Young wants to follow in father’s footsteps

Kelsey Leyva | Wellington Enterprise Main Street Wellington board president Patti Young plans to seek a higher office, running for mayor of Wellington. She intends to appear on the November ballot.

Fifty years after her father first ran and won the position, Patti Young is entering the race to become Wellington’s next mayor.

“I’m from Wellington and when I was in high school my father (Robert Young) was mayor of Wellington so I’ve always had an eye on that position,” Young said.

The Main Street Wellington board president on Thursday made her candidacy public through the Enterprise.

The time seemed right once current mayor Barbara O’Keefe — whom Young said she would never dream of challenging — made it clear she had no intention of running again.

Young spent three decades working as a teacher; in the food, wine, and travel industry; and in public relations, returning to Wellington in 1998.

“I left Wellington and 30 years later moved back here,” Young said. “Then the first thing people said to me was, ‘You need to run for mayor.’”

She started instead by helping to found and lead Main Street Wellington, serving multiple times as president of the board, as secretary, and on committees.

Young is also on the village cable commission, design review board, the Visit Lorain County board of directors, and was previously on the 4-H endowment board.

Young is an owner of Wellington Implement, which sells and services lawn and garden equipment.

She doesn’t anticipate having any trouble juggling work and her community duties if elected.

“As an owner looking at retirement, I can pick and choose when I work and what my work assignments are here and I don’t see that it would be any issue at all,” Young said.

Young has already started collecting the petition signatures required to run under state law. She needs 25 valid signatures and said she has nearly double that number but wants to get 75, which is the maximum a candidate can hand over to the Lorain County elections board.

“It’s a good opportunity to talk to people and listen to them and see if they’ll sign the petition,” she said. “It’s a good way to get the word out as well.”

If elected, Young wants to make a mark with a huge Wellington bicentennial celebration in 2018.

“I’m sure there are people out there that have ideas already. I can hardly wait to hear them,” she said. “It’s just an opportunity to dream big and see what we can do.”

As far as challenges she may face if elected, Young isn’t too concerned and plans to deal with issues as they come. She is confident the people who serve the village care about the community and will continue to work hard.

“I know we need some help with the streets,” she said. “I know the policemen have their hands full but my philosophy really here at Wellington Implement is if I give the employees the tools they need to do their job they’ll do a really good job. People are your biggest assets and if you are sure they have all the tools they need they’ll get their job done.”

Though she’s lived previously in New York City, New Orleans, and Cincinnati and loved those places while she was there, Wellington holds a special place in Young’s heart.

“This seems like the right place to be at this stage in my life,” she said.

Kelsey Leyva can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @TWE_KelseyLeyva on Twitter.