Democrat Incumbent Maureen Frederick seeks to keep Commissioner’s seat against Republican Edith Pavlick

Portage County Commissioner race between incumbent Maureen Frederick and current Streetsboro City Councilwoman Edith “Bridget” Pavlick will be waiting for your decision on the ballot Nov. 6, and each candidate has different viewpoints to consider.

Frederick (D) said the campaign for County Commissioner is always running.

“To me, when you’re a public servant, you run each and every day,” Frederick said. “You run in the way you conduct yourself. How you apply yourself to the duties of your job. Your interactions with people.”

Pavlick (R) prefers not to be viewed as a politician. She said serving her last two terms as Streetsboro City Councilwoman was not her career, and she has no intention of becoming a career politician if elected.

“I’m just a neighbor, a friend who thinks I can make a difference,” Pavlick said. “And if you share my ideals and my values, then [that] says, ‘vote for me.’”

Pavlick said her experience as City Councilwoman makes her a good choice for County Commissioner.

“I think they’re pretty much the same thing,” Pavlick said. “But with a few more people involved.”

Pavlick said many of the types of issues dealt with by Streetsboro City Council are also dealt with by the County Commissioners.

“There’s just more ground to cover at the county opposed to the city,” Pavlick said. “And the budgets are bigger at the county level, obviously.”

<>Frederick, who is seeking reelection for her third four-year term, was elected Portage County Treasurer in 1992. As Treasurer, she served on a budget commission that assessed the availability of funds. This experience made running for Portage County Commissioner in 2004 the next logical step and gave her an edge in handling appropriations.

Pavlick listed some of her greatest accomplishments since she’s been on Council: the approval for the Streetsboro water tower; paving, repairing and sealing up many Streetsboro roads; using an Ohio Edison grant to fix or replace nearly all the street lamps in one Streetsboro industrial area.

Frederick said her strength is in her collaborative experience with other officials and citizens. Her job has been consistent in one thing – inconsistency. There’s always a new issue, whether it be with water, resources or public health.

“Most all of those departments make marked progress every year,” Frederick said. “You hope to see marked improvement in every department in the sense of the excellent delivery of service to the public, and you have to hold them to that.”

While working with the sheriff, auditor and treasurer, Frederick has had to remain cognizant of all their needs while balancing them with those of the public. And looking at “the whole picture” can be challenging, even for someone who’s been in Portage County all her life. Ultimately, Frederick said, it’s a matter of dedication.

If elected, Pavlick said she doesn’t have a laundry list of issues she plans to instantly bite into, but getting to know the other commissioners as well as the department heads would be a top priority.

“The first thing, I think, would be to sit down and dig into everything and look at how it all works together, or how it’s supposed to work,” said Pavlick. “I think just laying the groundwork to prioritize projects going forward.”

Pavlick said there are a few specific issues she would like to make a point to look into if elected, but she said she would need to know more about them before she decides if they’re a priority. The county nursing home, The Woodlands at Robinson, is one such area Pavlick said she needs to do some research.

“The county is looking at that to see if we really need to be in that business,” said Pavlick. “And the people there are concerned, and there is not enough information out there, I don’t think. I’d like to look into that right away to see what we can get out there and get everybody on the same page with it…”

However, according to Frederick in a September 2012 interview with the Daily Kent Stater, the county-owned Woodlands at Robinson Nursing Home had already been put up for sale due to the county not having the money to maintain Woodlands and other responsibilities.

Pavlick said the two candidates differ mostly in a basic ideological way.

“As a conservative, I take a more cautious approach,” Pavlick said. “I do a lot of research… That makes me a little more cautious in that I believe in self-reliance. If we’re asking everyone else to do more with less, then I think the commissioners should too.”

Frederick said, “[Pavlick] and I have been very amicable, which is always welcome. She’s a very professional and very accomplished woman.”

She said they share a mutual respect for one another’s credentials, but they do want to express those ideological differences to the electorate.

Contact Brittany Hill at [email protected].

Contact Aaron Kinney at [email protected].