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Seat Shifting

Parma's council clearing fans adversaries' flames.

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The rumor mill is once again spinning within the government-subsidized sitcom known as Parma City Hall. The latest word: Three council members -- Susan Straub, Sam Bonanno, and Anthony Zielinski -- will abandon their posts early, thus giving their replacements a running start in the fall elections. But the palace intrigue doesn't end there. City Hall sources also say that Democrats are dangling a sweet county job to entice Straub to make the move.

Of course, this being Parma, it didn't take long for the whispers to rise in decibel.

At a recent meeting of Parma's city council, Straub addressed rumors that she and her colleagues -- who form half of the council's 6-3 majority -- had struck a deal. Beaming a cold stare at members Deborah Lime, John Stover, and Michelle Stys, who make up the minority, Straub said: "Mrs. Lime, I do not have a job with the county. Mr. Stover, I do not have a job with the county. Ms. Stys, I'm glad I made your weekend."

This isn't to say the city's resident flamethrower would turn down an opportunity to wet her beak on the county's largesse. "If [a county job] was offered to me, I'd take it," she says. "I'd be a darn fool not to."

But as far as the alleged Parma machine offering her a job in exchange for her earlier-than-scheduled flight, that's just not her style. "I'm not being forced out. This is a choice I've made, and if people don't believe that, then the hell with them."

Zielinski, who is leaving the council because of travel conflicts at his real job, says he still plans to finish his term. Bonanno did not return calls.

Straub says she simply wants more time to care for her ailing mother. The rumors, however, have given her pause. The self-described "tough Irish broad" is now thinking of reviving her candidacy, if only to torment those who whisper against her. Let it not be said that Sue Straub will bypass a quality vendetta if one presents itself.

"If these people don't like that I'm leaving, then I'd be happy to file in May, and then they can look at me for another two years -- and I won't be pleasant."

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