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Akron Council swears in two members early

12/5/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Stephanie Kist

Swirsky new Ward 1 rep; Hurley now representing new Ward 2

New Akron City Council Ward 1 representative Rich Swirsky, left, was sworn in by Summit County Common Pleas Court Judge Tom Teodosio during the Dec. 2 Akron City Council meeting.
Photo: Stephanie Kist
DOWNTOWN AKRON — New Akron City Council Ward 1 representative Rich Swirsky took his seat at the table two weeks early Dec. 2, after Council voted to move up his swearing-in date.

Swirsky, a Democrat, was sworn in by Summit County Common Pleas Court Judge Tom Teodosio. Councilman Jim Hurley, who has represented Ward 1 since 2007, resides in the new Ward 2 due to redistricting. He was elected to serve Ward 2 in the November General Election. Because he was not able to be at the Council meeting Dec. 2, he was sworn in Nov. 29.

Bruce Kilby, who represented Ward 2 until this year, resigned two weeks ago due to changes to the state pension. Council President Garry Moneypenny (D-Ward 10) sponsored the Dec. 2 legislation appointing Swirsky and Hurley with the intention of providing for the continued ward representation of all residents.

“It’s clean, and it makes perfect sense,” Moneypenny said of making the Ward 1 and 2 appointments early. The legislation approved by Council also enacts the new ward boundaries, which were set to go into effect Jan. 1.

The remaining slate of Council members will be sworn in Dec. 16, the last day Council will meet in regular session before the end of the year.

In other business, Council approved a conditional-use permit for the construction of a maintenance building at Portage Country Club, 241 N. Portage Path. Council held a public hearing on the matter last week.

The conditional-use permit was approved with an amendment that the country club will use plants to soften the view of the building, and that signage will be established that states a golf professional must be present for the practice golf tee to be used.

Councilwoman Marilyn Keith (D-Ward 8), in whose ward Portage Country Club is situated, said she believes that with the additional conditions, the building will be “very nice” and won’t “feel like this is in the backyard” of the neighbors.

Councilman Michael Williams (D-at large), who lives in the neighborhood and last week expressed concerns about the building’s proximity to residences, said he is in favor of the conditional use as amended.

Council also held a public hearing Dec. 2 for a conditional-use permit for the construction of the second phase of the Madaline Park apartment building in Northeast Akron. Council is taking time on the matter until the return of new Ward 2 Councilman Hurley, and in light of concerns voiced at the public hearing about access to transportation.

The next Akron City Council meeting will take place Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. in City Council Chambers on the third floor of the Akron Municipal Building, 166 S. High St. in Downtown Akron. Committee meetings are set to begin at 2 p.m. that afternoon, also in Council Chambers.

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