Donna Finney, Anthony DiCicco and Diane Snider each spoke for about five minutes. While the question-and-answer segment largely revolved around the residents' desire for a traffic light at the intersection of SOM Center Road and their street, Drury Court, each candidate's time to speak played like extended campaign commercials.
DiCicco, the incumbent, discussed the jobs and police department reorganization he brought to the city since he took office for the resigned Greg Costabile. City council president pro-tem Finney vowed to be more personable than her competitors, while city council president Snider discussed her desire to pay close attention to the senior population and Schnurmann Luther House, where she serves on the board of trustees.
Here are excerpts from each candidate's address to the Schnurmann Luther House residents:
Finney"When elected mayor, I will continue to work with the state to have a light installed at your corner. You have my word that I will still answer all of my phone calls and emails and I will work with you on these pertinent issues.
"Most importantly, I will work to make safety my top priority as your mayor and safety director. Unlike our last mayor, I will not betray our residents' trust. I will work with complete transparency in all aspects. I do not, nor have I ever, defended the mayor's wrongdoing.
"I feel that now is the time to look forward to the future of our city. I want to see our city be safe, our houses to look great, our schools and libraries to remain strong and vibrant to persuade the next generation to want to reside in our area."
DiCicco"Since taking over in February, I've had the opportunity to develop a couple of things that I am very proud of. The job retention and creation grant, which has brought a very large business to our city, to our executive park (TMW Systems). That means 500 jobs and $20 million to $25 million in salary, which is great for the city ... Also, I worked with the police chief (Fred) Bittner in reorganizing his department.
"We took the human resources person, Lorna Zeller, in order to take advantage of some of her strengths, we moved her position and we made her an economic development point person ... We also created an economic development team, which the city never had before.
"Now there is a place for businesses outside of the city to come. There's a point person and a group of people—myself, the finance director, the law director, Lorna Zeller—to come together to discuss what these businesses want, discuss bringing new jobs here and keeping jobs here."
Snider"I go to different places and do meet-and-greets and hear of all of these problems, and (residents) feel like they're the long forgotten souls in this small, but large, city. We need to be there for you all the time, 24 hours a day, all the time. We don't need election year to have you bring up problems about your sidewalk being unleveled, your neighbor not cutting their grass or ... just issues that I've come across in the last three months. I wish I would have been more aware over the last 12 years (when she served on city council). I think that you guys need to know that's what you voted us in for. You need to use us, your mayor and your council. I hope that you will consider me on election day."
The candidates will host a similar event at 7 p.m. Thursday at Villa Serena. On Tuesday, Sept. 24., the Mayfield Area Chamber of Commerce will host a debate event for the candidates at Executive Caterers at Landerhaven.