GATES MILLS — Council members Jay “Chip” AuWerter, Sandra Turner and Ed Welsh are running for re-election this fall. At this point, there are no challengers to the three incumbents.

Mr. AuWerter, 70, plans to use his financial background to keep the village on solid ground.

“I try to continue to help the village with financial stewardship,” he said. “I’m very good at planning and strong financially, and I can help to continue to set the course for the village.”

He is semi-retired from 30 years at the Pearce Group, a firm that handles turnaround management and restructuring of businesses. Mr. AuWerter said that he visits companies that are facing challenges, such as financial and operational issues, and advises them or assumes a management role to help them resolve their problems. He still works part-time with the Pearce Group.

He also teaches at the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University and mentors the executive MBA students. In addition to serving as a village councilman, he also chairs four village committees, namely service, recreation, long range planning and master planning. He is a member of the village Finance Committee.

Mr. AuWerter is completing his first term on council, and said that in another term, he would like to gather the community members together to draft a master plan. Village leaders realized that they needed an updated master plan when developer Nick Lemmo discussed building 16 houses on 16 acres on Chagrin River Road earlier this year, which would have violated the village’s 5-acre per residence zoning. The plan did not move forward.

“I’m a collaborative person,” he said. “I’ve lived here for 20 years. I know the fellow residents and I bring my financial and planning skills and a lot of energy to the situation.”

Dr. Turner, 71, also running for re-election, said her eight years on council has shown her dedicated service to residents.

“I believe that I have established a track record of being responsive to citizens, following through to get things done and working on decision making,” she said.

Dr. Turner said experience counts, especially since it takes time to learn about village operations, the history of decision-making and the structural issues that challenge the community.

She retired from Ernst and Young, a global firm that offers assurance, advisory, tax and transaction advisory services. Dr. Turner served as director of EY assist and helped clients manage their work lives and their time at home. Though retired, Dr. Turner continues to do consulting for Ernst and Young on the topic of organizational culture.

“I work with experienced hires at the firm to provide insight about the values, purpose, ambition and strategy of the firm,” she said. “It’s a way of immersing experienced hires like partners.”

In addition, Dr. Turner chairs the visiting committee at the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University, is a member of the Gates Mills Land Conservancy, chairs the Mayfield City School District’s Liaison Committee and is a trustee for the Chagrin River Watershed Partners.

In another term, Dr. Turner wants to focus on developing a master plan and have it approved by the village. She said that she will work with council and the long range planning committee to reduce the budget deficit, which is currently forecasted at $430,000.

“We have a vibrant community,” she said. “It’s a real pleasure to serve the community and work with a great mayor and council members.”

Councilman Ed Welsh also filed his petition at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections to run for re-election on July 8, but did not return phone calls from the Times. Mr. Welsh has been a council member since 2000 and serves as the chair of the cemetery committee and a member of the park commission, the records committee and the safety/emergency management committee and a council representative to the Volunteer Firefighters’ Dependents Fund board.

Council clerk Beth DeCapite is also running for re-election but did not respond to messages from the Times. The council clerk is responsible for posting public notice of council meetings, taking notes at the meetings and authenticating the ordinances and resolutions, according to the charter. The clerk must also keep records of all village revenues and expenditures and the income from village-owned property. Ms. DeCapite has served in this position since 2008 but has not yet filed her petition, which needs at least 40 signatures of registered voters in Gates Mills. The deadline to file signed petitions at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections is Aug. 7.

Julie Hullett has been a reporter for the Chagrin Valley Times since August of 2018 and covers Gates Mills, Hunting Valley, Moreland Hills, Orange, Pepper Pike and Woodmere. She graduated from John Carroll University with a journalism degree in 2018.

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