GREEN: The senior member of City Council in terms of years served is the body’s new president.
David France, a retired firefighter/paramedic and the city’s Ward 2 councilman now in his 16th year of council service, was chosen to lead his colleagues through the final year of his two eight-year terms during council’s 2013 organizational meeting Thursday night.
France will not be permitted to run in November for another term because of the city’s term limits, which only permit a person to serve two consecutive four-year terms before sitting out four years.
The council veteran began his council career in 1994 and served through 2001 before waiting till 2005 to run for the same seat he previously held. Retired from the Cuyahoga Falls Fire Department, France succeeds two-year council president Joel Reed, who couldn’t seek a third consecutive term due to term limits.
Reed, who served four years in Ward 2 during France’s absence, is beginning the second year of his third four-year term and will be term-limited in 2015 after 12 years on Council.
At-Large Council member Gerard Neugebauer was chosen vice president by his colleagues to succeed Ward 4 Councilman John “Skip” Summerville, whose has held the post for two years.
Neugebauer is entering his second year on council after eight years on the Planning and Zoning Commission and two years on the Design Review Board.
At-Large Councilman Chris Humphrey was chosen president pro tem, a position that he sought to abolish when council voted on council rules.
Humphrey said he felt the position was meaningless since the pro tem’s only duty would be to run a council meeting in the absence of both the president and vice president.
Council voted 3-3 on the rules, but Mayor Dick Norton said he felt the position should remain. France ruled that the tie meant the rules were approved without change.
Council President France wasted no time in naming committee chairs and members.
They are (chairs named first then vice chairs):
Finance: Humphrey, Summerville and Reed
Parks and Recreation: Summerville, Humphrey and Ken Knodel
Public Safety: Jim Colopy, Knodel and France
Planning and Development: Neugebauer, Colopy and Humphrey
Transportation, Connectivity and Storm water: Knodel, Neugebauer and Summerville
Rules and Personnel: France, Reed and Colopy
Intergovernment and Utilities: Reed, France and Neugebauer
The 20-minute meeting began with Norton swearing in five new or renewed members of city boards and commissions.
Taking their oaths were Gerald Alessia, Civil Service Commission; Matt Aloisi, Board of Zoning Appeals; Jeff Noble, Design Review Board; Dwight Yoder, Planning and Zoning Commission and the only new appointee, James Schweikert, Historic Preservation Commission.
John Warmus also was to be sworn in for another term on the Design Review Board but was absent.