Campaign 2019: Susan Spinner
Staff Interview, 09-27-2019

Susan Spinner is running to serve Ward 2 of Cuyahoga Falls as its next councilwoman.
Image Provided by Susan Spinner
The Falls Free Press team has worked up a series of questions that we are sending to city council candidates on this year's ballot. We are sending the same questions to all candidates with some subtle differences—if a candidate is an incumbent, the questions are phrased a little differently. For instance, if we are asking an incumbent why they voted a certain way on a vote before council, we will ask the challenger how they would have voted had they been on council for that vote. We have now solicited responses from all council candidates in this year’s election.

For our fourth interview in this series, we are publishing the responses we received from Ward 2 city council candidate Susan Spinner. Spinner works at Fortis College in Cuyahoga Falls helping students with financial aid, and she is the mother of four children, among them the former candidate for the 36th District seat in the Ohio House of Representatives, Noah Spinner. The Ward 2 seat on city council is being vacated by the retiring Councilwoman Mary Ellen Pyke, who has held the seat for 22 years. We reached Mrs. Spinner via email on September 26th.

We have decided to publish the answers we receive from all candidates separately, so if we receive answers from Spinner’s opponent, we will publish them in short order, but in the meantime, we present Mrs. Spinner’s response below.

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FFP: What do you bring to Cuyahoga Falls as a potential member of city council that is lacking from that body or other areas of leadership, and how can your plans or ideas better every citizen?

SPINNER: I don’t consider myself a politician, but rather a public servant. My desire to secure this seat on Council is to serve our community. Since I became a candidate for Cuyahoga Falls City Council, I’ve met with the mayor, cabinet members and other department directors at City Hall. Learning more about what the departments and appointed officials do for the city has afforded me a better understanding of how things work. I’ll be ready in January to hit the ground running as Ward 2’s Council representative.

FFP: How will you be active in the community as a member of council, and how will you improve communication to keep Cuyahoga Falls residents informed about their city and seek their input in the decision-making process?

SPINNER: I’m impressed by the amount of information available on social media through several council members’ pages/accounts. They host informational meetings and are very knowledgeable about current events in the city. This is not as prevalent in my ward. I have set up a Facebook account on which I share things I see would be of interest in the city. I will continue to keep that updated to share what’s going on in my Ward and around town.

FFP: What are your thoughts on the successes or lack thereof as far as Portage Crossing and the Downtown Transformation? What would you do to increase the success of these projects?

SPINNER: Portage Crossing is definitely a welcomed improvement over what had been there for years before. My family enjoys the movie theater, restaurants and stores there. The downtown and Front Street transformations are amazing. More than ever you see people out and walking to and from their new favorite restaurants, breweries, and shops. Downtown, especially, has a great new and energized “vibe!”

FFP: If you received a $1 million grant to use for the city any way you wanted, what would you do with it and why?

SPINNER: I support the school levy/bond issue and know how important it is for us to have great schools. I also understand the financial burden it would place on our residents with fixed incomes. I would create an endowment that would yield an annual amount available, to qualified applicants with demonstrated financial need, to offset some of the added tax burden.

FFP: Where are your favorite places to spend time in our town?

SPINNER: You’d think the Bailey and State Road Acme stores are my favorite places because, with a family of 6, I’m in one of those just about every day! For the last 8 years my favorite place to spend time has been Cuyahoga Falls High School with my kids and the Tiger Marching Band & Concert Bands. Whether at the stadium for football games and band shows, the gymnasium for basketball games or the auditorium for concerts and musicals, I have loved every minute of being a part of such a vital group in our community. It’s inspiring to watch these young musicians excel, not only in music, but athletically, academically and socially. It’s been an honor to serve on the board of the Instrumental Music Patrons for 4 years and chair the chaperone committee with my husband J.D.

FFP: How would you have voted on the Sycamore development rezoning amendment, Tobacco 21 initiative, or other legislation had you been on council when it came to a vote and why?

SPINNER: The Sycamore development rezoning issue was a rock-and-a-hard-place situation. I heard and sympathized with the passionate arguments of the local residents that neither option was welcomed, but it’s my understanding if council hadn’t voted to rezone, that property would have been developed commercially. I agree that wouldn’t have been the better choice.

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The Falls Free Press wishes to thank Mrs. Spinner for her responses, and we look forward to hearing from the other candidates on this year's ballot.

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