Having worked to defeat an effort to make the Summit County engineer an appointed job under the executive, B. Alan Brubaker now is running for a second, four-year term. A Democrat, Brubaker is the former city engineer of Kent, with almost 40 years as an engineer in the public sector. After leaving Kent in 2002, Brubaker worked in the private sector as a consulting engineer.
This year, Brubaker faces an exceptionally well-qualified Republican challenger, Bruce Robinson, the president of an engineering and surveying firm he founded in 1997. Robinson has 24 years of experience, handling surveying, infrastructure, transportation, utility and site development work. He has crafted storm water management designs and plunged deeply into the use of sophisticated geographic information systems.
We recommend the election of Bruce Robinson on Nov. 6.
What makes the difference in this race, in addition to Robinson’s engineering credentials, is his more expansive view of the engineer’s office, especially its use of technology to map accurately data on storm water and other problems. He is anxious to utilize more fully modern technology to gather data, making the office more responsive, efficient and effective. His management experience also serves as an asset.
No doubt, Brubaker has moved the office forward the past four years, reducing personnel and cutting his budget 15 percent. As requested, he devised a comprehensive storm water management plan, now awaiting action by the County Council and executive. He also initiated programs to work more closely with local communities, helping them save money by providing engineering services and coordinating paving projects.
In 2009, Brubaker campaigned aggressively against a worthy amendment to bring the engineer’s administrative duties under the county executive. In doing so, he played to the townships, even arguing the issue would cancel the right to vote for local officials. In this race, the edge goes to Bruce Robinson. His qualifications are strong. More, he has the right ambition for the office, seeing greater potential to serve communities.