Challengers Kenny Oswald and Chad Schneider, both Democrats and both of whom previously sought appointment to the 4th Ward seat on City Council when Mark Craig vacated it in 2018, are running for a full two-year term. Incumbent 4th Ward Councilman Phil Tollett, who was chosen to fill the seat when Craig departed, is not running to retain the seat, but instead is seeking an at-large seat on Council this November.
Education: Elyria High School, Class of 1978
Family: Married to Kelly, no children.
Job history: Small-business owner, Carpentry by Kenny Inc.
Education: Elyria High School, class of 2003; Lorain County Community College and Hondros Business College.
Family: Wife, Holly; son, Rocco, second child due in June
Job history: Licensed real estate agent since 2003, with Russell Real Estate Services since January 2018; past president, Lorain County Association of Realtors; member of Elyria Planning Commission
What makes you the best candidate for the position?
OSWALD: I’m a lifelong resident of Elyria. I’ve always been in town, and I always know what’s going on. Being a small-business owner and doing charity events, I’ve got the knowledge and experience to help make good decisions. I had to learn how to get along with everybody. I’ve got the experience to help people, and when you’re making decisions, you have to work with everybody and I can do that.
SCHNEIDER: My knowledge of the housing market and the housing economy gives me the upper hand, and my overall experience with volunteering around the city, from schools to Little League, to all of that stuff. And I’m on the Planning Commission. I’m very involved in committees and volunteering efforts and my job places me in a good position to do that.
What is the biggest challenge facing the city?
OSWALD: I would have to say our amenities, the roads, the services, like garbage removal and to get a better tax base. We need more people working in the city, and we need to grow the economy, the housing, the development, the commercial development.
SCHNEIDER: I think our biggest challenge is all the vacant commercial real estate. We have so many vacant commercial properties.