Citizens For A Better Norwood

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Candidate blog series: Ward 3 candidate Donna Laake (R)

“Working for the good of the City.” It’s more than just a campaign slogan…it’s been my way of life since moving to Norwood in 1975. You probably know me best as the health commissioner at the Norwood Health Department since I served in that capacity for over 13 years and as a public health nurse for over 3 years. My years serving you at your health department were very rewarding and I saw the need for services in the community every day. That is why I fought so hard to keep the Norwood Health Department open in 2008 despite attempts by several members of the current Council to shut it down. With your help, we won and the health department continues to serve Norwood residents. With H1N1 (swine flu) at our doorstep, imagine the difference in planning and preparation if the opposition had their way and the health department were closed. Today as we speak, personnel that were hired during my tenure are continuing to implement the “Pan Flu Plan” that I authored several years ago and are working closely with Norwood City Schools to protect your children and grandchildren. I heard you loud and clear in 2008…now it’s our turn to make government open and honest and receptive to residents’ concerns.

A registered nurse by profession for over 38 years, I currently work part time at a local pediatric hospital as an Injury Prevention Coordinator. I was the first woman elected to Norwood City Council in 1979 and served 4 years during some of the hardest financial times in Norwood history. I served as Clerk of Council for 2 years and organized that office from years of neglect. I am involved in many activities and organizations in our city. I am a member of the Norwood Tree Board (you’ve probably seen me planting flowers throughout the city each year), Norwood Business & Professional Women’s Club, Norwood City Schools Health Advisory Council, Norwood City Schools Business Advisory Council, Norwood Moose, Norwood Relay for Life and several other civic/service organizations. I was fortunate enough to receive the “Indian Award” from the Norwood Athletic Hall of Fame in 2008, the Knights of Columbus “Woman of the Year” in 2007, “Distinguished Service Award” from the Association of Ohio Health Commissioners in 2008 and the Kiwanis “Woman of the Year” in 1994.

I have been married to Robert (Bob) Laake, a lifelong Norwood resident, for over 37 years. We have two adult, married children: Kevin (Norwood class of 1995) and Rebecca, Norwood class of 1999). We were blessed two years ago with our first grandchild and have been the typical grandparents. I am very active at Holy Trinity Church.

I will bring the same dedication and passion to City Council that I brought to the Norwood Health Department. My top priorities if elected include financial stability, improving city infrastructure and marketing Norwood as a great place to do business, work and live. I believe that we need to keep a very close watch on our housing stock and assure that complaints are investigated promptly and to a conclusion. We must keep our local court system so that offenders are dealt with quickly and firmly in Norwood. City personnel should be provided with what they need to do their jobs efficiently and effectively. I believe that your councilperson should answer phone calls and emails from constituents and work to help resolve concerns of residents in Ward 3. My only promise is this: to be PROFESSIONAL when representing you and your concerns and to keep you informed, not just during campaign season, but throughout the year. Norwood is a much different city than it was in 1979 because of planners and visionaries who believed we could survive and even thrive. I would like to be a part of the planning for what Norwood can be in the next 30 years. I ask for your vote in November to help me continue “working for the good of the city.”

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Donna Laake