GREEN Voters in Green on May 7 narrowed the number of candidates for several races in Green. Last year, voters in Green and several other cities approved to move the primary elections from September to May as a cost-saving move.
Voter turnout though was low as only a little more than 21 percent of registered voters in Green voting. Ward 3 saw the most voters show up with 26 percent. Ward 4 and Ward 2 had 20 percent and Ward 1 had only 17 percent of voters show up.
Voters narrowed the mayor's race from four candidates to two. Current Mayor Gerard Neugebauer was the top vote-getter obtaining 1,869 (48.6 percent) of the vote. Ward 4 Councilman Matt Shaughnessy came in second with 1,145 votes (29.7 percent).
Eliminated from the race was Green School Board member Mark Herdlick who received 722 votes (18.7 percent) and Kristy Doering who got 108 votes (2.8 percent).
Neugebauer said it feels good to move on to the General Election and he feels confident he can win another term.
“We have done a lot,” Neugebauer said.
He said improvements have been made to the roads, safety services and parks, just to name a few.
“It’s an honor to have this job,” Neugebauer said. “I look forward to continuing on for another term. “
Shaughnessy is looking forward to advancing to the November election as well.
“It feels great to advance in this primary and I'm very excited because the general election in November will be a whole new election and I look forward to getting out there and listening to the concerns of our residents and spreading my message of building trust through transparency,” Shaughnessy said.
Neugebauer and Shaughnessy will face each other on the November General Election ballot
At-large council race
The race for three at-large council seats was narrowed from eight candidates to six as the six candidates who received the most votes advanced.
Current Councilman Stephen Dyer, who is running for re-election, received the most votes with 1,524, In addition, current Councilman Justin Speight, who is also seeking re-election, came in second with 1,510 votes. Clark Anthony DeVitis, the son of District 36 State Representative Anthony DeVitis came in third place with 1,388 votes.
Also advancing to the November election is former councilman David France, who received 1,283 votes; Richard Brandenburg, who received 939 votes; and Justin Leonti, who received 909 votes.
Eliminated from the race were James Carr with 473 votes and Desmond Wertheimer with 302 votes.
Law director race
In the race for law director, the field of candidates has been narrowed from six to two.
Lisa Dean received the most votes at1,310 with Stephen Pruneski coming in second at 834. Dean is a private practice trial attorney who also served in the appellate division of the Summit County and the Portage County Prosecutor’s Offices as well as the Summit County Domestic Relations Court.
“I am honored by the number of votes I received from Green citizens in the primary election,” Dean said. “My hard work and the support of the community for my candidacy is reflected in the results. I plan to continue to work hard to earn the trust of Green residents to become the city of Green's first elected Law Director.”
Pruneski is a familiar face to Green as he has served more than 16 years as part-time Green law director under mayors Dan Croghan, Dick Norton and Neugebauer and has also worked as Special Counsel to the Ohio Attorney General Office.
“I am extremely excited and humbled the voters chose me to advance to the General Election in November,” Pruneski said. “I will work hard to educate Green residents about my experience and expertise. I have almost 25 years of government and municipal law experience while my opponent has 0.”
He said with the current political climate in Green, experience and expertise is more important than ever.
“I have it; my opponent does not,” Pruneski said.
The four candidates defeated for the law director position were Robert Duffrin, who received 490 votes, John Greven with 232 votes, Danial Walpole with 203 votes and Rhonda Kotnik with 185 votes.
Voters also approved Issue 6, a five-year renewal levy for Green Local Schools. Voters overwhelming supported the issue with 2,584 votes for it and 1,288 votes against it. The levy generates $4.1 million per year and is not a new tax for residents.
Superintendent Jeff Miller said on behalf of the Board of Education, staff and students of Green Local Schools, he would like to extend a thank you to the voters.
“The overwhelming support for Issue 6, the district’s renewal levy, reaffirms our voters in Green realize the dollars spent on educating our children are dollars well-spent, “Miller said. “Our philosophy is to provide every taxpayer with the best return possible on their investment in our district. Judging from the results the voters of Green feel they are getting an excellent return.”
He said while the district continues to have a solid levy passage history, the community’s confidence is never taken for granted.
“We will continue to strive to provide the best educational opportunities for our children while remaining fiscally vigilant,” Miller said. “None of us know what lies ahead or the challenges we will face, what we do know is that with the support of our community, our children will have what it takes to rise to the challenge.”