Norton’s mayor-elect ready to serve
By Kathleen Folkerth
NORTON — David Koontz will be sworn in as the new mayor of Norton Jan. 2. But the mayor-elect has already begun immersing himself in his new role.
“I’ve met already with the directors in the city and will be attending staff meetings they have every other Thursday,” he said. “I’ll be meeting with department heads and one on one with people, as well, to see what their concerns are.”
Koontz, 50, is no stranger to Norton politics. The Republican served as Ward 2 Councilman from 1998 to 2002.
“I know most of the folks up there (in city hall) already,” he said. “There’s really very few people that I hadn’t met before.”
Koontz said he was “pleasantly
surprised” to see his campaign come out on top
by a big margin in the four-candidate race for mayor.
According to unofficial
results from the Nov. 6 General Election from the Summit
County Board of Elections, Koontz received 62 percent
of the vote, compared to 18 percent for Democratic candidate
Tom Jones (currently the Ward 1 councilman), 13 percent
for Independent candidate, and former mayor,
Amy Addis and 7 percent for Independent candidate Norman
“You never know,”
Koontz said. “I got a lot of good feedback as
I met people and walked door to door. But you never
know how many people will get out there and vote.”
Koontz is a native of Canton
who grew up in Perry Township. After graduating from
Perry High School, he headed to The University of Akron
(UA) to study civil engineering.
“My interest in engineering
was fueled by my interest in math and science in high
school,” he said. “And one of my best friends’
brother was a student at Akron U in engineering. I think
I made a right choice.”
He earned a bachelor of science
degree in 1980. Today he is a project manager with CTI
Engineers Inc., working in its Downtown Akron office,
a position he has had for five years. Prior to that,
he was a project manager with McCoy and Associates in
Akron for 11 years.
Koontz said his background in
engineering is helpful in his role as public servant.
“I understand the technical
aspects of some of the work that the city does, such
as roads and water, as well as I’ve had a lot
of contact with different developers over the years,”
he said. “The other side of it is just the education
and training. I take a logical approach to problems.
I like to identify a problem, figure out different alternatives
and solutions and figure out the most feasible one and
go along with it.”
Koontz has lived in Norton for
20 years. His wife of 27 years, Julie, moved to Norton
as a child, and the couple decided to make it their
home. They have two children, Katie and Emily, who are
both UA students.
“We liked the friendly
neighborhoods and good schools we have out here in Norton
and thought it would be a good place to raise
our own family,” Koontz said.
The mayor-elect said he wants
to increase citizen confidence in Norton’s leaders
and concentrate on economic development and Norton’s
infrastructure during his term.
“There are some things
the city is working on now,” he said. “Primarily
in areas of development, we have room for light industry
out on Wooster Road and along Barber Road. I’m
also interested in some more commercial development
on the Norton side of the Norton-Wadsworth line there.”
He also wants to see the city’s
road program work to maintain current roads rather than
spend a lot of money on a couple of major road projects.
The city is working with the Ohio Department of Transportation
on some upcoming projects, he added.
Koontz also wants to see the
city put some of its recent controversies — such
as a proposal to eliminate
the Norton Police Department, the resignation of former
mayor Joe Kernan because of a drunken driving charge
and the inability of current mayor James Price to run
for election due to a prior felony conviction —
behind it as he takes office.
“A big part of it is going
to be making progress and making good on these goals
that I have,” he said. “I will encourage
our staff to certainly listen to the citizens that call
in that we need to talk to.”
He also said he wants to form
an advisory committee of Norton business owners to get
their feedback on how to make the city a better place
to do business.
“We need to listen to their
input,” Koontz said. “With the economy being
slow, it’s not just going to happen without some
David Koontz was elected mayor of Norton in the November General Election.
Photo: Ken Crisafi