John Monroe said as a business leader for 27 years -- 25 years as a sales executive with a Fortune 500 company and two years as the CEO of a startup company -- he believes he possesses "extensive expertise in new business development, budget planning and contract negotiations -- qualities that would be instrumental to my success as mayor of Aurora."
Monroe, 50, and a self-employed management consultant, filed petitions last week with the Portage County Board of Elections to run for mayor in the November election. Others who have filed petitions as of Aug. 5 are John J. Kudley Jr. and Tom Plunkett.
Current Mayor James Fisher previously announced he will not seek election to any office.
Monroe grew up in Wooster and graduated from Wooster High School in 1981. He graduated from Clemson University in 1985 with a bachelor's degree in economics.
His wife, Katie Hagenbuch Monroe, is a 1979 graduate of Aurora High School. They have four children -- Derek (Athens, Ga.), Josh (Washington D.C.), Drew (San Francisco) and Alison (Wilmington, N.C).
Monroe has not held political office. Throughout his career, he said he has been recognized as a successful strategic business planner, decision maker and problem solver.
"These recognitions serve as testaments of my ability to productively oversee the management of a community," he said, adding he envisions Aurora as a city that will "continue to provide a high standard of public services to the community and to our youth."
Monroe said he believes this will require "responsible financial management so that our public safety departments can continue to staff emergency responders to keep our city safe.
"That same financial management will ensure a brighter future for the maintenance, utilization and development of our local parks, senior programs and our public library. It will also involve city officials working alongside our school administrators so that the public can continue to utilize academic buildings and sports fields as functional spaces for community programs and events."
Monroe added that "keeping our neighborhoods safe, fun and accessible shouldn't have to be a burden on our personal finances," and emphasized that he "intends to work closely with Aurora's Chamber of Commerce to build relationships with our local businesses and will focus on promoting our city as a place where new businesses can grow alongside our community."
"Together, we can achieve these goals, but it will require a change in the status quo," Monroe added. "It will require honest communication and transparency between our city officials and its citizens."
In his spare time, Monroe likes to run, bike and swim. He has competed in several marathons and plans to compete in his first triathlon this fall.
"When my company asked me to transfer in 1994 from Columbus to Cleveland, my wife and I looked at several Northeast Ohio communities to move our family," Monroe said. "We settled on Aurora because it had everything we were looking for to raise our four children."
Monroe coached in the Aurora Baseball League for eight years and the Aurora Youth Football League for nine years. He has served as a director of Little League and president of the ABL for five years. He coached a local Destination Imagination team for four years. For the past three years, Monroe has volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland.
Phone: 330-541-9400 ext. 4187
Twitter: Mike Lesko@MikeLesko_RPC