The Cleveland Jewish News emailed candidates a questionnaire for the Nov. 2 general election.

Questionnaires were sent to the address candidates provided to the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections. On these pages are the responses to the following question in 50 words or less, which each candidate was given: What would you do for the residents if elected?

Candidates appear in alphabetical order. Some candidates opted not to return the questionnaire. An asterisk denotes an incumbent.



4 Year Term

Vote for no more than 1



Justin Berns

Age: 52

Occupation: Real Estate Developer/Custom Home Builder

Current elected political office held: Beachwood City Council


I will work with the owner of Beachwood Place regarding its future, address and strengthen local infrastructure by working to secure federal and state grants for construction projects, including the proposed redesign of the Chagrin/Richmond/Interstate 271 corridor and the Mercantile/Harvard connector road, and work to strengthen city employee morale.



Martin S. Horwitz*

Age: 68

Occupation: Mayor (prior occupation, attorney)

Current elected political office held: City of Beachwood Mayor


I will build on the success of my first term as mayor by continuing to deliver superior safety services, fix critical infrastructure, promote economic development to keep taxes low, and expand our outstanding city services. Please visit my website for more details about my plans to keep Beachwood successful and strong.

Council at Large

4 Year Term

Vote for no more than 3



George Carr

Age: 49

Occupation: Attorney


Maintain and improve Beachwood’s public services and public safety forces, and expand our diverse mix of residents and businesses. My legal skills will help Beachwood negotiate and enforce contracts and laws that improve our quality of life, and I’m dedicated to helping our residents thrive through changing times.



Mair Cohen

Age: 50

Occupation: Owner, Discount Metals


Admiration/respect for our first-class, hard-working fire, police and public works employees; implement a viable/profitable upgrade to Beachwood Place; install high-efficiency LED street lamps in a strategic manner throughout the side streets; maintain/attract good businesses to our city; low taxes. A healthy commercial tax base equals lower residential taxes.



Alec Isaacson*

Age: 54

Occupation: Technology Consultant

Current elected political office held: Beachwood City Council


I want to continue to strengthen Beachwood by developing our infrastructure (including sidewalks and streetlights), improving safety and security, creating economic development policies that allow our businesses to evolve with the times, and ensuring we stay fiscally responsible by creating strategic plans that clearly map our priorities and path forward.



Joshua Mintz

Age: 46

Occupation: Commercial Real Estate developer

Current elected political office held: Beachwood School Board

If elected, I will work with you, the administration, and business owners and leaders on redevelopment, stability and safety, so that assets like Beachwood Place are safe and a priority. My business experience and background will aid the city council and administration in three categories: safety, economic development and strategic partnerships.



Eric Synenberg*

Age: 42

Occupation: Attorney in Private Practice

Current elected political office held: Beachwood City Council


If elected to another term, I will continue to be fair and accessible. I treat every resident I encounter with respect and dignity. I also work well with my city council colleagues as well as city officials and employees. It would be an honor to continue to serve Beachwood.

Board of Education

4 Year Term

Vote for no more than three



Kim Allamby

Age: 51

Occupation: Physical Therapist


I am committed to assuring students receive the resources they need to reach their highest potential; celebrating our diversity with a more inclusive curriculum and school culture; and improving parent and community engagement. I will do this with positive collaboration, transparency, and by seeking stakeholder input for important school matters.



Julie Brough

Age: 42

Occupation: Athletic Trainer, Sports Medicine, University Hospitals

Ensure all students in Beachwood are our top priority with collaborative efforts between private and public institutions and increase community support. Strive for educational consistency, excellence, and opportunity. To set goals for improvement that “stretch” the district’s efforts; and support students’ social-emotional learning to increase resiliency and responsible decision-making skills.

Kareen Caputo


Kareen Caputo


Occupation: Marriage counseling

Current elected political office: n/a


I will make sure the residents know how the tax payers money is being spend by posting easily readable summaries of major school expenses on a regular basis. I will seek community involvement before every major financial decisions affecting the residents. I will reestablish ongoing communication between the parents and the teachers.



Jillian DeLong*

Age: 44

Occupation: Manager, College Assets & Mail Operations - Cuyahoga Community College

Current elected political office held: Beachwood School Board

My experience balancing academic needs with institutional resources at Cuyahoga Community College brings needed fiscal insight to the board. As a current board member, I have worked tirelessly with administration, and will continue to do so, with the following three initiatives in mind: navigate out of the pandemic; community collaboration; and fiscal stewardship.



Wendy Leatherberry

Age: 46

Occupation: Director, Grants & Contracts at Cleveland Rape Crisis Center


The Beachwood schools are our community’s greatest asset. I will work with the stellar educators to build on that success, specifically focusing on efforts to enhance equity and inclusion for all students, academic excellence, continued use of science and facts to make decisions, and an increased emphasis on transparency.

Valerie Charms Mason


Valerie Charms Mason

Age: 51

Occupation: Sales and Sales Training

Current Elected Political Office Held: n/a


To address the need for transparency and parental involvement with the school board, I propose a monthly agenda be disseminated community-wide offering web-form response and zoom call sessions to examine issues prior to voting. Politics doesn’t belong in K-12; let’s restore focus on academic mastery and critical thinking.



Miriam F Weiss, MD, MA

Age: 74

Occupation: Physician, Academician


I will be a window into, not a rubber stamp for Board contracts and issues that pass currently without comment. The school board is in place to represent the community. Therefore, parents and residents deserve open dialogue around every aspect of the momentous task of educating the next generation.

Bedford Municipal Court District

Judge of Municipal Court

6 Year Term

Vote for no more than 1

Incumbent Michelle L. Paris did not return a questionnaire.


Member of Council

4 Year Term

Vote for no more than 4



Ryan Rubin*

Age: 43

Occupation: Partner at Lewis Brisbois

Current elected political office held: Bentleyville Village Council


In my third term, I will continue in my efforts to improve our infrastructure, maintain safety in our community, and support the needs of our residents.

Incumbents M. Kathleen Esposito, Terry Lee Hemmelgarn and Ken Kvacek did not return the questionnaire.


Member of Council

4 Year Term

Vote for not more than 4



Keith Ari Benjamin*

Age: 54

Occupation: Director of Community Services, City of South Euclid

Current elected political office held: Village of Bratenahl Council


Bratenahl remains a vibrant, vital and safe place to live. I look forward to continuing to work with residents to implement new approaches and bold ideas that balance and connect Bratenahl’s past and future, tradition and innovation, city and suburbia and promote stability and positive change.



Tracy Hoefling

Age: 55

Occupation: Vice President, Account Management

I will use my customer service leadership skills to listen and collaborate with the residents and I will take what I hear to serve their needs and the needs of the Village of Bratenahl to the best of my ability.

Incumbents Gina C. Huffman and Thomas M. McDonald, and Keith Goldstock did not return the questionnaire.

Chagrin Falls

Member of Council

2 Year Term

Vote for no more than 7



Angela DeBernardo*

Age: 53

Occupation: Web Developer and Community Volunteer

Current elected political office held: Chagrin Falls Village Council


I would support policies that help small local businesses thrive, prioritize pedestrian safety enhancements in the downtown area, improve the public park spaces for resident use, work to make Chagrin Falls an arts destination in Northeast Ohio and overhaul the government’s digital footprint to provide better communication with our residents.

Drum Mini Session


Brian Drum

Age: 47

Occupation: Director of Product at a software startup in the risk management industry


Improve communication between the village and residents; to make it easier to know which issues are being considered by the council, committees, and commissions. During the Save Grove Hill initiative I spent dozens of hours monitoring agendas and attending meetings just to keep up. I think we can do better.



Kate Gault

Age: 57

Occupation: Retired

Website: Facebook, @KateGault4OH

As your next council member, I will: listen, answer questions, return phone calls, demand accountability, and communicate year-round. Preserve the charm of the village while addressing infrastructure, public safety, and environmental needs before they become tax burdens. Build coalitions by seeking community stakeholder input earlier and throughout the process.



Erinn Grube*

Age: 39

Occupation: Office and Event Manager at the Valley Art Center

Current elected political office held: Chagrin Falls Village Council, President


In the next two years, I will continue to work towards improved communication with residents and fiscal discipline with an eye toward maintaining the infrastructure and character of our walkable community. I am grateful to live in an amazing community and would love to continue to serve Chagrin Falls.

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James Newell*

Age: 67

Occupation: Owner of a business that manages public and privately owned water treatment facilities in Northeast Ohio

Current elected political office held: Chagrin Falls Village Council

I enjoy being on council and will continue contributing responsible governance in a collaborative and teamwork approach. My engineering experience allows a unique opportunity to assist with all aspects of village infrastructure improvements, streets, water/sewer. I cherish the village’s historical significance and understand the importance of a strong, vibrant business community.



Nancy Rogoff*

Occupation: Attorney at Law

Current elected political office held: Chagrin Falls Village Council

If I am re-elected, I will work for transparency in government and the opportunity for all voices to be heard; to provide efficient, cost-effective management of the business of the Village; and to complete the construction of the walkway and playground in Riverside Park.



Jack Subel

Age: 55

Occupation: Vice President of Sales, Penda Corp.

I am a 1984 graduate of Chagrin Falls High School and although moving away for several years after college, moved back to raise our family in Chagrin. I’d really like to help stimulate the backfill of many of the vacancies in the Village that occurred as a result of the pandemic. I care deeply about preserving the history and charm of our one-of-a-kind community.

Incumbent Andrew Rockey and Michael Corkran did not return the questionnaire.

Board of Education

4 Year Term

Vote for no more than 3



Lori Bendall*

Age: 54

Occupation: School Volunteer

Current elected political office held: Chagrin Falls School Board

I would put students first, not politics; improve district communication; vote to ensure that district spending has a direct and meaningful impact on student outcomes and experiences; and bring a well-informed and balanced approach to district governance.



Erin Gooch

Age: 39

Occupation: Mental and Behavioral Health Nurse Practitioner

I stand for advancing excellence in all facets of the educational experience for the youth of Chagrin. I believe in promoting a safe, unified, tolerant and inclusive environment free from political narratives currently being pushed in the schools. I want a transparent board of education who not only advocate for the students, but the tax payers in the community as well.



Mandy Hilston

Age: 38

Occupation: Account Manager


If I have the privilege to serve our community, I’d make sure that there is transparency to all community members about where money is being spent and on what programs. I’d like to see more educational programs discussed as additions to our curriculum to challenge our children.



Meghan McClain

Age: 33

Occupation: Process Optimization Supervisor for a large medical supply company


I stand for excellence in academics, arts, and athletics for our students. I will provide transparency for our community on curriculum and spending decisions. I will work to reallocate resources from divisive programs back to teacher’s classroom budgets, investment in STEM learning, and more support for foreign language at a young age.

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Lauren Miller

Age: 37

Occupation: Parent


As a board member, I will listen to the concerns of all families and advocate for their needs. I’ll do my homework to make the best long-term decisions for our kids with a focus on maintaining our high standards and making Chagrin Schools a welcoming place for all families.



Mary Kay O’Toole*

Age: 60

Occupation: Accountant

Current elected political office held: Chagrin Falls School Board


I will continue to lead, with a depth of understanding of Chagrin Falls schools in alignment with the history, character and needs of our community. I serve with attention to our governmental requirements while working to fulfill our mission of providing an educational experiences empowering students to maximize their potential.



Jeffrey Wenninger

Age: 54

Occupation: Law Enforcement Professional (LAPD – Retired)


I will provide innovative problem solving, with practical solutions, honest answers, and logical decisions that are supported by an articulated rationale. I will be accountable to ensuring that all students are afforded equal opportunity to fulfill their maximum potential and be prepared to function as compassionate, contributing citizens in our diverse society.

Robert R. Schleper Jr. did not return the questionnaire.

Township Trustee

4 Year Term

Vote for no more than 2

Incumbents Tom Florkiewicz and Jennifer McKee did not return the questionnaire.

Cleveland Heights


4 Year Term

Vote for no more than 1



Kahlil Seren

Age: 42

Occupation: Policy Adviser, Office of Cuyahoga County Council

Current elected political office held: Cleveland Heights City Council


I will use my institutional knowledge and expertise to construct an effective and efficient municipal government that centers residents and leads with accountability and integrity. This requires designing and implementing systems to encourage performance management and improvement, responsiveness, and innovation that is truly sustainable and lasts beyond my tenure.

Barbara Danforth did not return the questionnaire.


4 Year Term

Vote for no more than 4



Lee E. Barbee II

Age: 56

Occupation: Social Worker, Cuyahoga County Division of Children and Family Services


Safety for all residents by using community policing and social worker to assist with mental health issues. Diversity at all levels of city government, including the police department. Sustainability, creating a sustainability director who would make green a mission in all departments. Also push for more reinvestment in the housing stock.



Craig S. Cobb*

Age: 66

Occupation: Managing Attorney, Farmers Insurance Group Cleveland Legal

Current elected political office held: Cleveland Heights City Council


I will be a conscientious, experienced and thoughtful member of council always making informed decisions in the best interests of the city regardless of my own personal beliefs or preferences. I will be a council member open and accessible to the residents by phone or email to address their concerns.