Pfahl hosts meet-and-greet at Kent Stage

Brianne Carlon

Michael Pfahl greeted every person at his meet-and-greet with a wide, gap-toothed smile and a warm hand shake.

About 30 people showed up to the Kent Stage last night to meet the young man running for the Ward 5 city council seat.

He looks like a Kent State student, but the 2000 graduate is 28. Pfahl does not see his age as a problem or a benefit, but focuses more on his familiarity with the issues at hand.

“I have been a student, a resident, and have worked in the area the past three-and-a-half years,” he said. He has been the editor of the Daily Kent Stater, a player on the rugby team (his athletic stance still shows) and the general manager of Glory Days. He is currently the assistant university council at Kent State.

The main concern of residents at the meeting is poor student-resident relations.

“It is important to get back to a sense of community and respecting your neighbor,” Pfahl said.

City council has done a lot of work to fix the problems, but they are short-term fixes, he said

“It is time for long-term solutions,” instead of threatening fines and enforcement, he said. “If you keep referring to ‘us’ and ‘them’ you will never reach any goals.”

He also said the best way to find answers to problems is by asking the residents.

“The ideas you bring to council are not your own, they are your residents’.”

Pfahl said he is aware that residents are concerned about the city budget, taxes, traffic, public transportation and especially where their money is going.

Janice Kelly, who lives on East Summit Street, said Pfahl will bring new ideas to council.

“He thinks the citizens’ point of view should be included,” she said.

Edward Bargerstock, Ward 5 council member, said Pfahl has the perfect background.

“He is a very balanced person,” he said. “It (Ward 5) is not a homogeneous ward, and you need someone who is balanced to understand that.”

Bargerstock also said Pfahl’s age is an asset.

“You got to have the energy to deal with everything that goes on.”

Contact public affairs reporter Brianne Carlon at [email protected].