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Akron City Council, Ward 1 representative

10/31/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Anthony Karam Jr. vs. Rich Swirsky

Voters living in Akron’s Ward 1 will vote for one candidate for Akron City Council Ward 1 representative on the Nov. 5 General Election ballot. The information provided below was submitted by the candidates, with their responses to our questions printed as submitted.


Anthony Karam Jr.

Political affiliation: Republican

Why are you running for Council?

“I am running for councilman because I want to see our community prosper. As a businessman and financial major, I hope to bring my expertise to the council to help with financial problems and budgetary decisions for the city. As a the youngest candidate I think I can bring renewed energy and a different perspective to the city council in different issues.”

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

“My first 2 issues coincide with each other and are the budget and the status of ‘Fiscal Caution,’ I want to help the city develop and implement the most cost effective efficient budget. The city is also in fiscal caution as deemed by the state auditor and needs to correct the problem. With my financial background I think I can add some real value to solving this problem. My third issue would be crime, If elected, I plan to participate in a ride along with the police department to some of the areas that need the most attention in order to try and find ways to help prevent crimes.”


Rich Swirsky

Political affiliation: Democrat

Why are you running for Council?

“My vision for Ward is to be a catalyst for diversity,, sustainability and public safety that will serve the whole city and enhance urban living for people of all ages. We have very talented individuals willing to share ideas, expertise and time. We have the University, civic - minded businesses, the Cascade Locks Association, a movie theater, the Towpath, excellent neighborhood organizations, global minded professionals., musicians, artists, and builders. If we bring this diversity together for common causes, the possibilities are endless.”

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

 “My three top priorities would be diversity, sustainability, and public safety. Here is how I will implement those priorities:

  • “Actively represent the diverse needs of the ward with respect and equal attention.
  • “Advocate increased community policing presence on bicycles and foot patrols.
  • “Initiate the growth and expansion of neighborhood block watches by supporting existing ones and creating new groups.
  • “Work with city officials to enforce housing codes; identify abandoned buildings for demolition or preservation.
  • “Act as a catalyst and recruiter for business development; especially small and locally owned companies.
  • “Promote bike paths and pedestrian friendly practices, while closely monitoring traffic congestion, speeding and street public safety.
  • “Will champion city, commercial and residential energy efficiency, water sustainability, and green purchasing practices.
  • “Support the growth and expansion of community gardens and locally grown food.
  • “Clean up and mow abandoned lots and make them available for development, green space, or gardens.
  • “Organize ‘trash patrols’ to clean up business districts and identify graffiti for removal.”
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