ORANGE — Council members appointed Alan Charnas for an unexpired term on Village Council. Mr. Charnas, 50, was sworn in at the council meeting on Oct. 7.

He was first appointed to council in June of 2019 to fill the seat of former Councilman Ron Barron, who passed away. That unexpired term ended on Dec. 31. Last fall, Mr. Charnas ran unsuccessfully for a full four-year term. This time, Mr. Charnas is filling the unexpired term for former Councilman Scott Bilsky, who recently moved to Pepper Pike. The term ends on Dec. 31, 2021.

“I couldn’t be more happy to be serving with the council that is currently here, the administration and the department heads,” Mr. Charnas said at the meeting. “It makes the job on council so much easier to know that if you serve, we have such a great administration and such fantastic department heads that as a village everything runs smoothly.”

Mr. Charnas said that there will be opportunities for the village coming out of the pandemic and emphasized that he views them as opportunities instead of challenges. He said that he wanted to serve again to make a difference in his community. He was selected from a pool of 12 candidates who were interviewed via Zoom on Sept. 22.

Orange Village Council also passed a resolution urging Woodmere Village to move forward with a project to build sidewalks on Brainard Road. Orange already installed recreational trails on one side of all the main roads in the village. Woodmere received $265,000 in grant funding to build a 6-foot-wide sidewalk on the west side of Brainard from Chagrin Boulevard south to the municipal boundary with Orange, but there is a delay. 

Grantwriter Justin McCaulley and Associates wrote in the application that the project cost is $1 million and Woodmere will contribute $750,000, which the village did not have in the budget. Woodmere Council President Jennifer Mitchell Earley contacted state Sen. Kenny Yuko’s office to address this concern. In a Sept. 2 email, a legislative aide said that it may still be possible to use the grant funds even though the project’s scope is different. Council has tabled the sidewalk ordinance.

“We recognize that wellness, convenience, recreational enjoyment and above all safety are hallmarks for the quality of life for residents in our community and are of paramount concern for us,” Orange Councilwoman Staci Vincent said. “I have to believe that those objectives would be of the utmost importance to Woodmere residents and council members as well.”

Council met again on Wednesday via Zoom.

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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