Voter Guide: Three-term Streetsboro mayor will face two opponents in November

Jeremy Brown/The Portager

Mayor Glenn Broska faces challenges by Jeff Fejes and write-in candidate Mohammad Shaikh.

First elected in November 2011, Broska is currently serving his third term.

Broska said he is “not done yet” with the work he has done to make Streetsboro a good place to live, work and play.

Despite having overseen projects like rebuilding the bridge over Lake Rockwell, updating Streetsboro’s traffic signals and constructing what he touts as some of the county’s best athletic fields and courts, Broska said the city has not yet reached its potential.

The city will soon open a new community center that will be used for parks and recreational events, as well as serving as a senior citizens center. A large amphitheater complex that will attract thousands of visitors to Streetsboro for national-level shows is also in the planning stages, he said.

Broska said he retains the drive and motivation to continue serving effectively at his post.

“If someone else were to be elected, it would set the city back 10 years,” Broska said. “The knowledge that I have acquired over the past 12 years cannot be replicated overnight. There would be an enormous learning curve by any new candidate that came in.”

Fejes moved to Streetsboro in 2019. He is a branch manager at Associates Title, handling real estate titles for clients throughout the state, and owns Phat-Tee’s Apparel LLC, which creates branded clothing for schools and businesses.

Fejes is a middle school football coach and high school softball coach for the Streetsboro schools. He also serves as vice president of the city’s Gridiron Club, which provides financial support for district football and cheerleading athletes.

Careful to say that Broska continues to do a great job in a rapidly growing city, Fejes said, “it’s time for a change.” Conversations with city employees have convinced him that they need a greater voice in how their jobs and departments should be run, he said.

Streamlining city procedures so residents see faster results would be on Fejes’ radar, as would be spending taxpayer dollars more wisely. The splash pad at the new city center represents unnecessary spending, and the city could have saved money by connecting its new senior center and Parks and Recreation offices next to the new city hall, instead of building a completely new structure in City Park, he said.

Identifying himself as a salesman at heart, Fejes said he would like to attract new businesses and to place them in vacant properties instead of building new venues.

“It’s making those necessary phone calls to attract those businesses and doing those negotiations to bring more to this city,” he said.

Fejes would also like to ensure student and school staff safety by placing a school resource officer at every school. The district currently employs a single resource officer who serves all four of the district’s schools.

Fejes said he would like to make sextortion “a gigantic topic” in Streetsboro.

The issue came to the forefront in November 2022, when James Woods, a student athlete at Streetsboro High School, died by suicide after his family said he became a victim of sextortion, when someone is coerced into sharing explicit images of themselves online.

Fejes pledged to raise funds to acquire resources to protect students and staff from sextortion and other online threats.

“The schools need a lot of help, and I want to be there on the front line helping them,” Fejes said.

Though Streetsboro has an active senior center, Fejes said he would like to add dedicated bus and vans and city-employed drivers, so seniors can get to their various errands, medical appointments and activities, whether held at the senior center or not. Relying on PARTA is insufficient, he said.

Acknowledging that he has no political experience, “you got to start somewhere,” Fejes said, adding that he would rely on his heart and dedication to Streetsboro to get the job done.

Shaikh is a software developer for various companies, usually as a contractor through staffing companies.

He said he is running “to help my city the way I think is more appropriate.”

Shaikh would like to implement what he calls a “visible audit trail” that would enable residents to track daily spending and city activities in a timely manner.

“There shouldn’t be anything that is not visible to the city council or the public. Everything should be openly discussed and tracked,” he said.

He also expressed concerns about ongoing city projects, such as the new senior center now under construction.

“There is no basis for it, and based on money we have and the balance sheet, these are not the priorities,” he said. “I think if we want to help senior citizens, we should have local transportation so they can move around to their daily activities.”

Shaikh said he would collaborate with PARTA to extend weekday and weekend service so both senior citizens and college students could more easily reach their destinations.

Building new city offices when there is so much unused real estate in the city was an unwise expense, he said, insisting that the city “should have some money in the bank.”

Concerned that Streetsboro is paying too much for internet, trash, recycling and water, Shaikh said prices would drop if the city would have multiple providers competing against each other. Residents’ water bills could be reduced if Streetsboro would acquire its own water reservoirs and establish its own water utility, he said. Trash and recycling providers have a monopoly and demand constant increases that add up.

Born in Pakistan, Shaikh is a naturalized citizen, having moved to America in 1997, and then to Streetsboro in 2012. Streetsboro was a strategic choice, he said, explaining that its location provides him with easy access to other family members who are scattered across the country.

Acknowledging that he has no political experience, Shaikh said he has lived in Streetsboro for more than 10 years, and “the progress I see is not progress. I think we are going in circles. We’re in the same place we were 10 years ago.”

+ posts

Wendy DiAlesandro is a former Record Publishing Co. reporter and contributing writer for The Portager.