September 1, 2014

Elyria
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Foltin makes exit official

Lorain could be without a mayor — at least for a few days

LORAIN — Mayor Craig Foltin made his departure official Monday by submitting his letter of resignation.  Now, the talk turns to replacing him.
Foltin’s filing of the letter starts the clock for the city Republicans — they can meet for the first time to consider a replacement for him Aug. 7.
Foltin’s last day as mayor will be Aug. 2, but state law says that party precinct committees, which appoint elected officials when they leave office early, cannot meet until five days following an elected official’s departure. Foltin will be leaving to take a finance job with Cuyahoga Community College.
During that five-day grace period, the city could be without a mayor, according to city Law Director Mark Provenza.
“Typically, the president of council would take over, but that’s in the mayor’s absence,” Provenza said. “This falls under a different statute.”
Provenza is researching whether anyone would officially take over, but even if no one does, he said city business will go on as if the mayor were on vacation.
When the 26 members of the Lorain Republic Precinct Committee do meet, each will be allowed to nominate someone to be interim mayor and then the group will vote to select one of them to fulfill the remaining four months of Foltin’s term.
So far, John Romoser, who was tapped to run for mayor on the Republican Party ticket when Foltin announced in February that he wouldn’t be seeking a third term, is the clear favorite. Foltin, who also is a precinct committee member, submitted a letter of support for Romoser to his fellow committee members Monday.
“Initially, several of my staff members expressed interest in the nomination,” Foltin wrote. “However, after several meetings with John, our mayoral candidate, his commitment to the job and his passion for the campaign convinced me to rally behind him.”
Foltin also urged his party not to renege on its promise to make Romoser the Republican candidate. He sent that message after weeks of rumors that party Chairman David Arredondo was trying to become the interim mayor and replace Romoser on the November ballot.
“If we do not follow through with our promise to John, the integrity of the Lorain Republican Party will be lost and take decades to rebuild,” he wrote. “It sends future party leaders and candidates a bad message — that they may be pushed aside if opportunity knocks for others.”
Arredondo, who told the committee that he was interested in being interim mayor in a recent meeting, has since said he does not want the job.
Contact Adam Wright at 329-7151 or awright@chroniclet.com.