September 3, 2014

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County chamber head is selected to fill Lorain Council seat

LORAIN — Frank DeTillio, Lorain County Chamber of Commerce CEO and president, is replacing Craig Snodgrass as the City Council’s 8th Ward councilman.

DeTillio

DeTillio was elected Tuesday by Democratic Party 8th Ward Central Committee members, defeating candidates Lois Gloacki, Jeff Neal, Rigoberto Rivera and Josh Thornsberry, according to Paul Adams, Lorain Democratic Party chairman.

DeTillio was selected after three rounds of voting by the six committee members.

Snodgrass, who took office in 2006, resigned last month to become acting Lorain County auditor. Snodgrass couldn’t hold two elected positions.

On Lorain’s west side, the 8th Ward is experiencing business and housing growth. Given the growth, Adams said DeTillio’s experience with the chamber — he has been president since 1988 — will be helpful.

“Clearly, he has an understanding of the business community in our county and in our city,” Adams said. “That type of business savvy that he has, obviously, is the best fit for the Eighth Ward.”

In addition to the 8th Ward, DeTillio said he hopes he can help develop Lorain’s waterfront to increase tax revenue, which DeTillio said he’d like to see spent on more police. Waterfront development proponents want to move the sewage treatment plant away from the Black River.

The move would be linked to creation of a regional sewer authority. In his role as chamber president, DeTillio has helped to promote the idea.

Rather than spend about $250 million to build a new plant in Lorain, DeTillio supports spending about $290 million for a countywide sewer authority that would expand the French Creek treatment plant in Sheffield and build a plant on Baumhart Road in Lorain over a decade. The two plants could serve ratepayers at less cost than they would otherwise pay to Amherst, Avon, Lorain County, Lorain, the Lorain County Rural Wastewater Authority, North Ridgeville, Oberlin, Sheffield, Sheffield Lake and Vermilion.

The councilman position is the first public office for DeTillio, who said he plans to seek re-election in November. He said he doesn’t foresee any potential conflicts of interest in his dual role as councilman and chamber president but would recuse himself if they occurred.

DeTillio, 65, recalls growing up in a thriving Lorain.

“I’d like to see it come back to a point where there’s activity again and there’s prosperity and people are working and the community feels good about itself,” he said.

Contact Evan Goodenow at 329-7129 or egoodenow@chroniclet.com.