LORAIN — A changing of the guard occurred at Monday’s City Council meeting.
Councilman Greg Argenti, I-4th Ward; Councilman Joe Faga, D-7th Ward; Councilman Joshua Thornsberry, I-8th Ward; and Councilman Joe Koziura, D-at large, were sworn in.
They replaced Council members Bret Schuster, Myroslaw “Mickey” Silecky, Frank DeTillio and Anne Molnar, respectively.
Prayers were said for the 86-year-old Molnar, who is experiencing complications from a recent heart procedure. Molnar served four terms from 1998 through 2005 before being defeated in 2005.
She regained office in 2010 and will complete her term Dec. 31 after being defeated in the May primary. The feisty Molnar has rarely missed Council meetings and said earlier this month that she would be disappointed if she couldn’t attend the meeting.
Mayor Chase Ritenauer, 29, recalled Molnar giving him $10 in 2001 to help pay to attend a leadership conference in Washington, D.C., Ritenauer said as mayor he and Molnar celebrated together and fought over issues.
“That’s just how she is. Whether you agree with her, whether you don’t agree with her, she offered something to the residents of Lorain,” Ritenauer said. “She served her constituency very well, even if you completely opposed what she was trying to do.”
An emotional Schuster, who took office in 2006, said Lorain has made great progress but has a long way to go. Schuster, who didn’t run for a fifth term in order to work at his family’s business, said Council service should never be about personal or political agendas.
“It’s got to be about what’s best for the people and the city of Lorain,” he said. “The future is there. We just need to see it through.”
DeTillio was appointed in January by the Lorain Democratic Party to replace Craig Snodgrass, who became Lorain County auditor. DeTillio, defeated by Thornsberry, wished all the new councilmen luck.
Silecky, who took office in 2006, said the job requires a lot of time and commitment but is worth it. Silecky, who didn’t run again because he is moving out of his ward, said there is light at the end of the tunnel for Lorain.
“The commitment of this Council and the new Council members coming in needs to be to work with the administration and to keep that light shining and going forward,” he said.
In other business
Council approved placing a 0.25 percent income tax renewal on the May 6 ballot. The tax, first approved in 2005 and renewed in 2009, raises about $2 million annually. Lorain officials say renewal is vital for the city, which has lost $3.8 million annually with the elimination of the estate tax, cuts in aid to local government from the state and reductions in the real public utility and homestead and rollback money.
Council accepted $250,000 from FirstEnergy Corp., for road improvements on Clifton Avenue between East 29th and 35th streets, where a new electrical substation is being built.