From left, Seville Mayor Carol Carter, a Democrat, and Medina County Recorder Colleen Swedyk, a Republican, will square off for the commissioner spot in the Nov. 6 general election.
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There will be a new face on the Medina County Board of Commissioners on Jan. 1.
Commissioner Adam Friedrick has decided not to run for re-election and his four-year term will expire Dec. 31.
Seville Mayor Carol Carter, a Democrat, and Medina County Recorder Colleen Swedyk, a Republican, will square off for the commissioner spot in the Nov. 6 general election.
The winner of the election will join Bill Hutson and Pat Geissman on the board.
Medina County Recorder Colleen Swedyk
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Education: Bachelor’s degree in finance from Baldwin Wallace University, master’s degree in integrated social studies and education from the University of Akron.
Family: Married to husband, Jack, with one son, Jay.
Job history: She was Hinckley Township’s fiscal officer for 13 years. She has been Medina County recorder for the last 11 years.
Swedyk, 54, said she’s been preparing for this seat for her entire career.
The Hinckley Township resident has been recorder for the lasts 11 years. For 13 years, she was fiscal officer in Hinckley.
“I managed their money using very, very fiscally conservative principles,” Swedyk said.
She said during her tenure in Hinckley, the township built three buildings, including a fire station and service department. She said the township paid cash for the three buildings.
“We asked the taxpayers for no levies,” she said.
As Medina County recorder, she said her office was completely upgraded.
“We have dockets online now,” Swedyk said. “We have a new searchable website. We do electronic recording, which accounts for about 33 percent of our business.”
She said the office now takes credit cards and does veterans’ IDs.
“We still reduced costs of the department by 30 percent,” she said. “Those aren’t 30 percent inflated dollars. It’s 30 percent fewer appropriated dollars than 12 years ago.”
Seville Mayor Carol Carter
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Education: Graduate of Cloverleaf High School.
Family: one son, one daughter and three grandchildren.
Job history: She worked 27 years at the Medina County Home, was dietary manager at Willowood Care Center in Brunswick, worked at Century Harley-Davidson and most recently was Seville’s mayor for five years. Before that, she served on village council for two terms.
Carter, 66, said she was throwing her “bedazzled hat in the ring” for commissioner when she announced her intention to run. She is known for wearing a hat, even though she showed up at the Greater Medina Chamber of Commerce candidates’ forum without one.
“I am the highest-ranking officer in the village of Seville,” she said. “I don’t carry a gun, but I do carry a (police) radio.
“I have had to make tough decisions. I am responsible for the fiscal shape of our village. Ten years ago, our village wasn’t in very good shape. When I became mayor in 2010, the previous administration left us with under $100,000 to work with. I’m proud to say we have a $500,000 carryover, and it’s still there today.”
Carter said she’s very involved in economic development in the village, and is administrator of the Seville Area Chamber of Commerce.
Carter, a widow who lost her husband, Billy, in 2015, said she believes elected officials are public servants.
“We’re to be out there (in the public), no matter what party you are or what your beliefs are,” she said. “You all have an opinion, just like I do.”
She said she’s learned not to “dig my heels in so deep.”
“I’ve learned I have an opinion and (have to listen to) other people’s opinions,” Carter said.
“It’s the difference of opinions that make this world better. I believe in public comment.”
She is a bit critical in the way the commissioners handle public comment during their meetings Tuesday.
People wishing to speak need to call in by Friday and get on the list.
“That’s not how it works,” Carter said.
“We have Robert’s Rules of Order. We have a gap. We have the word respect. If someone is speaking, even if they are passionate and disrespectful, we can calm them down and ask them to sit.
“We have public comment in the village of Seville. We are there to serve the people. We need to use our ears for something other than a hat and our glasses — and listen. It upsets me when I (see) public officials giving eye looks and body language.
“It’s our job to serve. That’s what this mayor and this woman believes. Step up or shut up. This woman is not ready to shut up. Hopefully on Nov. 6, you’ll (punch my) card for commissioner.”
Carter said members of the Democratic Party told her they like how she gets things done in Seville and urged her to run. She said she’s acted as an ambassador for her village, attending meetings and trying to attract business.
She said part of her job as mayor is to “help promote our village.”
Carter, whose term as mayor will expire in 2019, has been mayor for five years. Before that, she served on village council for two terms.
“I’d like to bring a breath of fresh air (to the board of commissioners),” Carter said.
Swedyk said after college at Baldwin Wallace University, she was recruited by National City Bank in the manager’s training program.
“I’d like to take my skills and formal education to the commissioners’ position,” she said. “I’m so excited about this opportunity.
“During my (15) years as an elected official, I always remember that I am spending other people’s money — yours. I pledge to take that responsibility very, very seriously.”
She said she will be approachable and accessible and to listen to all residents.