Two candidates are seeking one at-large seat in Grafton.
What are the biggest issues facing the village?
Smith: Completing a storm sewer project that drains into the Black River to help with flooding on the north side of the village. Position the village to take advantage of the coming economic recovery. Continue to be fiscally responsible in running the village.
Strah: One of the biggest issues is the current economic crisis. Although we are a small village, I’m sad to say it has and will continue to affect us as well. While the budget is decreasing and the need to spend is increasing, this certainly creates a major challenge.
How do you plan to address them?
Smith: The storm sewer project is starting. We have to continue the village’s infrastructure upgrades to be ready for economic growth.
Strah: I am ready and willing to work hard for our community. My plan to combat this crisis is to work with Council to apply for federal stimulus funding and grants. These funds will help alleviate some stress on our budget. We will have to sit down and prioritize the improvements that will impact the community in the most positive way. Together, with your support and my effort, we will get through these hard times.
What makes you best suited for the job?
Smith: I have 26 years experience in Grafton government and during that time we have rebuilt all of our parks and utilities.
Strah: I have lived in Grafton for 27 years. In this time, I have seen many changes in the population and landscape. My service to Grafton started 10 years ago when I followed in the footsteps of my parents. I became a member of the Grafton Village Fire Department. The experiences and traditions of the fire department motivated me to become a full-time firefighter/paramedic. Now I’m raising my family in the community that I love and has made me who I am today.
Education: Midview High School 1973 graduate, attended The Ohio State University and Lorain County Community College
Job history: Retired from ODOT, 20 years serving as Council at large in Grafton
Education: Lorain County Community College for a paramedic certification, Cuyahoga Community College Fire Academy for a firefighter certification
Family: Wife, Kate, and four children, Alex, David and Luke (triplets) and Ella
Job history: Grafton Fire Department (volunteer), 1998-present; Sheffield Fire Department (full-time), 2004-present