At least one Cuyahoga Falls City Council seat is up for grabs, and a second might soon follow.
Ward 3 Councilman Ken Barnhart, a Republican, has announced his plans to step down.
A second councilman, Democrat Mark Ihasz, who represents Ward 4, is keeping his plans under wraps for now.
Ihasz confirmed that his 11th Street house has been sold and that he plans to move out of the ward.
But he won’t say if he is going to run for re-election, step down early, or stay until his term is up in January.
“They’ll find out in June,” he said.
Barnhart said he wants to spend more time at his Ocracoke Island property in North Carolina’s Outer Banks.
He also wants to concentrate on painting — on canvas and walls.
“I’ve been painting water colors for 20-plus years,” he said. “I want to do more of that.”
Barnhart also will be rehabilitating a home he bought with his son just over the High Level Bridge on North Main Street in Akron.
Resigning from the council after 16 years is bittersweet, he said.
“I enjoy being part of the process and helping constituents with problems they have,” Barnhart said. “But it’s time consuming. Even though it’s supposed to be a part-time job, it takes up a lot of time.”
Barnhart is retired from his graphic design business, now run by his wife, Arden Barnhart.
Arden is also interested in taking over her husband’s council seat. Ken Barnhart thinks it’s a great idea.
“I can’t think of anyone more qualified,” Ken Barnhart said. “She has campaigned for me and handled calls from residents when I’m out of town. We discuss almost every issue that comes before council, and we share the same passion and ideals. She’s a hard worker.”
The Summit County Republican Party’s Central Committee will meet next week to choose a new Ward 3 representative.
The dinner meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Sheraton Suites, 1989 Front St. in Cuyahoga Falls.
The party will pick a replacement for Barnhart, who resigned effective Wednesday.
Those interested in the seat are asked to submit a resume to Alex Arshinkoff, chairman of the Central Committee, 1755 Merriman Road, Suite 250, Akron, OH, 44313 by 4 p.m. Monday. Applicants will be invited to make brief presentations to the committee at the Tuesday meeting.