April 19, 2014

Medina
Mostly sunny
51°F

Politicians: Quit griping and run for office

Many people say politics is like the famous adage about the weather: Everybody talks about it, but nobody can do anything about it.

A number of Medina County public officials think that’s a copout. They say you can change how the government operates by getting elected to office.

Preparing citizens to run for elected office is the goal of Office Seekers Academy: So Do You Really Want to Be a Politician? — a four-session workshop offered by the University of Akron’s Medina County University Center.

“Informed and knowledgeable candidates means that voters will not only see better campaigns, but likely have more informed choices,” said Medina County Commissioner Steve Hambley, one of the workshop speakers.

Connie King, spokeswoman for the university, said the first workshop was scheduled for 6-8 p.m. July 25 to give residents time to become candidates in the Nov. 5 general election.

This November is an “off-year” election with no federal or state candidate but scores of local offices up for election, including council and trustees posts in the county’s six villages and 17 townships in the county and seats on 11 school boards.

The deadline for filing petitions to run is Aug. 7.

“People can make a difference in our community,” King said. “By running for a public office, the democratic vision of our Founding Fathers is sustained, and the system of governing lies in the capable hands of our citizens.”

King said the first workshop — Research the Office You Are Seeking — aims “to provide insight for people to dig deep and think about why they are considering running; help them to understand the aspects of budget and finance; how to research the duties, restrictions and requirements of the office; and provide an overview of the petition process.”

Hambley will be joined in the first workshop by county Auditor Mike Kovack and county Prosecutor Dean Holman, along with county Board of Elections Director Carol Lawler and Deputy Director Carol Gurney.

The second workshop, “Election Laws,” will be 6-8 p.m. Aug. 22.

The third workshop, The Campaign, will be held over two days: 6-8 p.m. Aug. 29 and Sept. 5.

The first two workshops cost $29 and the third one is $49. The cost is $89 for all three.

This is the first time the University Center will host workshops for candidates, although the Greater Medina Chamber of Commerce has conducted similar workshops in previous years, Hambley said.

All sessions will be at the University Center, 6300 Technology Lane, Lafayette Township.

To register go to www.uakon.edu/mcuc/nc or call 330-721-2210.

Contact David Knox at (330) 721-4065 or dknox@medina-gazette.com.