Lakemore recognizes volunteers

LAKEMORE — Mayor Richard Cole honored the 2022 volunteers of the year at the Jan. 3 Lakemore Village Council meeting.
Cole said the decades-long work of Donna Rini and Larry Kovach speaks volumes of their love of the community, adding that their efforts have often been under the radar.
“It has never been in the glamorous positions and there is no glory in the grunt [work],” said Cole after presenting Rini with an engraved clock recognizing her as volunteer of the year.
The mayor called Rini a “fundraising dynamo” for various causes over the past 30 years and thanked her and her husband, Andy, for their efforts in delivering food to the homeless and shut-ins while volunteering with the Lakemore Food Pantry.
Councilwoman Nicki Coontz said Rini has been a lifelong inspiration to her.
“You’re a good person and Lakemore is lucky to have you,” Coontz said. “Thirty years of community service — I have a lot to learn from you.”
Councilwoman Heather Anderson added that Rini’s efforts seeking donations from village businesses for various causes has been an immeasurable benefit to the village.
Rini thanked Cole and Council for the recognition.
“I don’t expect it, but it is nice to be recognized when you are trying to help your village,” she said.
Cole also presented Kovach with a lifetime volunteer award, stating he is known colloquially as “Mr. Lakemore.”
“When I moved back to Lakemore 11 years ago, I’d known [Kovach] and [his] whole family for years,” Cole said. “He was always the first one at Council meetings, the first person at the parade, the first helping at the food pantry. You have a heart the size of the sun and your loyalty to and love of Lakemore speaks volumes.”
Following Cole’s presentation, Lakemore Police Chief Roy Smith presented Kovach with a proclamation also honoring his time as an auxiliary police officer for the village.
Also at the meeting, Council approved:
• hiring part-time firemedic Brandon Beck and the resignations of part-time firemedic Caden Hayward and Capt. Brian Cyphert, who has been with the Lakemore Fire Department for the past 11 years and has accepted a position as Seville Village fire chief;
• the 2023 road paving and maintenance program;
• a salary increase from $15 to $16 per hour for billing clerk Tracy McMenamee;
• increasing fire and police department pay scales, with part-time police patrolman moving from $17 per hour to $17.50 per hour and the police administrative assistant pay rising from $15 to $17; assistant fire chief moving from $19 to $19.50, captain from $18.50 to $19, lieutenant from $18 to $18.50, firemedic from $17 to $18 and firefighter/EMT from $14 to $15;
• budget amendments that include increases of $7,000 to the street construction and maintenance fund, $700 for road salt and $40,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funds for fire department salaries; and
• the mayor’s decision to terminate former police officer Michael Skrypek following a Dec. 5 appeal hearing.
Lakemore Village Council next meets Jan. 17 at 7 p.m. in the community room at the Springfield High School and Junior High, located at 1880 Canton Road, and available for viewing at www.youtube.com/channel/UCqC7GUgGDVZHxI1lr-7AooA.