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Published: Monday, 12/9/2013

Rossford council president quits over vacant-seat dispute


City Council observed a moment of silence last week in memory of Councilman Chuck Duricek, who died unexpectedly in Chicago on Thanksgiving day,

The council discussed a replacement but did not name one.

At its organizational meeting, council re-elected Larry Oberdorf council president and approved the appointments of Pat Murtha and Jim Richards to the Public Nuisance Board. It hears cases involving public nuisance properties.

Mr. Oberdorf noted that this period was a difficult time for council with the death of Mr. Duricek, whom he described as a good man and council member who will be missed.

He suggested that council start an interview process for candidates to fill the seat within the 30 days stipulated by the city charter rather than appointing the next highest vote-getter in the Nov. 5 election to the vacant seat.

Council members Greg Marquette and Dan Wagner said they believed the seat should go to the next highest vote-getter in the election, who was Bob Densic.

Mr. Wagner said he disagreed with Mr. Densic politically, but believed he should be appointed as someone who ran for the office.

Councilman Jerry Staczik moved that council proceed with requesting letters of interest from potential candidates, and Mr. Oberdorf seconded the motion, which carried 4-2.

Mr. Oberdorf then said he was resigning as president over the emotional issue and the split vote.

Mr. Staczik tried to nominate Councilman Robert Ruse for president, but was informed by Law Director Kevin Heban and others that Mr. Oberdorf’s resignation had not been legally tendered.

Council is expected to revisit the appointment issue at today’s regular 7 p.m. meeting.

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