Friday, May 22, 2015

Smock, McArthur, Blackley and Mallen Elected to Chardon City Council
November 6, 2013 by Ann Wishart | No Comments

Four familiar faces will be present at the Chardon City Council table come January.

Having stood on platforms of fiscal responsibility, economic development and retaining Chardon’s small town charm, Nancy McArthur, John Mallen, Andrew Blackley and Jeffrey Smock won the election Tuesday night by varying margins.

All voting data is unofficial until approved by the Geauga County Board of Elections.

Former Chardon City finance director Smock received 916 votes or 22.65 percent and is the only winning candidate without prior council experience.

“This will be my first time in an elected position,” he said Tuesday, adding he served the city as finance director for 26 years, but always tried to keep out of the limelight.

This time it will be different, but not totally foreign territory.

“I know all the players and the game. It hasn’t changed much in the 17 months since I left,” he said.

During the campaign, Smock was outspoken about the need to find funding for the city’s aging infrastructure while maintaining sound financial management and attracting business to the city.

He had 200 election signs displayed around the community and expected to take them all down Wednesday.

“I have a busy day tomorrow,” he said

McArthur won her second term on council with 805 votes or 19.91 percent of the votes.

“It’s a good feeling,” she said Tuesday.” I feel like I’ve worked really hard.”

Council has accomplished a lot in the four years she has been a member, she said.

When McArthur was elected, she was one of several new members and council started with a pretty clean slate, she said.

During her first term, she said she learned a lot and looks forward to the new dynamic of council.

“I worked with Mr. Smock quite some time. We work really well together,” she said.

McArthur served five years on the planning and zoning commission and was involved in changing the zoning code to be more business-friendly, she said.

She also spearheaded the creation of the revitalization district in the city and initiated the state performance audit leading to a savings for the city of almost 8 percent of the city’s budget, she said.

Blackley, who served on council from 2004 through 2007, received 669 votes or 16.54 percent.

“I didn’t think it was a slam-dunk by any stretch,” he said. “We had a slate of really good candidates. I’m gratified I came in third of six.”

He said he would work to improve communication with city residents and welcomes their input.

“I look forward to working with Nancy, Jeff and John and the rest of council. We are a great team,” Blackley said.

Challenges include managing the budget in tough economic times, he said, adding, “Its not going to be easy.”

John Mallen received 657 votes or 16.25 percent of the votes and did not return calls before deadline.

Jim Pruce, who was appointed last spring to fill an open position on council, received 553 votes or 13.67 percent. Tom Ray received 10.98 percent of votes cast.

Charter Amendments

All of the four charter amendments proposed to city voters were approved.

Issue #5, clarifying that five of seven members of council must vote “yes” to waive the three separate readings, passed by 996 to 369 votes.

Issue #6, to streamline and simplify the city’s variance process and save applicants time and permit fees for their projects passed by 717 to 646 votes.

Issue #7, requiring two of the seven members of the city park and recreation board to be members of council was approved by 780 to 578 votes.

Issue #8, to keep a member of council from occupying another public office that is incompatible with a council member’s position and align the charter with Ohio law, passed by 1,148 to 247 votes.

Issue #9 for Sunday Sales at Chardon VFW Post 6519, 752 Water St. in Precinct A was approved 221 to 114.



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