July 23, 2016

Partly sunny

U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci moving office home to Wadsworth

WADSWORTH — U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci is bringing his 16th district office back to his hometown.

The Wadsworth Republican, who represents Ohio’s 16th Congressional District, was re-elected in November, but the boundaries of the district have shifted, placing Medina County closer to the center.

U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci’s new office, 1 Park Center Drive, Wadsworth, is expected to open Jan. 2. Renacci is moving his 16th district office from Canton to make the office more central to district residents. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY LOREN GENSON)

Shawn Ryan, a spokesman for Renacci, said the Canton office now lies at the edge of the newly redrawn district.

“We looked at the map and (Canton) is in the far southeast corner of the district,” Ryan said.

Ryan said the new 16th district includes western portions of Cuyahoga County and it would be a long distance for some of those residents to travel.

“We’re going to have people driving 90 minutes from Westlake to get to our Canton office,” Ryan said. “Medina is a big population center and it’s a little closer for those residents.”

The office, at 1 Park Center Drive, is in northern Wadsworth just off Interstate 76, so Stark County residents are about a half-hour away.

Ryan said Renacci’s ties to Wadsworth, including serving a term as mayor of the city, had nothing to do with the move.

“That fact that Wadsworth is Jim’s hometown didn’t really factor into our decision,” Ryan said. “It’s just a lot closer to the center.”

Ryan said staff will continue to have mobile office hours throughout the district at public places like libraries. Mobile office hours still will be conducted in Medina and Brunswick, even though the main office is now closer.

The majority of constituent services offered at the main and mobile offices involve helping residents in the district navigate the bureaucracy of federal government.

“It can be anything from helping people work with the Veterans Affairs Department or expediting a passport,” Ryan said.

For residents who have casework pending, Ryan said the work will continue at the new office. All the employees from the Canton office will move to the new office and they will continue to work on the cases they already have started.

For now, the phone line at the district office has been re-routed to the Washington, D.C., office.

Renacci said he hopes to announce the new phone number in Wadsworth is up and running after the holiday.

Contact reporter Loren Genson at (330) 721-4063 or lgenson@medina-gazette.com.

Loren Genson About Loren Genson

Loren Genson was The Gazette's senior reporter. From August 2012 through September 2015, she covered Brunswick city and state and national government. To contact The Gazette, call the managing editor at (330) 721-4065.