GATES MILLS — Mayor Karen Schneider is running for re-election this fall and plans to “refresh” various parts of the village. After the grand opening of Marston Park in June, a longtime dream for Mayor Schneider, she said that she wants to update a few other things in her next term.
“I’m enjoying the job and there are a few other things that I want to do,” she said.
The mayor said that she wants to improve connectivity in downtown Gates Mills on Old Mill and Chagrin River Roads. She said that she wants to bring more people downtown, connect the parking areas and add more sidewalks. According to Mayor Schneider, the Gates Mills Community House needs a new look, and the community club is holding an event to update it this October.
She also said that she is planning to add an educational component to the park so children can learn about nature. The mayor wants to add signs with information about land and aquatic animals to teach the children about wildlife. Other ongoing goals for the community are to expand the cemetery on Chagrin River Road and select a group to help the village draft their master plan, she said.
Mayor Schneider has lived in Gates Mills since 1981, and joined the business Schneider Saddlery when she married Stan Schneider. The mayor was a rider at the Chagrin Hunter Jumper Classic and her mother was a volunteer. She also became a volunteer, and now serves as one of the trustees for the horse show.
The mayor said that she likes to spend her time with nonprofit organizations, especially those that benefit children and animals. The horse show partners with various charities every year, which is how Mayor Schneider ended up volunteering with Fieldstone Farm Therapeutic Riding Center, the Cleveland Metroparks and the Cleveland Zoo.
Mayor Schneider joined council in 1996 to fill Sally Broome’s seat when she was elected mayor. She also served as council president three times. Originally, Mayor Schneider said that she preferred to keep her council seat because council members can vote and the mayor cannot. However, she learned that as mayor, she could bring ideas to the village and send them to the appropriate committee for further development and discussion.
“We have a terrific village and we have great people,” Mayor Schneider said. “My motto is ‘slow and steady.’”
Mayor Schneider said that she has many local connections since she grew up in Russell Township and likes to bring new people to the village and help them join committees.
“When you do that they get energy off each other. We’re all volunteers and we have fun,” she said.
Mayor Schneider pulled a petition to run for mayor earlier this month at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections. She needs at least 40 signatures from registered voters in the village to become an official candidate. She has been married to Stan Schneider since 1972 and they have three children, Steve, Eric and Kelly, and four grandchildren.