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Zoldesy not seeking re-election

8/15/2013 - South Side Leader
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By Emily Chesnic

Trustees addressing flooding issues

Current Coventry Trustee Gary Zoldesy announced at the Aug. 8 Board of Trustees meeting he does not wish to retain his position when his term expires at the end of the year.

He decided not to file for re-election in the Nov. 5 General Election but said he appreciated his time on the board serving alongside Chairman Bob Calderone and Trustee Tom Seese and representing the residents of his community.

Zoldesy was appointed to the seat in 2012 by then Summit County Probate Court Judge Todd McKenney. Zoldesy replaced former trustee Brenda Patterson, who died Jan. 12, 2012, after a long illness.

McKenney was asked to select Patterson’s replacement after Calderone and Seese failed to agree on who should fill the remaining two-year term from among five applicants who expressed interest in serving on the board.

Zoldesy referenced time constraints as one of the reasons why he was not seeking re-election. [For a list of candidates that filed for a seat on the board, see story beginning on Page 1.]

Zoldesy served as superintendent of Coventry Local Schools from 2003 to 2007 and is currently a professor at Ashland University, where he teaches education administration classes. He said he also stays active with his family and other community activities.

Zoldesy expressed a desire to have the open seat filled with “young blood.” He challenged Coventry residents to take time this fall to carefully consider all of the candidates, specifically weighing their goals and visions for the township.

Seese said he is sorry Zoldesy no longer would be serving on the board.

“It has been a pleasure working with him,” he said.

According to Seese, Zoldesy came in to serve the people the “old fashioned” way.

A great deal of the Aug. 8 meeting was spent discussing ongoing efforts to address flooding issues in the township.

Fiscal Officer Joni Murgatroyd announced the township recently applied for a Community Development Block Grant and is seeking about $212,000 toward a project that could lessen flooding on Killian Road and Cosmos and Buttercup avenues.

Road Superintendent Lael Stouffer said a safe spillway was just created at Cottage Grove Park to handle the overflow of water in the area of Killian, Cosmos and Buttercup, and this effort hopefully would alleviate some of the flooding residents are experiencing.

Calderone spoke concerning future storm water management efforts at Brewster Creek to mitigate flooding in the area of the Penguin Condominiums.

He said a professional engineer now is working with the township to develop a formal plan to address the problem.

Calderone explained a plan has to be in place so the township can apply for grant money to complete the work needed in the area.

He also said a community meeting is being planned for October so residents of the condominiums could be informed of the process. Calderone said a member of the county’s emergency management team would be present at the community meeting to explain what residents can do to better protect their property during a flood.

Also during the meeting, the board heard from resident Dorothy Koopmeiner, who volunteers for the Lockwood United Methodist Church Food Pantry, 3680 Manchester Road.

She explained Lockwood Church is one of the few organizations that feed residents in need in the township free of charge.

Koopmeiner said individuals and families can obtain grocery and home good items twice a month at the church.

However, the volunteers are having a difficult time offering enough food for everyone.

“We ran out of food three weeks ago. We just had more families than we did food,” she explained to the board.

Koopmeiner said the church has to purchase the food it distributes from the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank at a cost of 18 cents per pound. The 20 volunteers also count on local donations of bread and fresh grown vegetables to distribute, she said.

Koopmeiner said she is on a mission to draw more awareness to the work of the food pantry and is seeking financial contributions and/or donated canned goods to continue feeding as many Coventry families and individuals as possible.

“There are a lot of hungry children in our community,” she said.

Zoldesy expressed a desire to assist the “worthwhile effort.”

The board agreed to collect canned goods at the Oct. 10 meeting and designate at least one meeting a year as a time the community can come to a meeting to donate to the food pantry.

Koopmeiner wanted those in need to know the church’s food pantry is open the second and fourth Wednesday of every month from 9 a.m. to noon.

The next Coventry Board of Trustees meeting is set for Sept. 12 at 7:30 p.m. at the Town Hall, 68 Portage Lakes Drive.

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