BENTLEYVILLE — Mayor Leonard Spremulli plans to run for a fourth term of office during the Nov. 5 general election.
Other familiar names on the ballot will be Alex Goetsch and Kathleen Hale, both seeking re-election for seats on the Village Council.
“I want to continue to work on that so that when I’m out of here, I’ve left the village in a little better shape than when I found it 12 years ago,” said Mayor Spremulli, who pulled a petition from the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections recently.
The mayor said he decided to run again to see the capital improvement projects through after council’s approval of the bond proposals and contracts for the street improvements of Chagrin River Road, Pepperwood North, Quartermane Circle and North Fork Road among others.
“We got the bonds approved; we’ve got the credit reduced. So, I want to see the road projects through, and I want to continue to deal with the other infrastructure related issues that continue to be an issue for our municipality,” Mayor Spremulli said on why he is running for his fourth term. While the “big projects” are covered by the street improvement bonds and are intended to be completed by fall, “we’re still going to have to deal with the normal maintenance that has to take place so that we don’t have a big project five years from now.”
The mayor also cited working toward upgrades for village departments such as the police and service departments while monitoring the village’s reserves by monitoring the budget.
“We’ve made some great progress in our police department,” he said, crediting Chief Gabe Barone for personnel improvements, as well as working to acquire updated equipment for the department. “I want to continue that upgrade in our police department” with both personnel and equipment.
Mayor Spremulli said he would like to see the hiring of another full-time officer, if the village’s budget allows it, or more part-timers, and that he would also like the village to hire more part-timers for the service department, especially for the winter seasons.
Mr. Goetsch will be running for his second term on council.
“I would say that I’ve enjoyed serving, and we’ve worked a lot since I came on council to try to trim the budget and monitor the revenues of the village as closely as we can,” Mr. Goetsch said on why he plans to run for Village Council again.
As the chairman of the Village Finance Committee, Mr. Goetsch said one of his goals “would be to make sure that we keep our expenses down and that with the projected revenues from the rollback of the tax credit, that any surplus that we have on that we use to reestablish some reserves in the general fund.”
With the village’s passage of the bond proposals and approval of street improvement projects, Mr. Goetsch said he would also like to see the improvements and bond payments through, with the first interest payment due by mid 2020 and the first principal payment by the end of 2020.
“It would be a pleasure to sort of see some of the results of that by being around for all of the capital improvement projects that we’re now funding through the bond process and make sure that village finances are in good shape to pay for those bond obligations, at least for the first few years of that process.”
Ms. Hale said she decided to run for re-election because she enjoys serving on council and she wants to help the village to better communicate with residents. Currently, Ms. Hale is the chairwoman of the Parks, Beautification and Facilities Committee.
Ms. Hale will be running for her third term on council.
“I really enjoy doing it,” Ms. Hale said. “[I’m] doing it on behalf of people who may not have time or not know who to call (for their concerns). I think this is a really good time to be running again.”
She said she would like the village officials to communicate clearly with residents in the manner they communicate with each other.
“We need to have more of a social media presence. We need to have ways to be more responsive and more transparent because when everyone is so busy – and everyone is busy – it’s easy to say, ‘Oh well, things aren’t transparent,’ because you don’t know who or how to ask a question,” she said. She said that council members and the village’s public officials do want to get information out to residents. “I’d like to try to smooth things out so that Bentleyville residents can communicate, comfortably with the village and the village can get information out to the residents.”
Ms. Hale said this is part of her mission to build community in the village along with getting people more involved in the park and community activities.
“That’s part of the idea of trying to build community, get more people involved in the park and in village activities. And on the other hand, come up with village activities that interest the residents,” she said.
One idea for community involvement or activities Ms. Hale expressed is for planting more pollinator friendly native plant gardens.
“I would like to partner with perhaps the Chagrin [River] Watershed Partners or the Xerces Society or one of the other organizations that can help give communities a hand in putting in a pollinator friendly native plant garden in the public areas.”
A minimum of 10 signatures are needed from registered voters for those who have pulled a petition for Bentleyville, and the deadline to file the petition to the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections is Aug. 7.