Former sheriff’s Capt. Rich Resendez makes his run for commissioner official
July 17, 2011 · Print This Article
Chronicle – Telegram
ELYRIA – Saying the county is at a crossroads, former Lorain County sheriff’s Capt. Richard Resendez made his run for a county commissioner’s seat official Thursday with a brief late-afternoon press conference on the steps of the Lorain County Justice Center.
Rich Resendez announces his bid for Lorain County commissioner Thursday at the Lorain County Justice Center. (CT photo by Steve Manheim.)
“We have to provide services more efficiently and for less money,” Resendez told a small gathering of supporters as he formalized an announcement made a few weeks ago that he will seek the Democratic nomination for the May 2012 primary in which he will face incumbent Lori Kokoski.
Among those listening to Resendez was Anthony Giardini, chairman of the Lorain City Democratic Party, who said he counts himself a strong supporter of Resendez, but stopped short of saying his presence meant the city’s Democrats were also supporting Resendez.
“It’s too early to say what the Lorain Democratic Party will do, but I plan to advocate on his behalf. I’ve known Rich for more than 30 years, going back to his time with the Lorain Police Department.”
Standing in front of the Lorain County Justice Center to symbolize his 30-plus years in law enforcement, Resendez said he had devoted much thought to his decision to enter the commissioners’ race – his first try for public office.
Resendez, who was laid off from the Sheriff’s Office in 2010, now works as an investigator for the North Coast Correctional Treatment Facility. His career in law enforcement began with the Lorain Police Department in 1976, where he remained until moving to the Sheriff’s Office in 2002.
A graduate of the FBI National Academy, his accolades include being named Distinguished Hispanic Ohioan in 1997 by the Ohio Commission on Hispanic/Latino Affairs.
Pointing to his qualifications for the post, Resendez said he has substantial experience managing people and making difficult budgetary decisions.
“It’s easy to lead when times are good and the economy is booming – and hopefully we will have those times again,” he said.
Resendez talked about the need to cut costs through consolidation of services or even regionalization to avoid duplication of programs.
“We need to explore more efficient means of doing that,” Resendez said. “Why not regionalize? Bigger cities do it, and it works.”
Noting that roughly 70 percent of the county’s yearly budget typically goes to pay for law enforcement, prosecution and the judicial system, Resendez said streamlining services could see collaborations for sharing of equipment, report-writing and criminal investigations.
He repeated a pledge to be a full-time commissioner who would devote as much time as was needed to get the job done.
Later, he declined to say his words were meant to infer that Kokoski was not devoting sufficient time to the post.
“Whether others are or aren’t, I’m not discussing that. Clearly it’s classified as a part-time job, but you need to be there,” Resendez said. “You have to put in a full day and a full week.”
When reached for comment, Kokoski confirmed her intention to seek re-election.
“This is my main priority. My children are grown now, and I do not have another job. I’m even doing the work of myself and my assistant,” she said. “This isn’t the type of job where you sit in the office 40 hours a week. It involves lots of phone calls, emails and addressing issues people raise. I consider myself full time, even though I’m not in that office full time.”
Kokoski fired her longtime administrative assistant, Shari Pena, in May over what both women would describe only as differences in opinion.
Contact Steve Fogarty at 329-7146 or email@example.com.