Cuyahoga SWCD Supervisor Election


In accordance with Chapter 940 of the Ohio Revised Code, an election of two supervisors of Cuyahoga SWCD will be held. Residents or landowners, firms and corporations that own land or occupy land in Cuyahoga County and are at least 18 years of age, may vote for a supervisor. A non-resident landowner, firm or corporation must provide an affidavit of eligibility, which includes designation of a voting representative, prior to casting a ballot.

There are three ways an eligible voter can cast a ballot:

  • At the Annual Meeting, which will take place on October 18, from 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. at the Dunham Tavern Museum, 6709 Euclid Avenue in Cleveland;
  • At the Cuyahoga Soil & Water Conservation District office on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. until October 18 at 2:00 p.m.;
  • Vote absentee by downloading the absentee request form here (faxed or scanned copies are not permitted) or visiting the Cuyahoga SWCD office at 3311 Perkins Avenue, Suite 100 - Cleveland, OH 44114. To allow ample time to receive and return your ballot, submit your request for a ballot no later than October 11th.

MEET THE CANDIDATES (photos above)

Christine Balk is a technical advisor for the Davey Tree Expert Company in Kent, Ohio. She specializes in Plant Pathology. Christine’s love for the environment started at a young age, which led her to pursue an undergraduate degree in biology at St. Lawrence University. After graduating from St. Lawrence, Christine moved to Alaska for a 6 month internship with The Chicago Botanical Gardens and BLM. This internship involved collecting native plant seeds around Alaska for restoration projects. This project was crucial due to all of the mining and drilling done there. After Alaska, Christine went to graduate school at The Ohio State University for plant pathology. She would help in the community by teaching elementary students about plants and their importance in the world. After starting with Davey out of graduate school Christine has given many talks at conferences around the US and continues to spread awareness on the importance of trees, soil, water, and our environment. We must be informed about all factors affecting our environment in order to save it. Christine is running for this position because she not only has the knowledge about what needs to be done, but also the drive and moral compass to do what is right.

Peter Bode has dedicated his professional life to natural resource protection in Northeast Ohio. His energies led him to earn his degree in Environmental Science from Cleveland State University. While at CSU, he served as President of the Student Environmental Movement, officer for Student Government, Energy Policy Council, and American Planning Association. He was also an ULTRA-Ex lead researcher and a toxicology analyst. For over 5 years, Peter was the Cuyahoga River Area-Of-Concern (AOC)Watershed Coordinator. He drafted the Stage 2 Remedial Action Plan which is utilized by the AOC Advisory Council to develop strategies and track progress. He is currently the Central Lake Erie Basin Collaborative Project Manager with West Creek Conservancy. In this position, he is technical support for more than 17 organizations/agencies ranging from GIS analysis, project prioritization, biostatistics, and conceptual design development. Peter is a certified OhioEPA level3 QHEI QDC, an Ohio Academy of Science STEM EXEMPLAR, and was honored as a CSU Fascinating Alumni.

Sherri Lippus, a former Olmsted Township trustee, is an IT Security Specialist at NASA Glenn Research Center. A licensed teacher, she has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in Instructional Technology from Kent State University. Sherri taught for a decade before moving into the corporate arena as a computer forensic investigator and small business owner. She was elected as an Olmsted Township trustee from 2010-2016 and served as chair of the board for four years. She also has served on several boards including the Cuyahoga County 9-1-1 Board, the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission Board, and the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District Suburban Council of Governments Advisory Committee. Sherri has received numerous achievement awards, including the 2002 Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District Educator of the Year. Her background in education, small business, and local and federal government and government experience have provided her with a thorough understanding of the importance of stormwater management, conservation, and proper management of various forms of infrastructure in a developed environment. Sherri resides in Olmsted Township with her husband, Jeff, and their two children.

Chad Stephens is a Conservation Program Coordinator at the Sierra Club Ohio Chapter. He works with underrepresented communities in the Climate/Environmental Justice movement. This work is done by educating and pushing the underrepresented communities to help themselves by resisting the effects of climate change by learning how to live a more sustainable life, by utilizing tools found in energy efficiency advocacy and direct action to federal and state legislators. Chad’s organizing principles are rooted in the belief that anything is possible when it comes to our future. If each person does his or her fair share we will make our planet a better place. He has seen this happen in his past work in various capacities as a community, political and union organizer. Chad continues to hold the belief that within our communities we hold the power to discover the solutions to the forced and malicious problems we face due to climate change. Knowing the problems our communities are confronted with, we can now face them head on and transform them into opportunities that could lead to the longevity of the human race.

Jeremiah Swetel is a lifelong county resident who lives in Euclid with his wife and four children. A graduate of Hiram College, he currently serves as the Director of Facilities for the Cuyahoga County Public Library. Prior to taking a position with the Library, Mr. Swetel worked nine years as the Director for the City of Euclid’s Engineering/Public Service department. He also served as the research and compliance manager for the City of Euclid’s waste water treatment plant. Jeremiah is a certified erosion and sediment and storm water inspector as well as certified professional in erosion & sediment control. He is very knowledgeable about the stormwater requirements and program implementation. In his role at the Cuyahoga County Public Library, he has encouraged the library to implement best practices and proper long term operations and maintenance of the Library’s stormwater control measures. Mr. Swetel has served as the SWCD’s Fiscal Agent since he was elected in 2015. If re-elected, Jeremiah will continue working to improve the region’s environmental issues, expanding the services of the Soil and Water district to meet the continued demands of local governments and will strive to ensure a healthy and clean Lake Erie. Jeremiah enjoys kayaking, cycling, and vacationing in St. Albans, Vermont with his family.