By Bob Sandrick, special to cleveland.com | Sept. 21, 2021

STRONGSVILLE, Ohio — Three incumbents and one challenger are running for three seats on City Council this fall.

The incumbents are Jim Carbone, Joseph DeMio and Kelly Kosek. The challenger is Erin Lally, a former member of the Ohio House of Representatives.

A fifth candidate, Amy Casner, has withdrawn from the race, although her name will still appear on the ballot. Casner told cleveland.com last week that she has moved out of Strongsville to Columbus.

Candidate: Erin Lally

Age: 55

Address: 16187 Drake Road

Occupation: Director, Donna Smallwood Senior Center, City of Parma; mayor’s assistant, City of Parma Heights; self-employed graphic designer

Prior elected office or campaign: Appointed to Ohio House of Representatives, 18th District, June 1998; elected to Ohio House 18th District November 1998 and 2000 (as a Democrat); applied unsuccessfully to vacant Strongsville City Council Ward 2 seat January 2018

Education: Bachelor’s degree in English, Ohio University; graphic design certification, Polaris Career Center, Middleburg Heights

Family: Husband, Francis; children Francis, 20, Mary, 19, Colleen, 17, Liam, 15, and Cormac, 14

Political party: Independent; last voted as a Democrat in 2015, according to Cuyahoga County Board of Elections

Why are you running? “I am passionate about local government because it is what I do for a living, and I am prepared to bring my experience and skills to the city that I live in and love. Keeping taxes low, providing quality services and economic development opportunities for businesses are essential and contribute to strong, safe neighborhoods and schools.

“The city of Strongsville is financially healthy. The rec center will be paid off this year and our business parks are thriving. With our AAA bond rating, now is not the time to raise municipal taxes on our residents and business owners.

“Strategic investments with tax dollars and federal stimulus monies in infrastructure projects and upgrades to our public facilities is wise. It is financially prudent to have vision and invest in long-term planning, as well as to secure funding for much-in-demand walkways, trails and bike paths.

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