Elyria City Councilman Jack Cerra, D-7th Ward, has proven himself to be a quietly effective member of Council over the past four years and his work should earn him a third term.
Cerra, 59, isn't known for grandstanding, but for seeking out information on city issues and the opinions of residents before acting in what he sees as their best interests.
He understands that the city is likely facing tough times ahead with the loss of businesses such as Riddell, which has moved to North Ridgeville. That departure, coupled with other budget woes such as the possibility of overtime increases and potential new hires at the Fire Department with its new 14-firefighters-per-shift contract, likely will mean the city will face a budget deficit next year. Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems' impending departure for Avon will only compound the problem.
Cerra speaks thoughtfully on how the city should address its budget problems, but also wants to respect the will of the voters and said he opposes reallocating Issue 6 funds away from what voters intended when they approved the income tax increase last year.
Cerra also has a keen interest in dealing with the small issues that comprise the bulk of a Council member's work on behalf of constituents. For instance, earlier this year he was among those on Council to pursue the idea of a do-not-knock list in response to complaints about solicitors coming to people's doors uninvited. The city ultimately determined such a list was unnecessary because of existing laws, but that doesn't mean the conversation wasn't worth having.
Issues like that don't normally make the headlines, but they are nevertheless important to the people who take the time to bring them up with their councilman.
"Every call brings a different challenge," Cerra told us, and he seems to relish dealing with the day-to-day issues of governing.
Cerra's Republican opponent is Dr. Scott McDonald, a 61-year-old dentist who has lost to Cerra in two previous Council races.
McDonald told us he's not a follower and that he's "just trying to change things."
We appreciate that he continues to run for the office so voters have a choice when they go to the polls, but McDonald failed to offer up a reason why they should select him over Cerra.
He said he would like to improve the city, but also strongly implied that he would be unable to work with anyone else on Council.
"I'll be one guy against eight others," he said.
If McDonald were to approach service on Council as if he was going into an unwinnable war he would find serving the residents of the 7th Ward a difficult task.
Cerra has proven he can work with the rest of Council and put the needs of his constituents first.
Voters in the 7th Ward should re-elect Jack Cerra.