SALEM - Former judge, local attorney and At-Large Councilman K. Bret Apple filed petitions this week to seek the Democratic nomination for President of Salem City Council, opting against a run for re-election for Council-At-Large.
"I gave long thought before deciding to run for council president. The time I have served as a councilman has been a learning experience and I am pleased to have been able to give back to my community in this position. With my experience as a former judge, I feel I can further give to the city and its residents as President of Council," he wrote in a press release.
The 51-year-old Salem resident was appointed to serve two years of an unexpired term for Council-At-Large when former Councilman Justin Palmer resigned, then he was elected in 2009 to his own four-year term which expires Dec. 31.
Apple served the residents of Columbiana County as a county court judge at Southwest Area Court in Lisbon from 1993 to 2001. A 1979 graduate of Lisbon David Anderson High School, he earned a bachelor's degree in management from Hiram College in 1983. He earned his law degree in 1986 from the University of Akron School of Law.
Apple served as an assistant county prosecutor under Columbiana County Prosecutor Robert Herron in the civil, juvenile and criminal divisions before going into private practice full-time. He also served as magistrate for Salem City Mayor's Court. A sole practitioner, he has more than 25 years experience in private practice.
"As a councilman, I have always had a good working relationship with the other members of council," he wrote in the press release. "I will continue to foster this feeling of cooperation, as it will be beneficial to the city moving forward. My years of experience of running the court and managing my own business will allow me to appropriately run the meetings and manage all of the tasks associated with the position."
When asked why he wanted to seek the presidency and give up the power of a council seat, he said he felt he had served his time in that regard and with current Council President Mickey Cope Weaver not filing, he decided to run.
He said he liked the way she has run the meetings and said it's been beneficial to how council has run. He said he can bring his experience on the bench to the president's chair.
Apple said when he first joined council, he said "we won't always agree on everything, but we can agree to disagree and act accordingly."
"I think you need to have some differences of opinion for government to function properly," he said.
To him, when it comes to the local level of government, party shouldn't really matter. People should just be worried about doing what's right for the city, he said.
Apple is involved in Salem Rotary Club, Salem Area Chamber of Commerce and Salem Area Visiting Nurses, and as a 4-H sponsor. He had been involved with the Salem Community Theatre, Salvation Army, Steering Clear Advisory Board and as an advisor for the Ohio Mock Trial Competition.
Weaver said previously that she planned to file as an Independent, but had not decided what she was going to seek, whether it was her own seat, Council-At-Large or a Perry Township Trustee seat.