July 23, 2016

Partly sunny

Election 2013: Westfield Village Council

WESTFIELD CENTER — Four of the six seats on Village Council are up for election Tuesday and all four incumbents are in the running.

Kevin Rych — the fifth candidate — is arguing the village needs someone new. He is challenging Patricia A. Edington, Darryl A. Chidsey, Gregory A. Oakes and Terence D. Bittner.

Kevin Rych
“I don’t want to make any changes in Westfield,” Rych said. “I want to change the management of Westfield … a time for new thoughts, new ideas, new discussions.”

Rych also ran for a Council seat in 2011. He is a commercial business banker at First Merit Bank, a member of the Greater Medina Chamber of Commerce, director and past president of the Lodi Chamber of Commerce, president of the Westfield Fire District Association and chair of the township’s Zoning Board of Appeals.

Patricia A. Edington
Edington is the longest-serving member on Council — 21 years.

A retired pastor of Homerville United Methodist Church, she has been a member of the American Cancer Society Advocacy Board for the past five years, Cloverleaf Womens Club president for 20 years, director of lay servants for Firelands District of the United Methodist Church, and an affiliate member of the Homerville Ruritan Club.

If re-elected, Edington said she would work for a new recreation facility for the village.

“In the next four years, I’d like to see the completion of the new park,” she said, “which would include recreation areas, a pavilion, a splash pool, children’s garden, disc golf and basketball, completion of baseball field concession stand, restrooms and a storage area.”

Darryl A. Chidsey
Chidsey has served on Council since 2006.

He chaired the Zoning and Planning Council in 1994 and when it split in 2000, he stayed with the Planning Commission, where he remained until his election to Council in 2006, serving as chairman for his last two years.

Chidsey stresses quality of life issues in his campaign.

“I want to look for ways to increase, enhance and improve green space, and look to protect and improve existing zoning, and maintain the high level of fire, police, sewer and road services,” he said.

A line-of-business manager for Westfield Insurance Co., Chidsey is the treasurer for Boy Scout Troop 454, a youth worker with Leroy United Methodist Church and involved with the Southwest Medina County Upward Program.

Gregory A. Oakes
Oakes was appointed to Council in 1997, won re-election that year and has remained since.

He has been a member of the Finance Committee since 2007, and has had several other committee chairmanships. He serves now as president pro-tem of Council, a position he also held from 2007-08.

Oakes also served from 1999 to 2009 as a member of the Governance Committee for Westfield Fire and Rescue.

He is a senior regional director for sales and marketing for Cincinnati Insurance Co.

Oakes is a 2001 graduate of Leadership Medina County, a member of Jerusalem Evangelical Lutheran Church in Seville since 1993, and a volunteer and board member of United Way Medina County from 1992 to 2000.

Building on past accomplishments is important to Oakes.

“As a Council, we’ve accomplished a great deal over the last 16 years, but there’s always more to do,” he said. “We’re in the midst of strategic planning for the further build-out of the new village park and ballfields we built two years ago, and we have some infrastructure needs in terms of salt storage and vehicle maintenance facilities.”

He added: “I just think for the next 20 years, it is critical as the population from urban Northeast Ohio grows to keep Westfield Center’s heritage and identity in place.”

Bittner, the fourth incumbent in the race, could not be reached for comment.

Contact reporter Dan Pompili at (330) 721-4012 or dpompili@medina-gazette.com.