Avon Lake resident Robert James, an attorney, announced today that he is running for election to the Avon Lake City Council to represent the residents of Ward I. The council seat is currently held by Tim Rush, who announced at the Feb. 28 city council meeting he would not be seeking re-election in the Nov. 8 General Election.
Avon Lake Ward I comprises the eastern most part of the city. (See map in photos. Ward 1 is outlined in pink.)
“I believe that my experience in the private sector and in state government will benefit the people of Avon Lake and the residents of Ward I, and I am looking forward to working hard to increase the efficiency of city government and expanding economic development opportunities,” James, who lives on Highland Avenue, said.
James is an attorney with the law firm of Bricker & Eckler LLP in Cleveland, where he practices civil litigation and environmental law, and represents a diversity of clients, from small businesses to large corporations.
He said he experience with both private and public positions makes him a good candidate for council. He began his career working for Judge Lisa Sadler at the Tenth District Court of Appeals in Franklin County before moving on the Franklin County Municipal Court.
“Both of those were working for court personnel who were elected,” James said. “Public service and elected positions have been a large part of my career.”
That includes a position as a former assistant attorney general with Ohio Attorney General’s office, where he represented the State of Ohio and numerous state agencies and officials. James said he knows councilman David Kos, who is also employed by the Attorney General’s office.
Should James get elected, he said he would have twin objectives: Focus on economic development, including finding opportunities for the city’s business base to grow; and maintaining fiscal responsibility.
“I would look to make the city more efficient,” James said. “Maybe looking to collaborate with nearby cities to share services, and look at Avon Lake to see if there are duplicitive (services).”
James said while fiscal conservativeness was necessary it was important to not reduce services.
“It’s important not to reduce the very good services Avon Lake provides as a city,” he said. “We need to expand on economic opportunities. Avon Lake is a first-class suburb of Cleveland. It has to be one of the best places to live on the west side and that needs to be marketed to other cities.”
He cited the Columbus-area cities of Powell and Dublin as examples of cities that have successfully been able to expand and grow.
“Without economic development, the city would crumble,” he said.
Born in Elyria, James was raised in Broadview Height and graduated from St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in diplomacy & foreign affairs from Miami University in Oxford and his J.D. from The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law in Washington, D.C.
James has resided in Avon Lake with his wife, Laura, since 2009.