WOODMERE — The Village Council race is heating up as two newcomers have pulled petitions to challenge the incumbents during the Nov. 5 general election. Seth Young and Beata Fleszar are working to collect their signatures before the Aug. 7 filing deadline with the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections.

Mr. Young, 38, is the co-owner of Century 21 Premiere Properties, a real estate agency in Pepper Pike. He is also the co-owner of KSI Management with his father, Kevin Young. He has a bachelor’s degree in urban studies from the College of Charleston in South Carolina.

“I love the village. I want to make a difference and help out the village,” he said. “It’s a great place to live and has so much to offer its residents. I want to make sure it’s still around for the future.”

He has served on Woodmere’s Planning and Zoning Commission for five years and currently is the chairman, where he reviews construction plans and determines whether to grant variances for construction and renovations.

“I want to take the next step and get more involved with the village,” he said. “I think that having a fresh approach and opinion on helping move the village forward is something I feel strongly about.”

Mr. Young said he understands the growth potential in Woodmere. His education and work experience as a business owner, manager and licensed real estate agent would be helpful as a councilman, he added.

Mr. Young said that if he wins a council seat, he would work with the other council members and Mayor Ben Holbert to create a growth plan for Woodmere. He was referring to future development, he said, not square footage of the village. Woodmere currently is working with the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission to draft a master plan. He also wants to bring a fresh, new approach to the village by using modern technology.

He said that he has strong communication skills and is able to work collaboratively with others.

“The most important thing is that I make definite, decisive, educated and well thought-out decisions and I don’t like to waste time on things that are unimportant,” Mr. Young said. “If they’re not going to help the village, then there’s no reason to belabor things.”

Mr. Young has lived in the village for 11 years with his wife, Jennifer, fourth-grade daughter Taryn and twin 3-year-old boys, Derek and Blake.

Ms. Fleszer, 39, also pursuing a seat on council, has lived in Woodmere for seven years and is looking to make a contribution to the community.

“I’m running because I need to give something back and I want to make a difference,” she said. “I can help to make a positive change in the village. I like to see that Woodmere grows and prospers.”

Ms. Fleszar works with her husband, Wojciech, who owns WF Transport, LLC, a transportation service. She works as a manager and dispatcher for the company. As a dispatcher, she said that she has to be on call and responsive to the needs of the business. Ms. Fleszar also said that she does the accounting for their business, so she knows how to handle finances. She said that she does not have prior municipal experience, but is a council member for her church in Tremont.

In addition, she said that she is pleased with the Orange City School District where her children, Victoria, 8, and Daniel, 13, are students. Among her goals is to unite community members. She suggested hosting events for local children to get together and play in the summer and over winter break.

Ms. Fleszar said that she often helps her neighbors, and said that the village may be able to offer more services to lend a hand to residents so officials can avoid problems rather than respond to them after they’ve happened.

“It would be good if we could reach out to people and not have them come to us with their problems,” she said. “Our job is to reach out more and not wait until people come forward.”

There are four open nonpartisan council seats in Woodmere. Incumbents Jennifer Mitchell Earley, SharNette McCully and Tennyson Adams have pulled petitions to run for re-election, according to the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections. Councilwoman Alberta Fanning’s seat is also up-for grabs, but is not yet on the elections board’s candidates’ list.

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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