July 25, 2014

Elyria
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Lorain’s mayor for a day . . . or 5

Council president to fill in after Foltin steps down

LORAIN — Lorain won’t be without a mayor after all.
When Mayor Craig Foltin steps down Thursday, Council President Ken Shawver will take over temporarily until the Lorain City Republican Party precinct committee can meet to choose an official replacement to serve the remaining four months of Foltin’s term, according to a legal opinion that Lorain Law Director Mark Provenza plans on issuing today.
State law says that the committee cannot meet until five days after the elected official steps down.
After Foltin announced in February that he would not seek re-election, and then announced last month that he would be leaving office early to accept a top financial position with Cuyahoga Community College, there was some confusion as to who, if anyone, would fill the seat for those five days.
That’s because state law says that whenever a mayor is on vacation or is absent but intends on returning, the president of council is supposed to take over, but the law does not specify who takes over during a vacancy.
“The law in Ohio has historically been open ended with regard to the gap between the time of vacancy and when the office is filled,” Provenza said.
Provenza said his opinion is based on the idea that even though Foltin is creating a vacancy by resigning, the fact that a new mayor will eventually replace him could be considered the same as an absence according to Ohio law.
“I had to get creative on this,” Provenza said.
Shawver said he doesn’t plan on making any waves while he is the temporary mayor and instead will only conduct city business in that capacity when called upon. He said he’ll leave the important decisions up to Safety Service Director Mike Kobylka and the rest of Foltin’s staff.
“I’m confident in Mike and everyone up there, and besides, I wouldn’t want to be up in that office all day because I would think the people up there would be intimidated because I’m from the other party,” said Shawver, a Democrat.
John Romoser, the Republican candidate to run for mayor in November, is the clear favorite to become interim mayor when the committee does meet.
 The 66-year-old real estate agent is a former mayor of Sheffield. Lorain’s mayor is paid $93,740 anually.
In November, Romoser will be squaring off against Democratic candidate and current at-large Councilman Tony Krasienko and Independent candidate Paula Tobias.
Contact Adam Wright at 329-7151 or awright@chroniclet.com.