MANSFIELD -- A Republican has represented the 2nd Ward on Mansfield City Council for more than three decades. Democrat Cheryl Meier hopes to break that GOP stranglehold on Nov. 5.
The 53-year-old Meier, in her first run for public office, is opposed by Republican Jason Crundwell, also a political newcomer, who is the development director at Mansfield St. Peter's.
The winner will replace Councilman Jeff Rock, who is prevented from seeking re-election due to term limits.
Meier, the featured speaker at the party's weekly luncheon Wednesday, said she will be engaged, invested and responsive if elected to represent the ward on Mansfield's near south side.
"I want to be the next council woman for the 2nd Ward because I care about my neighbors. I care about the growth of Mansfield. I want to give back to the community by being a voice for the residents of the 2nd Ward," she said.
A Willard native who resides at 594 Andover Road, Meier said she has lived in the 2nd Ward for 28 years.
A Realtor for the past 19 years, including the last nine with Haring Realty, Meier said she will engage by enhancing her ward website to keep people updated on happenings in the city, including dates and times of council meetings, minutes from those meetings and general information about events planned around the city.
She promised to provide "simple communication about snow removal and leaf clean-up ... and an explanation, when possible, when those events are not happening in a timely manner."
Meier said she created a Facebook page titled "Keep Woodland Safe" in 2016 after her neighborhood experienced break-ins.
"I saw just how effective that forum was in communicating within the neighborhood. It has now grown to more than 600 members," Meier said, adding she plans and conducts quarterly meetings with those members at sites within the neighborhood.
In terms of being responsive, Meier said she would conduct bi-annual town hall meetings, "again, as another way of communication with people in my ward. They will have someone in a leadership role who will communicate with them.
"Being a realtor for 19 years has taught me to sharpen my communication and negotiation skills. In my business, it's crucial to communicate timely and effectively with people and that's what I intend to do as a council woman."
Meier, who will celebrate her 29th wedding anniversary this weekend with her husband, Eric, said one of her goals is to rejuvenate the South Main Street corridor from Ohio 42 to the U.S. 13 split.
"That is a heavily traveled area and an entrance to Mansfield," she said. "Whether someone is coming here for a leisurely weekend or a job interview, this first impression could be immensely improved."