There is an open council seat in Ward 4 this Election Day because of a vacancy left when Robert Felton stepped down in the spring of 2004. The councilman elected on Tuesday will serve for two years.
Kathleen Guckelberger, the appointed incumbent, is not running for re-election.
Ward 4 is a smaller ward, encompassing Townhomes, White Hall Terrace and some of the residence halls. Three men are campaigning for the open seat. John Kuhar, 57, and Edward Wojnaroski, 56, are neighbors on Glad Boulevard and have lived in Kent for about 20 years. They are running against write-in candidate Justin Jeffery, a 21-year-old student who wants to give the student body a voice in city government.
“Council needs a younger voice, and it would serve council well to have a student to represent the majority of the ward – students,” Jeffery said.
Wojoraski said he is running because of his concern for ward issues over city issues.
“The people on my street will care more about the road maintenance than Campus Link,” Wojoraski said.
Kuhar, on the other hand, said he plans to work with other councilmen to solve the city’s problems. He said his experience of living in Kent for 19 years will help him do so.
“Maybe I’d like to accomplish the same things as the student candidate, as well as things he might not be aware of or thinking about,” Kuhar said.
Jeffery said there are no major problems in Kent he sees that need to be fixed, though he acknowledged concerns about zoning and Campus Link.
Jeffery’s opponents, who both have 30 years on him in age, addressed the city’s problems in spending its funds.
“The biggest problem comes from dividing the money to solve the largest problems,” Wojnoraski said. “The current city council has been doing OK. The biggest thing they have been lacking are taking advantage of joint economic districts. I think that the city needs to take more advantage of these. The city is fairly well run, and I’d like to keep that going.”
Kuhar said he has public safety concerns, one being noise control in the neighborhoods.
“I’ve asked a few of the students what they would like to see from the city,” Kuhar said. “A couple of the females are concerned about their safety. Other students are concerned about having fun in town without getting in trouble. These are good issues to deal with. But I’m not getting a lot of feedback from the students. I’ve had several say the police are a problem because they harass them.”
Jeffery said he wants to look into the police review board.
Because he is running as a write-in candidate, Jeffery said his campaign carries a little burden.
“There is a lot more work for the people to understand and spell my name,” Jeffery said. “Obviously, that is an obstacle.”
Contact public affairs reporter Kimberly Dick at [email protected]
Name: Justin Jeffery
Political party: Independent
Residence: Centennial Court A
Occupation: Full-time student and president of Kent Interhall Council
Political history: Served three years on KIC, also a Student Ambassador.
Goals if elected: To look into the police review board, also to listen to constituents and understand their views and opinions.
Favorite spot(s) in Kent: Franklin Mills Riveredge Park
Fun Fact: He toured Europe with a choir in high school and was accepted to a conference in Chicago to help design residence halls for future use.
Name: John Kuhar
Political party: Independent
Residence: Has lived on Glad Boulevard for 20 years
Political history: Has had various trade licenses
Goals if elected: Noise control in the neighborhoods and how the city spends its money
Favorite spot(s) in Kent: The Cuyahoga River
Fun fact: He started weightlifting at age 52. He now holds world records including records for the power lifting titles and for the Amateur Athletic Union for his age and weight.
Name: Edward Wojnaroski
Political party: Republican
Residence: Has lived on Glad Boulevard for 19 years
Occupation: Trainer for library automation software and a tax preparer for H & R Block. Also strings for the West Side Leader covering city councils.
Political history: None
Goals if elected: “I’d like to see what I call Campus Link Two and Three. Two, I’d like to see the bicycle path continued. I think I’d also like to see the same thing come in from White Hall Terrace to the university. I’d like to see more police in the White Hall Terrace apartment complex and in other areas in the ward.”
Favorite spot(s) in Kent: Biking on front campus
Fun Fact: Enjoys to cook – especially Italian. “If I got a recipe for chocolate cake, I’d start it out with olive oil and onions.”