June 30, 2016

Mostly clear

Medina Councilman Bill Lamb switches political parties

MEDINA — Councilman Bill Lamb, at-large, wants to become a Republican again.

Lamb said Thursday night he has the paperwork from the Medina County Board of Elections to change his party affiliation.

Bill Lamb

It’s not the first time the councilman has crossed party lines.

Lamb was a Republican in 1983 when he ran for mayor of Medina but became a Democrat in 1985. He served eight years as mayor.

Lamb said the change is about working with people.

“There are a lot of Republican officeholders in the county that I can work with and actually get something accomplished,” he said.

All elected positions in Medina are nonpartisan and there’s no primary.

When asked whether he had any future political ambitions, Lamb replied, “I can’t say.”

He said he wasn’t sure how well he fits into either party.

Lamb said he is more liberal on social issues than most Republicans. He acknowledged, though, that a lot of local issues he cares about — such as sidewalks and neighborhood revitalization — are not partisan ones.

He said he didn’t choose to become an independent, because “independents can’t win.”

Lamb said he became disappointed in the local Democratic Party after a debate last year over the city’s Community Improvement Corp., as well as recent meetings of Council’s Special Legislation Committee on hydraulic fracturing that he organized.

He said he thinks local Republicans tend to have an easier time remaining friends after they disagree.

Lamb said he thought discourse after the first special legislation meeting degenerated.

“I could have said, ‘I propose an anti-fracking ordinance to Council.’ It would have gone nowhere.”

Lamb said he originally planned to have a third special legislation meeting focusing on the issue of home rule but will no longer because he doesn’t think it would change anything.

A recent change in state law gives the Ohio Department of Natural Resources the sole right to issue oil and gas drilling permits.

Contact reporter Kiera Manion-Fischer at (330) 721-4049 or kfischer@medina-gazette.com.