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Position papers: Norton City Council, Ward 2 representative

10/24/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Steven Fannin vs. Danny Grether vs. Don Nicolard (incumbent)


Voters living in Norton’s Ward 2 will vote for one candidate for Ward 2 representative on Norton City Council in the Nov. 5 General Election. The race is nonpartisan. The information provided below was submitted by the candidates, with their responses to our questions printed as submitted.


Steven Fannin

Why are you running for Council?

“I am profoundly concerned about the current state of political affairs in Norton. Our council is deeply divided on the most important issues affecting our city. Rather than addressing those concerns in Ward 2, our current representative engages in petty personal attacks, diverts public attention away from important issues and uses the power of the state to attack his political enemies. Rather than ignoring the important problems facing our city and Ward 2, in particular, we should tackle our problems head on. I am running because we have a failure of leadership on council. I am ready to tackle our issues head on and work to build a bridge with the other members of council toward a better and more prosperous future.”

What would be your top three priorities if you took office? Why?

  1. “To comprehensively reform sewer funding. We need to engage the County Department of Environmental Services and negotiate a competitively priced, mutually beneficial service contract for all the citizens of Norton. Whether you have sewers already or may receive them in the future we need to leverage support at the county level to keep prices down, while keeping maintenance and installation costs in check. Simply purchasing the sewer pipes and exorbitant costs, or pushing the costs off on other residents is not the way to make Norton better for everyone.
  2. “To renegotiate the JEDD Agreement with the City of Barberton. While regional development is important we cannot allow or city to participate in a poorly designed, fundamentally flawed agreement that leaves money on the table.
  3. “To restore civility to Norton Politics. It is time that our local government shows respect for the people. By revamping rules of decorum and proceeding in a careful, respectful manner we can restore a proper, civil tone to Norton politics.”


Danny Grether

Why are you running for Council?

“As Norton resident, it is important to me to see the rural feel of our communities unique character protected throughout our future growth and development. There are plenty of model towns within 100 miles that we all go visit for shopping and dining; I vision Norton as having the potential to be one of those towns. We have miles of highway accessible lands ready to be developed if marketed correctly. With my experience in real estate I will help to do just that. More importantly, I will ask for community input on how you see Norton and what businesses you would like to see attracted. With properly planned infrastructure and a welcoming community, we can attract employers who will provide jobs and a stronger tax base. With a child in the school system, I am running to build a better relationship between the Schools and the City Governments. With the potential for future growth and new school buildings, we will see vacant lands that will lend themselves well to small business growth, it is important we have representatives that know the value of that land. Finally, I am running for the Ward 2 seat to bring a higher level of professionalism, trust, and customer satisfaction to the position. The residents of Ward 2 deserve a higher standard of integrity, ethics and morally sound judgment from their elected representative; I am running to bring just that.”

What would be your top three priorities if you took office? Why?

“Planned Growth and Economic Development: Attracting businesses to the City of Norton is a top priority. Together we can decide what businesses best suite our neighborhoods and community vision. Having walked door to door in Ward 2, I have come to recognize that the majority of voters want more local businesses, restaurants and shopping. With the city income tax rollback, it is important to give the taxpayer the opportunity to work inside Norton. As your current Planning Commission representative and former Board of Zoning and appeals representative, I have helped lay the groundwork to insure business development is planned to protect the community, environment and property.

“Sensible and Affordable Infrastructure: Any infrastructure development in Norton must be backed with grant dollars and low interest loans, reducing the property owner’s burden. Having a solid infrastructure will be necessary to attract job creators to Norton.

“Fiscal Responsibility: As a taxpaying resident of Norton, I like to think of myself, and my fellow taxpayers as stakeholders. In the corporate world, stakeholders have an expectation of a return on their investments. We the people should have that same expectation when we invest in our community through taxes. The City Government must be held accountable to use our money in the smartest ways possible providing us with the highest possible return for the dollars invested. With over two decades of experience in lean manufacturing management, I have learned to do more with less while still providing the highest possible quality and customer satisfaction levels.”


Don Nicolard (incumbent)

Why are you running for Council?

“I believe that civic responsibility lies on the backs of all citizens. In my case it goes a little farther. In 1960 I had just finished my freshman year at Central High School in Akron. I just passed by the skin of my teeth. I had fallen in with a really bad group of kids heading down the wrong path. My parents realized that if I remained in that neighborhood and school district, I was doomed.

“At much financial hardship they decided we must move. Norton was their choice. We moved in July 1960. I met a group of kids from Norton and my life was transformed. Because of this City and the Norton City Schools I feel my life was saved. I owe this City my life. It is a small sacrifice, to give of my timer and energy, to pay the city back.”

What would be your top three priorities if you were re-elected? Why?

“My top priority is sewer and water. I think I have made that evident over the past four years. Our City is an envrironmental nightmare. You can run, but you can’t hide from the truth.

“Growth is my number two priority. Without growth are City cannot and will not survive. With proper City services growth will happen. We have acres upon acres of land, crying out to be developed . With good zoning and a business friendly government, Only our lack of vision can hold us back.

“Harmony and togetherness. Our City has been torn apart. Bickering and arguing has to stop. We have to work together, all of us for a common goal, of growth and prosperity. This is our only choice for the future.”

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