By a 6-0 vote Monday night, City Council approved the appointment of Dr. Ron Arndt, a well-known retired dentist, to fill the unexpired term of the late Richard Jaenke.
Arndt, a Republican and former councilman, will fill the remaining two-plus years of Jaenke’s four-year term as Council’s 3rd Ward representative.
Arndt’s nomination, which was the only one proposed during Monday’s regular Council meeting, was announced by Roseanne Johnson, R-at large.
Council quickly voted 6-0 to appoint him to the seat.
Arndt was not present at the meeting. He could not be reached later in the evening for comment.
He is expected to be sworn in within the next few days, according to Council President Kevin Corcoran.
Arndt had his own private dental practice for 20 years, after which he worked five years in corporate management before founding the Dental Coach, a consulting business for dentists designed to help them better manage their professional and personal lives.
“We had a lot of good applicants, and we were surprised at the number of people who expressed interest,” Corcoran said.
Arndt was among the 11 candidates whose names were discussed during a recent meeting of the city’s Republican organization, according to Johnson, who said no decision was made or vote taken at that meeting.
Council has seven members, six of whom are Republicans.
Both Johnson and 2nd Ward Councilman Dennis Boose, the city’s lone Democrat on Council, pointed to Arndt’s experience serving the city as Council president from 2003 through 2007.
“All of the applicants were impressive, but we felt Ron Arndt’s experience was a big plus,” Johnson said.
Boose termed all 11 candidates as outstanding but said Arndt’s prior years of serving the community in various posts including weighed heavily in his favor.
“You have to go to his experience with the community,” Boose said. “His having served as a two-term (council) president goes a long way. That’s a hard one to argue (against). ”
Boose also cited Arndt’s years in the business arena.
“He works extremely well with business and is always willing to look at both sides of issues,” Boose said.
Arndt and Jaenke served on Council under Mayor Deanna Hill, who died earlier this year, and then under current Mayor David Gillock.
“They both lived in Ridgefield and knew each other,” Johnson said.
Jaenke died at age 78 last month from cancer.
A dental school graduate of Ohio State University and MBA graduate of Baldwin Wallace University, Arndt serves as vice-chair of the Far West Center Board of Directors for the community-based mental health center serving Lorain and western Cuyahoga counties.
He also serves as a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Comprehensive Care of the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine.