Barbara Thomas' County Council Observer Interview

My name is Barbara J. Thomas,  I am 70 years old, a Democrat and I have been a resident of East Cleveland, Ohio for 45 years; I am retired receiving a pension from Metro Health Medical Center, I am now receiving income as an East Cleveland City Council Member.

1. Describe for us the duties of a member of the County Council.
•    Introduces and passes ordinances and resolutions.
•    Appoints and provide for the compensation and duties of the Clerk of Council and necessary staff.
•    Establish departments, divisions and sections under the supervision of the County Executive, such as boards, agencies, commissions and authorities.
•    Establishes procedures under which the County Executive may employ experts and consultants.
•    To establish procedures governing the making of County contracts and the purchasing of County supplies and equipment pursuant to competitive bidding.
•    To adopt and amend the County’s annual tax budget, operating budget, and capital improvements program and to make appropriations for the County.
•    To provide for the acquisitions, construction, maintenance, administration, rental and leasing of property.

2. Why do you want to serve on the County Council?

I am seeking a seat on the County Council, because I believe that I can help the citizens in the County with my knowledge, skills, and experience in public service. I also believe that good government is attainable through honesty, integrity and accountability for one's actions.

3. What qualifications do you bring that make you the most qualified?

For the past 7 years I have been a Councilwoman for the City of East Cleveland and performed all duties required by the East Cleveland Charter in a prudent and efficient manner. As a legislator I have introduced and supported ordinances and resolutions that govern our city. Prior to this I worked for the County for 33 years as a Customer Service Representative and the last seventeen years as AFSCME local 3360 union president, representing 2000 union employees. I served on the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS), representing all 88 counties' 107,000 county employees across the state.

4. What will you do in your first weeks? Please describe in detail, to give our readers an idea of what this position will actually be like.

I will acquaint myself with my colleagues and exchange ideas regarding the future of the County. I will familarize myself with information regarding all facets related to the job.

5. How, specifically, will we know that you are doing a good job?

I will communicate with the residents in the district by newsletter, attending ward club meetings, and sponsoring public forms. I will reply to any interested agency or media requesting an update on my progress. I will also encourage my colleagues to make a joint effort to report our progress to residents of the County.  

I will sponsor legislation that will specifically meet the goals of both my constituents and the County. 

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Volume 3, Issue 10, Posted 9:20 AM, 09.04.2010