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Ward 1 Kent Council Only Contested Race Today

Incumbent Garret Ferrara faces challenger Melissa Long

Only one of the six ward races for is contested today.

Incumbent Ward 1 representative , a Republican, faces Democratic challenger .

Ferrara, 44, first elected in 2000, works as a financial adviser. He holds a bachelor's degree in general studies from and a master's degree in business administration from Kent State.

Ferrara said previously he wants to stay on council to see through the ongoing downtown redevelopment efforts.

"Namely the and the downtown project," he said. "I’ve been on the bandwagon since it started, and we’re right on the cusp of making it all happen."

Long, 74, is a member of the Kent Planning Commission. She previously served four years as mayor of Cortland, OH, and as a member of Cortland City Council for 12 years.

She said previously the city needs to balance its budget along with spurring redevelopment.

"I’ve been on the planning commission now for four years," she said. "I would like to see the plans that are being brought to the city for all the downtown development come to fruition. I feel that I could probably, from this point on, be more productive in the legislative end of city government."

Also today, Kent voters will decide the fate of a .

The other city council races — for Wards 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 — will see at the ballot box. The same goes for the two Kent City Schools Board of Education seats on the ballot.

Michelle Sahr November 08, 2011 at 12:38 PM
I vote in ward 1 today. I really don't know anything about Melissa Long other than the very brief statement she gave patch and that she is a Democrat. (I can't help but think that it really doesn't matter whether you are democrat or republican at the local level.) Given that I am happy with Garret, I will vote for him. In the future it would be wonderful to have a bit more information than a brief statement. I am wondering if others here in ward 1 got more information than I did.
demo rat November 08, 2011 at 02:10 PM
The League of Women Voters sponsored a debate between Michelle and Garret several weeks ago and it was very informative. If you separate Garret from his politics, I like him a lot - but his verbalized support of SB5 is enough to make me vote against him. If he's voting against his constituents in the voting booth, I cannot trust him to "have my back" while sitting on council.
Barbara A. Barkley November 08, 2011 at 04:26 PM
Michelle, I am also in Ward 1 and received no information from Long, which I think is a real shortcoming. Transparency and open communication with your constituents is just a basic requirement of an elected official. Garret - and the rest of the council for that matter - have done a great job with the downtown revitalization effort and have earned their seat at the table.
Elliott Ingersoll November 08, 2011 at 05:38 PM
I too felt that her candidacy lacked any impact - the signs didn't go up until a couple weeks ago. She said she went door-to-door but I did not meet her until I attended the debate she and Garret held. I am going to make a concerted effort to attend council meetings this year to be better informed on the issues.
Pat November 08, 2011 at 07:03 PM
I voted against Ferrara, as I have seen his actions about getting rid of anything historical in Kent. From the damm to the whoe downtown area. I was so glad to see someone running against him.
James Thomas November 08, 2011 at 07:28 PM
Just a note, as a voter in Stow I am envious of how open Kent's Council and City Administration are. Wish Stow could get past all the back stabbing as Kent has done. This is from a Non-Democrat.
Dave November 08, 2011 at 08:47 PM
This guy has got to stop being part of improvements in this town! I want to see dilapidated buildings rot further, waterways that are over 100 years old and deemed to be hazardous for any recreational use need to be kept as is! Empty run down buildings need to stay empty and run down! We need to get someone in there who cares less about improving Kent!
Matt Fredmonsky November 08, 2011 at 11:19 PM
We did do a slightly longer Q&A with Long. Here's the story: http://kent.patch.com/articles/melissa-long-running-for-kent-city-council-seat
Jon Ridinger November 09, 2011 at 02:33 AM
The dam removal was ordered by the Ohio EPA. Kent could have either kept the dam as it was or face fines or other major on-going costs. While the solution was probably the most expensive one possible, it did preserve the dam...it's still there just as it has been since 1836 even though the river goes around it now. It was a case of history vs. environmental concerns. What "historical" buildings has Ferrara voted to demolish? And no, pretty much everything in the downtown area that was demolished by the city and KSU was not historical by any means (being old doesn't mean historical) plus much of it was in terrible condition. Also, the Robin Hood was something council had absolutely no authority to stop or even act on since it was a privately owned structure. He has hardly voted to demolish the "whole downtown area".
Tom Simpson November 10, 2011 at 02:34 AM
I wish there would have been at least two people running for each seat.

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