PARMA, Ohio — Election season in Parma begins next month with a May 4 Ward 7 primary between Republican candidate newcomers Danielle Downs and Alison Giraldo.
The winner will face the newly-named Ward 7 Councilwoman Kamile L. Shuman, who earlier this year was appointed to fill the seat vacated after Brian Brochetti’s resignation, in the Nov. 2 election.
For Parma native Danielle Downs, the decision to run for public office stems from seeking positive change in Ward 7.
“We need to put the neighbor back in neighborhood,” said Downs, 37, who served in the Air Force. “I’ve lived in my current home in Ward 7 for almost 12 years now. I’ve watched our councilman deflect rather than help.
“Regardless of one’s position, we’re all neighbors. After constantly seeing how things were going, I decided that it was time for change.”
In Downs’ opinion, one of the biggest issues facing Parma is despite increasing taxes the lack of a rec center, which ends up leading to residents supporting businesses outside of the city. She also said roads — specifically side streets — need repaired and flooding issues solved.
“Another issue I see is all the vacant commercial properties that we have,” said Downs, who works in human resources. “We need to entice businesses to come here, which would bring more revenue to our city. More revenue creates so many more opportunities for our city that I feel are currently being missed.”
Despite her lack of political experience, Downs said, “I never ran for political office before but neither did Trump.”
As for Giraldo, a Youngstown area native who moved to Parma two years ago, the decision to run for office came quickly after Councilman Brochetti’s resignation.
“Parma is worth preserving,” said Giraldo, 37, who previously ran for Parma City School District Board of Education. “With top-notch safety services, parks, shops and great neighbors, I’m focused on preserving the best of our city while improving on the basic infrastructure with ingenuity, grant finding and fiscal responsibility.
“As a full-time realtor and active community member involved with school activities, I’ve had the opportunity to meet and work with many of my Ward 7 neighbors.”
Through those discussions, Giraldo said she’s learned topics of concern involve flooding issues and unfinished projects from electric and cable providers.
“With the majority of the community expressing concerns with utility providers, city leaders must take steps to ensure that our residents are safeguarded from exploitation from these services,” Giraldo said. “I will take those steps.”
Beginning in 2022, the annual salary for a part-time Parma City Council representative is $22,443. Also, the city council president will earn $24,581.
Read more news from the Parma Sun Post here.
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