Newcomer earns seat on city council

SALEM – Two newcomers will join two returning incumbents at Salem City Council meetings next year, with voters selecting Republican incumbents Brian Whitehill, Jeff Cushman and first-time Independent candidate Roy Paparodis for council-at-large and Independent John Conrad as the new treasurer.

A new council president will take the helm, too, with current Democrat At-Large Councilman K. Bret Apple winning the president’s seat unopposed. The seat will be vacated by council President Mickey Cope Weaver, who chose not to seek re-election. Weaver lost her bid for Perry Township Trustee.

According to complete, but unofficial results from the Columbiana County Board of Elections for the Salem City Council-At-Large race, Cushman was the top vote-getter with 1,003 votes, or 30.07 percent, followed by Whitehill with 956 votes, or 28.66 percent, Paparodis with 870 votes, or 26.08 percent, and Independent Dan Bailey with 507 votes, or 15.2 percent.

In the Salem City Treasurer’s race, Conrad won with 800 votes, or 57.06 percent, over Independent candidate Beth Dickey-Thompson, who garnered 602 votes, or 42.94 percent.

Apple’s total was 1,162 votes, which was 100 percent of the votes for that race.

“Thank you for all those who voted for me and supported me,” Cushman said. “I look forward to working for the citizens of Salem for the next four years.”

This was Cushman’s first election for city council, having been appointed two years ago to finish out the unexpired term vacated by current Mayor John Berlin. The 51-year-old owner of Barclay Machine Inc. on South Broadway Avenue previously won election to the Salem City Board of Education and resigned to take the appointed seat on council.

He said he’s most concerned with the crime and drugs in the city. Another issue he said council will have to work on is the continued growth of Salem, with the influx of oil money in the area.

Whitehill, 41, said he’s always humbled by the number of people who vote for him. He’ll begin his second four-year term on council this January and said he’s pleased with the results of the election.

“It helps to have the confidence of the citizens,” he said, adding he’s always appreciative of any and all of the candidates for what they go through in seeking public office. “I’m just very grateful to continue serving.”

As he said during his campaign, Whitehill reiterated that the character of the town is something council needs to work on cooperatively with the city on enforcement, not just on crime issues, but partner with civic organizations on a campaign of excellence. He said they need to rebuild Salem pride.

“We’re going to start looking at problem properties and see what we can do about them,” he said.

They’ll also have to continue watching pennies and funding for the city. Whitehill recently founded his own independent consulting firm for business and economic development.

Paparodis, 56, said he’s happy with the results of his first-ever election.

“I’m excited to be elected and looking forward to going to work. Thank you for the vote,” he said.

He’s the general manager of the Guilford Lake Grille and former owner of Timberlanes.

Conrad, 61, could not be reached for comment. He’ll be taking the seat being vacated by longtime city Treasurer Bob Tullis, who’s retiring at the end of his term in December after 16 years. Conrad is a retired eye doctor who had a practice in East Liverpool for 30 years.

Apple, 52, will remain in his council-at-large seat until it expires Dec. 31. He currently serves as chairman of the Finance Committee. An attorney, he has 25 years experience in private practice and previously served as a county court judge and an assistant prosecutor.