SHEFFIELD — Village Council Pro Tem Carolyn White has announced that she is running for mayor of Sheffield, challenging incumbent Mayor John Hunter.
White, who has served on Village Council since 2007, plans to file her petition today. She said she has learned and done a lot on Council, but that it’s time for someone with new ideas in the mayor’s seat.
“I think I’ve done my time on Council,” White said. “I’ve learned everything I need to know, and I just think it’s time for a change.”
She said one of her chief concerns is making sure Sheffield has controlled growth. White said she wants to see the village develop a five-year plan to outline development. She said she isn’t against growth, but that residents would prefer to keep Sheffield a smaller town.
“The residents I’ve spoken to want to keep it a village, and that’s why they’re here and they’re not in the city,” she said.
White said she wants to do different things to promote pedestrian safety in the village. She said she wants to work to reduce traffic and accidents on the village’s busier roads, as well as add sidewalks and bike lanes to more parts of the city.
“It makes my heart skip a beat when I see (bicyclists) trying to bike up and down those busy streets,” she said.
Another issue White said she wants to address is access for residents to sewers. She said many residents are using septic systems and don’t have access to sewers, and — for those who do — it can be expensive to connect to one if a septic system fails.
I want to find a way to help residents with the cost of that,” White said. “I’m sure there’s something that we can look into to help our residents get fully connected.”
White said she expects the campaign to be a lot of hard work, and that she is ready for it. She said she does expect an incident in her past to resurface.
White pleaded no contest on May 27, 2014, to driving under suspension, reckless operation and obstructing official business for a crash that occurred in January of the same year in which she struck a Lorain County Transit bus stop shelter with her car and left the scene.
An additional charge of falsification against White was dropped as part of a plea deal with prosecutors. Her driver’s license was suspended at the time of the crash because of a December arrest on a charge of operating a vehicle while intoxicated that was later reduced.
White said that she thinks everyone has had something in their lives that they wish hadn’t occurred, but that the incident shouldn’t detract from her record of good things she had done for the village.
“One incident that occurred should not hold me back from becoming mayor,” White said.
After filing her petition to run, White said her next step would be continuing to reach out to residents. She said she wants to let residents get to know her, as well as see want they want to happen in the village.
“The most important thing is doing what the residents want,” she said.
Board of Elections Director Paul Adams said that as of the end of July, no one other than Hunter has filed to run for mayor in Sheffield. The election is nonpartisan, so Hunter and White, both Democrats, can run against each other in the general election. Adams said the deadline for filing for the race is Wednesday.