June 26, 2016

Partly sunny

New GOP clerk of courts takes office

MEDINA — For the first time in 42 years, the Medina County Clerk of Courts Office has a new leader.

On Saturday, the Medina County Republican Party’s Central Committee chose former Brunswick City Councilman David Wadsworth as the next clerk of courts.



Wadsworth succeeds Kathy Fortney, who retired at the end of last year in the middle of her four-year term.

“These are really big shoes to step into,” Wadsworth said Sunday. “I’m going to be a very busy guy.”

Bill Heck, chairman of the Medina County Republican Party, said there were four people who applied for the job. Each was given an opportunity to speak in front of more than 80 members of the party Saturday before the Central Committee’s vote.

The first vote did not produce the required 50-percent-plus one vote, so candidates were eliminated one by one until it was down to Wadsworth and one other person, Heck said.

Common Pleas Judge Christopher Collier performed Wadsworth’s swearing-in ceremony that afternoon.

Heck said the committee was looking for someone with party loyalty who “understands the needs of Medina County.”

“I think it was Mr. Wadsworth’s experience with the party, his community service throughout Medina County, his political experience on many campaigns and understanding the political process in Medina County,” Heck said. “He has managed large organizations in a sales manager capacity and has objectively managed very large budgets.”

Wadsworth, a 52-year-old husband and father of three, is a real estate agent by trade and served on Brunswick’s City Council for nine years until 2005.

“I consider my passion to be public service,” Wadsworth said. “It’s what I really truly enjoy. I’m really excited about doing this on a countywide level.”

The Cleveland State University graduate is also the president of the Medina County Republican Club, which he helped found in 1994.

As clerk of courts, he will oversee 39 people in the clerk of courts office and title bureaus, which are charged with handling and archiving court and county documents as well as working with auto dealers.

“These documents are people’s lives on paper,” he said. “That’s how important these documents are.”

Wadsworth said his mission in his new job will be to “deliver a high level of customer service and professionalism like Kathy Fortney did” in a nonpartisan way.

He has already set goals for himself, he said, including educating the community about the clerk’s office’s services and putting together an online filing system for attorneys to file documents online.

“It will save money and be very efficient,” Wadsworth said. “I don’t know if that’s doable in the near future, but it’s something I’d like to accomplish.”

Wadsworth will serve the remaining two years of Fortney’s four-year term and be up for re-election in 2012.

“This is a very big job and I’m honored to do it,” he said.

Contact Jennifer Pignolet at (330) 721-4063 or jpignolet@medina-gazette.com.