MEDINA — Incumbent Brian Hilberg wasn’t able to hold off a challenge Tuesday from Laura Parnell for the Ward 1 City Council seat.
Parnell, 42, amassed 373 votes (47.1 percent) to Hilberg’s 303 (38.26 percent). Candidate Kevin Consiglio had 116 votes (14.65 percent), according to unofficial results from the Medina County Board of Elections.
Parnell is the owner of Cool Beans Café on Public Square. She and her husband, Ben Cavey, were at Bunker Hill Golf Course on Tuesday watching election results.
She said she was “absolutely” thrilled with the outcome.
Parnell said she got out and met people heading into Election Day.
“Honestly, I was extremely involved in the community,” she said. “People know who I am and the passion I have for the city.”
She said the biggest issues in the election were her “transparency and communication” skills.
Parnell said she will bring that to Council.
“You always hope your efforts will pay off,” she said. “I was confident (heading into the election) and that my efforts would pay off.”
Parnell said she wants to improve the infrastructure in Medina, especially its older neighborhoods.
“I want to encourage smart growth of our uptown area and find incentives to bring additional businesses to our community,” she said before the election.
Parnell, who has two children, Alexandra and Callum, said she is “a passionate and involved member of the community. I have worked behind the scenes to further the goals of Main Street Medina and the city in promoting Medina and our square as a destination. My experience as a successful business owner ensures that I am fiscally responsible and have demonstrated the ability to make tough decisions while adhering to a budget.”
Hilberg, owner of Marie’s Café on Public Square, wasn’t available for comment Tuesday evening.
During his five years on Council, he said he was proud it operated within a reasonable and balanced budget.
“I’ve helped direct the city’s success for the past five years,” he said previously. “I’ve been a small business owner for the past 12 years in Medina.”
Consiglio, 30, is a business analyst at FirstEnergy Solutions.
“It was good experience,” he said. “It was my first time running. I didn’t know what to expect.”
He stood outside the Community Center at the Medina County Fairgrounds for six hours Tuesday trying to drum up some votes.
“I enjoyed doing it,” Consiglio said. “I’m looking forward to doing more campaigning in the future.”
He said the fact that he has lived in Medina for just two years might have hurt his campaign.
“I think I need to get more name recognition and get my name out there,” he said.
Also Tuesday, Paul Rose was re-elected as a councilman at-large and Mark Kolesar ran unopposed for his Ward 3 seat.
Dennis Hanwell also ran unopposed for mayor, as did Keith Dirham for finance director.
Contact reporter Bob Finnan at (330) 721-4049 or firstname.lastname@example.org.