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Fairlawn City Council elects president, vice president

1/9/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Sean Patrick

During the Jan. 6 Fairlawn City Council meeting, the election of officers for 2014 took place and Russ Sharnsky (at large) was re-elected Council president, while Bryan Nace (Ward 3) was re-elected Council vice president.

Both Sharnsky and Nace were re-elected by unanimous votes of members present, with each Council member abstaining from voting on his own candidacy. Council members Barbara Potts (Ward 2) and Susan Sullivan (Ward 5) were absent from the meeting.

“This will be my fourth year serving as Council president,” Sharnsky said. “It’s an honor that my Council persons think enough of me — and think that I’m doing a good enough job — to let me continue to serve as Council president. I try to work under the premise of doing what’s in the best interest of the city and try to represent the Council the best I can. It’s a pretty intense job, and it is pretty time consuming, but I enjoy doing it. So I’m glad they thought enough to let me continue doing it.”

Sharnsky said Nace is an important “asset” for Fairlawn City Council.

“Bryan’s always more than willing to step in wherever possible,” Sharnsky said. “He’s also chairman of the Finance Committee, which is one of the more important committees on Council. He works really closely with the Finance Department and understands all the intricacies of the budgets and the changes that need to be made at times. He allows me to bounce things off him as Council president, too. He’s an asset to Council. If I’m ever not available, Bryan’s always prepared to step in.”

Fairlawn Mayor William Roth said Sharnsky and Nace “do a great job for the city.”

“I look forward to working with them, and all of Council in 2014,” he stated.

In other business:

  • Jan. 6 marked the first Council meeting for a pair of incoming city officials: Ward 1 Councilman Rick Herbert and new Finance Director Mark Ludwig.|
    Herbert is stepping into the Ward 1 seat that previously was held by James Butler, who opted to not run for re-election this past November after being on Council for 18 years. Herbert ran unopposed for the Ward 1 seat in November.
    “I think Rick will do a nice job,” Sharnsky said. “He seems like a good individual, and he looks like he has the best interest of the city and his ward constituents in mind based on the conversations that I’ve had with him.”
    Ludwig, who took office Jan. 1, is a former law director, solicitor and prosecutor for Peninsula Village (1981-2005). He also ran unopposed for the position in November.
    “I think the most positive attribute I have is that I’m willing to listen and learn,” Ludwig said. “What you have to know about Fairlawn is that they have a tremendous staff in the Finance Department. [Assistant Finance Director and Tax Administrator] Patricia [Bertsch] and Financial Analyst Jacob [Kaufman] both just do a tremendous job, and my idea is to work with them and not direct them.”
    Ludwig is finishing the term of Jerry Apple, who died last July. The unexpired term ends Dec. 31, 2015.
  • City Council unanimously passed a resolution confirming the appointment of John Stoner to Fairlawn’s Residential Housing Assistance Board for a three-year term ending Dec. 31, 2016.
    “He is filling the place that was held by John Hennerly, who was the head of [the Village at St. Edward] on Smith Road,” the mayor said. “Mr. Hennerly is retiring, so Mr. Stoner is taking his place there, and he’s also taking his place on the committee.”
    The next Fairlawn City Council meeting is set for Jan. 21, a day later than usual due to Martin Luther King Jr. Day, at 6:30 p.m. at Fairlawn City Hall, 3487 S. Smith Road.
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