Cuyahoga Falls -- It was a different outcome when the Summit County Republican Central Committee for Ward 3 reconvened on June 6 for a do-over on its selection to fill the Ward 3 seat on City Council.
The committee elected Victor Pallotta Jr. by a vote of 4-2 to succeed Ken Barnhart who resigned May 15 after serving 15 years. The vote took place at the Sheraton Suites on Front Street.
Pallotta and Arden Barnhart -- Ken's wife -- were the two hopefuls who re-applied for the position. Pallotta received four votes; Barnhart received two.
The Ward 3 Central Committee had met May 21 and voted by secret ballot 3-2 to replace Ken Barnhart with wife Arden, but Cuyahoga Falls Mayor Don Robart told the Falls News-Press the vote was later nullified because it had been conducted by secret ballot instead of a public roll call.
"…we elected Mrs. Arden Barnhart to this position via secret ballot, in accordance with our rules, after consultation with the city," stated an official meeting notice issued by the Summit County Republican Party May 30. "We have learned that the Democratic Party plans to challenge this secret ballot under Ohio's open meeting law. Therefore, to avoid this challenge we must meet again with our vote being a public vote and not a secret ballot."
Voting was done verbally this time with the party's executive director, Debbie Walsh, marking each vote down with a marker on a large pad of paper on an easel.
Six of the seven precinct representatives on the Ward 3 Central Committee were present at the meeting June 6 and voted. David Graeff (3-A), Kathleen Harouff (3-C), Terry Gahring (3-D) and Karen Foley (3-C) voted for Pallotta. Mayor Don Robart (3-B), the meeting's chair, and Don Nelsch (3-G), secretary, voted for Barnhart.
Cheryl Delmar of Precinct 3-F was absent.
Alex Arshinkoff, chairman of the Summit County Republican Party Central Committee, congratulated Pallotta. He, along with Brian Daley, the committee's secretary, opened the meeting.
"I've had a heart for Cuyahoga Falls forever," Pallotta said. "I want to step up and serve my community … I'm proud to be able to do it. I'm excited about the challenges and opportunities that are ahead."
Pallotta said on June 10 he is going to file to run in the November election. Ken Barnhart's term expires at the end of the year.
A resident of Marian Lake Boulevard, Pallotta has lived in Cuyahoga Falls since 1949. He served in the U.S. Navy, retired from Yellow/Roadway Transportation, owns Vic and Sons Photography in the Falls and works as a ranger/starter at Rose's Run Country Club in Stow. He has been president of the Marian Lake Homeowners Association 11 years and has served on the Woodridge Local Schools Levy Committee.
A graduate of Falls High, he has an associate's degree in logistics from the University of Akron. Pallotta has been married 42 years.