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About Connie Carr
Connie is a longtime resident of Lorain County and currently lives in the City of Lorain. After graduating from Elyria High School, she received a B.A. in Speech Communications/Broadcasting from Cedarville University. Connie attended a summer program in political science and economics held at Georgetown University and then earned her law degree from The American University, Washington College of Law. Upon returning to Lorain County, Connie worked for several years at the Lorain County Child Support Enforcement Agency before leaving to spend the last 18 years building a private practice negotiating business, commercial real estate and financial transactions. She is currently a partner with the Cleveland-based law firm of Kohrman Jackson & Krantz LLP.
Connie’s parents moved to Elyria from West Virginia, and her father, John Carr, worked in the maintenance department at B.F. Goodrich in Avon Lake until he retired. He passed away in 2004, but would have been Connie’s biggest cheerleader in her County Commissioner race – Connie gets her passion for public service from John. John’s childhood dream was to become a lawyer but, due the sudden death of Connie’s grandfather, John put his dreams aside and quit school at the age of 14 to run the family’s general store. He encouraged his children to work hard and follow their dreams. One of Connie’s most cherished memories of her father is the proud look on his face during her law school graduation.
The Carrs value hard work and family. While in school and between career changes, Connie worked in a variety of positions, including as an EMT, legal secretary and property manager. The family was shaken by cancer – Connie, her mother, her brother and her sister were all diagnosed with cancer. While Connie and her mother are survivors, her brother and sister were not so fortunate. In dealing with the loss of her father and two siblings, Connie was blessed with a strong support network of family, friends and coworkers. The axiom that ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’ is one she has learned from personal experience.
Connie developed an interest in economic development during her years on the Lorain Port Authority board of directors. She was first appointed by former mayor Craig Foltin in 2000 and remained on the board until 2007. During five of those seven years, Connie served as the board’s chairman or vice chairman. In 2013, she was reappointed to the Port Board by Lorain’s current mayor, Chase Ritenauer. She also chairs the Port Board’s Strategic Development Plan Committee. Connie enjoys the challenges of a working board and the opportunities it provides to roll up her sleeves and dive into projects that can help improve our local economy and bring new jobs into Lorain County.
For the past year Connie has also served on the Grants Committee of the Community Foundation of Lorain County. She considers it a privilege to serve on this committee and participate in the review process for grants that help so many nonprofit organizations in the county.
Connie understands what it means to struggle and work hard. Her perseverance, commitment and passion, combined with her business and financial acumen make her uniquely qualified to lead Lorain County and take it to the next level.
* * *
- Longtime resident of Lorain County
- Elyria High School graduate
- Proud owner of rescue animals
- Board of Directors, Lorain Port Authority
- Member of Grants Committee, Community Foundation of Lorain County
- Board of Trustees, Fast Track Cycling
- Harvest for Hope (American Cancer Society, Hope Lodge in Cleveland)
- Partner, Kohrman Jackson & Krantz LLP
- Former board president of Lakeshore Community Credit Union, Avon Lake
- Founder/writer of the Ohio Real Estate Law Blog
- Guest blogger on real estate matters for Crain’s Cleveland Business eNewletters
Focused on improving the lives of Lorain County residents
The first rule of government should always be to do no harm. The second should be to have a positive impact on people’s lives with the least amount of intrusion and showboating. Connie Carr is committed to focusing on governing with substance, not symbolism. The people of Lorain County deserve common sense solutions that work.
Basic economics determines that taxing an activity discourages it, while subsidizing an activity encourages it. While some level of taxation is necessary, we need to keep in mind the delicate balance between encouraging stability and growth and creating a burden on current residents and discouraging people from coming to our county.
When taxes, fees and regulations combine to create a heavy burden, businesses are impaired from being able to expand and hire workers and are often forced to raise prices to compensate. The result is fewer opportunities for families to find better jobs and make ends meet.
Connie Carr will carefully evaluate the impact of our taxes and fees to ensure that they encourage growth and strengthen our county while being kept to the minimum required for government to be effective. She will not support a county sales tax increase without a definitive plan for spending these additional dollars for the greatest impact and putting it to a vote of the people.
Connie Carr believes that the best type of government is one that governs least by limiting regulation and allowing the free market economy to prosper. Unnecessary regulations, like heavy taxation, create hurdles for businesses that can lead to additional operating costs and stifle job creation. Similarly, when we over-regulate the lives of our residents, we create an unnecessary burden for current residents and discourage others from moving into or doing business in our county.
The government has the responsibility to support our community by preventing harm to our citizens and fostering a healthy economic environment, through strong infrastructure and efficient service delivery, that benefits the residents and businesses of Lorain County. There are very real instances where government involvement is necessary to maintain public health and safety and foster a stable community. However, government solutions should always seek to find a balance between necessary intervention and unneeded intrusion.
A strong community is one that has ample economic opportunity. Lorain County has a solid industrial core as well as significant retail and health care industries. Our first priority must be serving the companies already operating in the county and providing what they need in order to remain in Lorain County and succeed here. Our second priority is bringing new businesses into the county. While we all want that giant Fortune 100 company to decide to move its headquarters here, we mustn’t overlook smaller businesses and fail provide them the incentive to consider Lorain County. We shouldn’t put too much focus on hitting a Grand Slam because the reality is that most games are won by hitting a number of successive singles. We need to further focus on strengthening our manufacturing base and providing the infrastructure it needs to thrive.
Along with the creation of more and better job opportunities comes the need for a trained workforce to fill those jobs. There are many job training programs available, including offerings provided by federal programs, nonprofits and unions. Rather than reinvent the wheel and start yet another job training program, Connie Carr believes the key to success lies in setting standards for quality and better coordinating existing programming which, in turns allows for better understanding of where gaps exist. We can then determine the best course of action to fill that gap, using our resources effectively and efficiently to provide a viable future for our residents.
Safety and Heroin Epidemic
The growth and prosperity of Lorain County depends on safe communities. Connie Carr is committed to allocating more resources, as the budget permits, to the Sherriff’s department to increase their presence, patrols and effectiveness. Lorain County has not been spared from the opioid epidemic that has hit our country and Ohio in particular. It is critical that we tackle this issue head on and treat addiction. We must focus our energy on breaking people’s dependency on these drugs to effectively curb demand. One option is to separate drug offenders with no other criminal offenses from the regular prison population and place them in facilities with appropriate medical personnel on site to treat addiction. After treatment and release, if a drug offender is able to maintain a clear record for a couple of years, then we should provide those people with an opportunity to get a fresh start by expunging their drug offense. While naloxone (aka Narcan), which has recently received much attention for its ability to reverse a heroin overdose, can be a useful tool if administered by those with proper training, it only treats the immediate symptoms of an overdose. We must focus our energy on treating the root addiction in order to effectively address this problem. Providing effective treatment along with incentives to stay clean gives us the best odds of helping our residents turn their lives around.