By Beth Church
What was planned as a reorganizational meeting of Rossford City Council on Monday night resulted in more unanswered questions than decisions.
Newly-elected council members Jerry Staczek, Dan Wagner and Caroline Zuchowski Eckel took the oath of office, administered by Mayor Neil MacKinnon III.
Council voted unanimously to return Bob Watrol as clerk of council.
They also re-elected Larry Oberdorf as president of council–but before the end of the meeting, Mr. Oberdorf announced that he was resigning from the leadership position.
His decision followed a debate on how to fill the council seat left vacant by the recent death of Chuck Duricek.
Mr. Oberdorf recommended the process of taking applications from interested candidates, who would interview with council.
However, Councilmen Wagner and Greg Marquette both suggested that Bob Densic should be appointed.
Mr. Densic was one of the six candidates who ran for four open seats in the November 5 election, but came 20 votes shy of being elected.
“I think the citizens of Rossford spoke,” Councilman Wagner said. “I’m a firm believer in democracy. He put forth the effort, and went out and campaigned.”
Noting that even though he and Mr. Densic often hold opposing political viewpoints, Councilman Wagner insisted, “the citizens spoke.”
Councilman Marquette said he and Mrs. Eckel were originally appointed to council because they were the top vote-getters in their races.
He supported appointing Mr. Densic, adding, “It takes a lot to put yourself out in front of the people for rejection or approval.”
Law Director Kevin Heban pointed out that council could not make an appointment at Monday’s meeting because the issue was not on the agenda.
There is a 30-day deadline for council to take action, or the mayor has authority to make the decision, according to the city charter.
Several council members said they prefer the application and interview method, as they had gone through that process themselves.
“I went through it, and it’s worked in the past,” Councilman Robert Ruse said.
Councilman Staczek agreed, “We should keep the procedure and move forward tonight.”
Council voted 4-2 to proceed with the application and interview process. Councilmen Marquette and Wagner voted no.
After the vote, Mr. Oberdorf resigned as council president.
“I see this council as being very fragmented–not a cohesive, working unit,” he said.
Following the resignation, Councilman Staczek nominated Councilman Ruse to serve as president.
However, Mr. Heban suggested that council wait until its next meeting to take such action–after Mr. Oberdorf submits a letter of resignation as president.
Also at the meeting, he mayor announced that he was postponing committee assignments for council members.
Council approved Jim Richards and Pat Murtha to serve on a newly-created public nuisance board.
Mayor MacKinnon noted that nuisance properties “have really been an issue the past couple years.”
City ordinances call for a hearing board to review public nuisance cases, he explained.
Members of the board are the mayor, a fire department official, the Wood County electrical inspector, and two residents appointed by they mayor and approved by council.
Council’s next meeting will be at 7 p.m., Monday, December 9, at the municipal building, 133 Osborn Street. The meeting is open to the public.
Council applications accepted
Anyone interested in filling the vacant seat on Rossford City Council should submit a letter of interest and short resumé to the Clerk of Council.
City Administrator Ed Ciecka said letters should be dropped off at the municipal building, 133 Osborn Street, by 4:30 p.m., Friday, December 13.
The Journal office in Perrysburg now has the following new hours of operation:
Monday: 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday-Friday: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Rossford lies at the heart of the Crossroads of America, an area experiencing tremendous economic growth, located at the crossroads of Interstate 75 and the Ohio Turnpike. The city's population of approximately 6,000 is primarily a mix of descendants of Polish, Czechoslovakian, German and Ukrainian workers who came from Pennsylvania to work at the glass plant, now Pilkington.
Rossford was incorporated as a village in 1939 and as a city in 1971. The City is a municipal corporation which operates under its own charter and is governed by a mayor and seven-member City Council. Rossford is served by full-time police and part-time fire departments, dispatched from the neighboring Village of Walbridge.
The City maintains a Community Recreation Center and three parks, one of which,Veterans Memorial Park, features a seasonal marina along with picnic areas and diamonds and courts for baseball, tennis, basketball and volleyball.
Rossford has three elementary schools, Glenwood, Indian Hills and Eagle Point, a junior high and high school and All Saints parochial school for grades pre-kindergarten through eight.
The city boasts a public library and many service and community organizations such as the Rossford Business Association, Lions Club and Veterans of Foreign Wars. Its Rossford Community Service League sponsors annual activities such as a Valentine's Day Dance, Easter egg hunt, Halloween, Memorial Day parades and their Christmas tree lighting.
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