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Colavecchio resigns from Cuyahoga Falls Council

1/17/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Emily Chesnic

CUYAHOGA FALLS — There was an open seat during the Jan. 14 Cuyahoga Falls City Council meeting that had been filled for the past seven years by Councilwoman Diana Colavecchio (D-Ward 5).

Instead of sitting among her colleagues, Colavecchio tearfully sat in the audience as newly elected president of Council Don Walters (D-Ward 6) publicly announced her resignation from the Ward 5 Council seat, effective Jan. 10.

Colavecchio said she left the position to serve as the new clerk of the Stow Municipal Court.

According to city officials, she was sworn in as clerk following an uncontested nomination process at the Summit County Democratic Central Committee meeting Jan. 8.

Colavecchio, an attorney, replaces Lisa Zeno Carano, who resigned to work as administrator of Summit County Probate Court, officials said.

Colavecchio, who will serve until a clerk is elected in November to fulfill the remainder of Carano’s unexpired term ending Dec. 31 2015, said she will seek election for the position.

“She should be sitting up here, but she moved on to better things,” Walters said.

He thanked Colavecchio for her service.

“You will be greatly missed by this body,” he said.

Carol Klinger (R-at large) told Colavecchio she would be “very successful” in her new position.

Other members of Council also took time during the meeting to express gratitude for her work on Council and wish her well in her new endeavor.

Mayor Don Robart said in his more than 30 years in government, he can’t remember a more “level-headed” Council member.

“She took an objective approach to government and did a fabulous job,” he said.

Colavecchio said it has been a “wonderful seven years” on Council.

“I learned a lot from all of you,” she told Council. “We did not always agree, but we had a way of communicating without too much bickering and tried to move the city forward and achieved that on a regular basis.”

While she feels “privileged” to serve as the new clerk, Colavecchio said she would “deeply miss” being on Council.

Walters said members of the Democratic precinct committee of Ward 5 have 30 days to elect Colavecchio’s replacement on Council.

On Jan. 7, during an organizational meeting, Walters, who is serving his 12th year on Council, unanimously was elected president. Councilwoman Carrie Snyder (D-at large) was named chaplain and Councilman Jerry James (D-Ward 7) sergeant at arms.

Walters ran an additional organizational meeting during the Jan. 14 regular meeting to announce committee appointments and appoint Councilman Vincent Rubino (D-Ward 1) president pro tem.

As approved by Council, Klinger will serve as chairperson of the Finance Committee; Snyder as chairperson of the Public Improvements Committee; Rubino as chairperson of the Planning and Zoning Committee and chairperson of the Community Development Committee; and Councilman Mark Ihasz (D-Ward 4) as chairman of the Public Affairs Committee.

Also, it was announced Councilwoman Mary Ellen Pyke (R-Ward 2) would replace Colavecchio as a member of the Moral Claims Commission.

Also during the regular meeting, Council approved ordinances authorizing Public Service Director Valerie Wax Carr to enter into contracts for the purchase of annual requirements of certain services, materials and supplies for use by the divisions of water and sewer, sanitation, garage and streets during 2013.

Council also approved measures to apply for and accept a grant from the Summit/Akron Solid Waste Management Authority and enter into contracts for the purchase or lease of various vehicles by the city.

Council also introduced new ordinances that would:

• authorize Wax Carr to enter into a contract for the purchase of certain materials, supplies and equipment for use by the electric division in 2013;

• levy special assessments for the repair or replacement of sidewalks and drive approaches in the sidewalk and drive approach repair and replacement district for 2012;

• authorize Wax Carr to enter into a contract for the design-build services necessary to conduct the riparian restoration of Kelsey Creek; and

• create for 2013 a sidewalk and drive approach repair or replacement district and provide for levying special assessments.

Council will discuss all new legislation during committee meetings, a day later than usual due to Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jan. 22 at 6:30 p.m. at the Cuyahoga Falls Natatorium, 2345 Fourth St. Council will have its next regular meeting Jan. 28 at 6:30 p.m. at the Natatorium.

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