Candidate Spotlight: Susan Spinner(Ward 2— Cuyahoga Falls City Council)
The CF Dems Club will be spotlighting our 2021 candidates through November. Be sure to keep stopping by the learn more.
Meet Susan, candidate for Ward 2 City Council in Cuyahoga Falls. Here’s a little about her!
First, I’m proud and honored to have served one year already as the Ward 2 Councilwoman in Cuyahoga Falls. It’s been a real pleasure and privilege to do the work that promotes the growth of our community and connects our residents to the valuable services provided by the city. I have worked in the same career college school group for nearly 24 years, the last 18 of which have been at the Fortis College Cuyahoga Falls campus. I take great pride in knowing that, as the only college in town, we help our students get the skills and qualifications they need to join the local work force as quickly as possible.
What I am most proud of, however, is my family. My husband JD and I have raised 4 wonderful kids who make us proud every day. Our oldest, Jake, is a recent University of Akron graduate working full time in his field as a talented and award winning graphic designer. Our son, Noah, is currently pursuing a degree in constitutional law and has a great future ahead, possibly in public service! Our twin daughters are both freshmen in college studying to be educators in music and art. Both are extremely talented and will be great teachers. Along with JD, our boys are Eagle Scouts, and the girls are both Gold Award Girl Scouts who also are working toward Eagle! JD works for the University of Akron and loves to play music. He plays guitar and sings as half of the fun duo, JD & Ken. Since they couldn’t play out at their normal venues during the pandemic, they provided several driveway concerts over the summer which were enjoyed by many.
To learn more about Susan, check out the Q&A below.
Tell us why Cuyahoga Falls is home to you.
I grew up in Akron and have many fond memories of visiting Cuyahoga Falls for ice cream at Helen Hutchley’s, fresh produce at Kriegers, and movies at Loew’s State Theatre! When we were expecting with our first child, we wanted to buy our first home in a community that had great schools, parks, and neighborhoods. Our search quickly narrowed in on Cuyahoga Falls and that’s been home ever since — for all those reasons and more.
What has motivated you to enter public service?
When our son Noah ran for the Democratic nomination in the 2018 primary for the State House of Representatives, our family definitely became more interested and acquainted with our local politics. But, what struck me the most was his insistence on not becoming a politician, but a public servant. That’s how it should be. I took the opportunity to run for our Ward 2 City Council position, not to pursue a political career, but to engage in public service. JD and I have both been active volunteers for many organizations over the years, especially with Scouting, Cuyahoga Falls Marching Tiger Band and C Falls Relay for Life. I take great pride and joy in being able to grow in my community service in this way.
What issues are most important to you and our community?
I believe it’s safety issues which cover a lot of ground and can include many things. With the pandemic, so many activities we took for granted suddenly became a danger to our health. Services provided in and for our community had to be adapted to ensure our safety. The safety of our environment should be everyone’s concern. It’s encouraging to see the C Falls Administration take steps toward reducing our city’s carbon footprint. I know in the past year, residents in Ward 2 had concerns about their safety, but our Police Department is among the best. “When you see something, say something” should be on banners everywhere! I’ve observed that many are afraid they are bothering the police by calling with their concerns. The CFPD is there to serve and protect. No one should hesitate to call on them when something strange is afoot!
Where would you like to see Cuyahoga Falls in 10 years?
One of the things I love about Cuyahoga Falls is that we are a decent sized city — within the top 20 largest cities the state — but have a small town feel. Neighbors are friendly, shop owners know their customers, and many amenities are within walking distance. While keeping that small town feel, I would love to see the number of out-of-towners making special trips to Cuyahoga Falls grow exponentially to enjoy all we have to offer in the next 10 years and beyond, while creating more opportunities for our residents to expand their own businesses or for the rest of us to enjoy all the added benefits the city would be able to offer as a result.
Why are you proud to be a Democrat?
With all the division and controversy we are experiencing, I’m confident history will show we were proponents of all the right things. I’m confident these include championing the fight for equality for women and minorities, for preserving our democracy, health care for everyone, maximizing the benefits of renewable energy sources, and serving the needs of everyone and not just those who are just like us. At the local level, we are not deciding on the issues that divide at the state and federal levels, but under Democratic leadership, our city has moved forward in ways we couldn’t even imagine before.
Where’s your favorite place to eat in Cuyahoga Falls?
Just as we were becoming empty nesters, the pandemic forced us to stay put in our nest! After this passes, we must resolve to eat out more! Going out for dinner is a special treat whether we’re enjoying a romantic river-view table at Beau’s on the River or a more casual pizza dinner with craft beer at HiHO. And countless special occasions have been celebrated at home with our favorite take-out food from Chen’s Garden.
Favorite song & why?
“Heroes” by David Bowie. Even if it’s just for one day, we can all be heroes. During this pandemic, you hear more and more about the heroism of first responders, healthcare providers as well as front line and essential workers. And quite often it doesn’t take a heroic act of epic proportion to be a hero to someone. Stepping out of your comfort zone to help others can have a profound impact. For example, I consider everyone wearing a mask, who is uncomfortable doing so, to be heroic.
What do you do to unwind at the end of the day?
The first 5 minutes or so after I get home are spent saying hello to our family dog, Leia. No matter what kind of day I had, her excited greeting makes me feel so happy to be home. I love cooking and preparing special meals, especially when the kids are home. I’m so grateful they look forward to family meals together as much as I do. I enjoy knitting, and watching comedies with JD. We just started the Big Bang Theory Series and it feels great to laugh!