MORELAND HILLS — Two residents have announced their intentions to run for seats on Village Council during the Nov. 5 general election.
Councilman Ted Buczek is running for re-election after having served for more than two decades. Newcomer Laura Kozminski-Vanderhart decided to test the political waters after her neighbor, Councilman David Emerman, mentioned that there would be open seats this fall.
Mr. Buczek, who has lived in the village since 1973, said that he enjoys his position and wants to keep serving the residents.
“The course we’re taking is the right path,” he said of the village.
Mr. Buczek, 71, said that one of Moreland Hills’ greatest assets is Forest Ridge Preserve, the park on Chagrin River Road across the street from the Cleveland Metroparks Polo Field. Earlier this year, the Parks Commission decided to raze the house on the hill, which is on the Forest Ridge property, and build a pavilion instead. Mr. Buczek said that he is looking forward to being involved in further discussions regarding that property.
“Now we have a nice park and we’re planning on doing some other work to it,” he said. “We have some trails on the road, too.”
He is a retired professional engineer and has a wastewater treatment license and worked as the city engineer for Solon for five years. Mr. Buczek said that he also worked with the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District on a combined sewer overflow program. He earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Ohio University and later earned a master’s in public administration with a concentration in public works from Cleveland State University.
Completing 21 1/2 years as a councilman, Mr. Buczek said that he keeps coming back because he loves his position and the people with whom he works. He explained that council members get along well with the administration and other village employees. They work together and share a common goal to do what is best for the residents, Mr. Buczek said.
“This whole council really cares about doing things for the residents,” he said. “Everyone just wants to do the right thing for the village.”
In his spare time, Mr. Buczek said that he goes horseback riding with his wife, Myra, and judges the horses and riders on their jumps at competitions.
Dr. Kozminski-Vanderhart, 43, works part-time as a veterinarian at VCA Great Lakes Veterinary Specialists, located on Richmond Road in Warrensville Heights. She practices emergency medicine, as the facility is an emergency and specialty clinic. Outside of work, Dr. Kozminski-Vanderhart spends time with her children, ages 8,7 and 1.
“I want to maintain the great things we have and improve where we need improvement to have Moreland Hills be the place where I love to live,” she said.
Dr. Kozminski-Vanderhart said that she has lived in Moreland Hills for five years, and it is a great community to live in. She noted that more families are moving in and she wants to make sure that the quality of life and safety for all residents is maintained.
“I want to be actively engaged in that process, and I’ve wanted to do this for a long time,” she said.
In addition, Dr. Kozminski-Vanderhart said that she loves the beauty in Moreland Hills and would like to keep up its natural appearance. She also explained that as the village becomes more of a pedestrian community, she wants to improve the safety of the residents, including walkers and joggers, bicyclists and children around the Orange City School District. She said that she would like to hear opinions on that from other residents and may look into sidewalks, bike lanes or better lighting.
Dr. Kozminski-Vanderhart described herself as outspoken and personable.
“I like to be involved,” she said. “My interest in where I live and my community would be a benefit to those who aren’t on council. I would be a good voice to them.”
Candidates need 63 signatures from registered voters in Moreland Hills to file a petition before the Aug. 7 deadline with the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections. The council seats are nonpartisan.