Editor’s Note: The candidate filing deadline is today. Other hopefuls may have filed after the West Life print deadline. We will cover each announced candidate.
Councilman at Large Karl (KC) Zuber is running for mayor, the second Avon Lake city councilman to announce his campaign for the city’s highest office.
Zuber, who had served as mayor of Avon Lake from 2008 to 2011, filed papers with the Lorain County Board of Elections on Thursday to run in the May 2 election. He will face Councilman Mark Spaetzel, who has served on council since 2021. The top two candidates will then face each other in the Nov. 7 general election to succeed Greg Zilka, who is retiring after 12 years in office.
Deadline for candidates to file is today.
It will be the fifth race for mayor for Zuber, who was elected to a four-year term on city council in 2017. He first ran against Mayor Zilka in 2011, when he lost in a runoff election, and subsequently lost in the 2019 race to Zilka. Prior to his 2008 win, he ran for the seat in 2001. Zuber has a 30-year history on Avon Lake city council; his first term representing Ward 4 started in 1992. Before his career as an elected official, Zuber worked at the Lorain County Jobs and Family Service.
Zuber chairs City Council’s Human Resources Committee and is on the Finance, Communications, Environmental and Recreational Programming Committee. In his announcement, Zuber highlighted his “long history of bringing together teams of citizen stakeholders to make great things happen in Avon Lake.”
In an interview, Zuber emphasized his work with nonprofit organizations to bring projects to fruition. “I have a lot of experience working with different people outside the government to make things happen on behalf of the citizens of Avon Lake,” he said. The first project he pointed out included the Kopf Family Reservation, which Lorain County Metro Parks opened as a cooperative effort with the city, the school district and the Avon Lake Public Library in 2008.
The redevelopment of the power plant, a major project that will reshape the lakefront in coming years, will be the primary issue facing whoever serves as mayor, Zuber said. “It is the most important thing in Avon Lake in the past 100 years – not just for Avon Lake, but for all of Northeast Ohio,” he said.
The only criticism Zuber aimed at the current administration regarded communication about the project.
“They need to get information out to the public a little better. I have people come up to me all the time asking about it.”
In reaction to facing Zuber in the May election, Spaetzel offered this comment: “Let him run his race and I’ll run mine. I think competition is good in any election.”
Besides both being longtime Avon Lake residents, the two candidates also both graduated from Avon Lake High School and had Zilka as a teacher.
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