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Brunswick Council selects replacement member

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    Clerk of Council Fijabi Julien-Gallam, left, swears in Andrea Rodriguez on Monday after Brunswick Council announced that she would be filling the Ward 3 seat. Salzgeber, who represented Ward 3 beginning in 2015, resigned from his Council seat following a public hearing to determine if he could serve simultaneously on Council and as the county recorder.

    ALYSSA ALFANO / GAZETTE

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BRUNSWICK — Andrea Rodriguez will fill the Council seat left open after last month’s departure of Joe Salzgeber.

Rodriguez, who lives on Grafton Road and is currently an elevator mechanic apprentice and member of the International Union of Elevator Constructors Local 17 in Cleveland, was selected Monday by City Council following two hours of interviews and discussion

“It’s real,” said Rodriguez following the meeting. “Yeah, I’m ready.”

Rodriguez modernizes elevators for a living at Otis Elevator Company. She has also worked at ACN LLC and has worked at a funeral home.

Salzgeber, who represented Ward 3 beginning in 2015, resigned from his Council seat following a public hearing to determine if he could serve simultaneously on Council and as the county recorder.

The Medina County Republican Party Central Committee appointed Salzgeber to the county position in January after Colleen Swedyk was elected as county commissioner.

Rodriguez’s desire to run for Council was born from her experience in Brunswick. The community reached out to help her in a time of need and now, she wants to help the community.

“My husband and I have eight kids together and we had a house fire on Grafton Road and we lost everything and the community really stepped up,” she said.

The fire happened in January of 2009 and Rodriguez said she was surprised and excited about the amount of support she and her family received.

“It was awesome. I thought, ‘This community is the bomb,’ ” said Rodriguez. “I knew that I would give back some day, but it wasn’t my time yet.”

After being able to get her family and home back together and getting back to work, Rodriguez said she has decided it is time for her to give back and she has been preparing.

“My husband and I go to Columbus for an eight-hour Saturday (class) once a month to learn how to do this,” said Rodriguez. “It’s been exciting.”

Rodriguez said she would like to see work done on Pearl Road. She will make it a priority of her time on Council now and in the future if she is re-elected in May. She would also like to be available to help fill the needs of residents.

“When I walked around getting my petition signed, nobody complained,” said Rodriguez. “I know the Pearl Road project is really something that I would love to see come to fruition. Just a lot more revenue coming in. Just beautification of the street and having those business establishments that bring in some good, healthy, wholesome revenue into the area. And outside of that, I just want to be open-minded and listen to people and see what I can do.”

Before Salzgeber’s resignation, he faced opposition in May against Rodriguez and Frank Raso, a lawyer currently serving as an assistant prosecutor in the Medina County Prosecutor’s Office. Now, it will just be Rodriguez and Raso in the city’s lone contested race.

Monday’s special meeting gave Council an opportunity to speak with the people who wanted to serve the remainder of Salzgeber’s term, which is up Dec. 31. Several other residents wanted the job such as:

  • Chris Strauss, of Berkeley Lane, who is the senior account manager for Lake Business Products;
  • Becky Cunningham of Starview Drive and a registered nurse with the Cleveland Clinic;
  • Steven Girard, an eight-year resident of Brunswick and the pastor of St. Mark Lutheran Church;
  • Keri Russell who lives on Alice Avenue and is clerical legal assistant with Keis George LLP.
  • John Ball, who lives on Normandy Drive and is a sergeant with Cleveland police. He works in the Mobile Support Unit in the department’s Fourth District; and
  • Martin Krist, a contract painter with Painting Plus in Brunswick.
Contact reporter Alyssa Alfano at aalfano@medina-gazette.com.


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