issues which at worst are costly and at best embarrassing," Revoldt wrote, citing the controversial North Ridge tax abatement, missed deadlines for the city's EMS levy and Charter Review Commission, changes in city rules and proposed amendments that "actually weaken checks and balances and reduce officials' accountability."
He also points to a lack of progress with the Hoover District project, "the city's most important economic development project" and a need to "move the public conversation to a more civil level."
Revodlt said he sees the city's potential and that his unique set of experiences ranging from City Hall to economic development make him the most qualified candidate. "Most important, I understand how important listening and teamwork are to success."
If re-elected, Revoldt would ask council and administration to create an economic development plan and program in consultation with residents, the Chamber, Walsh University and North Canton City Schools; he would look at expenditures and remove wasteful spending; and he work on better communication with the schools and Board of Education.
Revoldt is retired. He most recently worked for the Ohio Department of Development.
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On Twitter: @jholbrookREP