July 29, 2014

Medina
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Several Medina officials begin second term

A packed rotunda turns out to see the oaths of office administered to newly elected city officials. Councilman Mark Kolesar, 3rd Ward, is sworn in for his third term.  (GAZETTE PHOTO BY PAMELA J. MILLER)

A packed rotunda turns out to see the oaths of office administered to newly elected city officials. Councilman Mark Kolesar, 3rd Ward, is sworn in for his third term. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY PAMELA J. MILLER)

The New Year welcomed several familiar faces back to Medina City Hall for new terms. On Monday, city officials took the oath of office for the next set of four-year terms.

Sworn in before a packed rotunda were Mayor Dennis Hanwell, Finance Director Keith Dirham, Councilman Brian Hilberg, 1st Ward, Councilman Mark Kolesar, 3rd Ward, and Councilman Paul Rose Sr., at large.

Medina Mayor Dennis Hanwell is sworn in by Medina County Probate Judge Kevin Dunn. Hanwell’s wife, Chris, holds the Bible. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY PAMELA J. MILLER)

Medina Mayor Dennis Hanwell is sworn in by Medina County Probate Judge Kevin Dunn. Hanwell’s wife, Chris, holds the Bible. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY PAMELA J. MILLER)

Giving the invocation was the Rev. Tony Sejba from St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church.

“I’m honored and blessed to serve as the mayor of Medina,” Hanwell said after starting his second term in office.

“We have such great momentum working collaboratively with the Council, the chamber, the administration and Main Street Medina.

“I am proud every day of the work that the city staff performs.”

Other officials echoed the mayor’s remarks.

“I am humbled that the voters placed their confidence in me again,” Rose said after being sworn in by his son, Paul Rose Jr., for his second term. “I hope I can improve on the first four years. I think we have a great group of officials, administrators and staff.”

Kolesar began his third full term, having originally been appointed to Council in 2004.

“I feel blessed,” he said. “The voters have given me another four years in which to represent Ward 3. I’ve lived in Ward 3 since I was in the sixth grade and it’s dear to my heart.”

Hilberg was appointed to Council after Andrea Burdell-Ware stepped down in early 2012 and was elected to a full term in November. He said his hope is to complete several projects, including reopening the city pool, either by repairing the current one or building a new facility.

Dirham has been the city’s finance director since 2002. But this was the first time his grandmother was not present to hear him take the oath of office. Four years ago — at the age of 100 — Helen Stephenson held the Bible for her grandson.

“I’m really proud to be sworn in again as Medina finance director,” Dirham said. “I miss my grandmother … she passed away last summer, but I’m sure she is here in spirit.”

Also returning to the City Hall line-up are Law Director Greg Huber, Service Director Nino Piccoli, Community Development Director Jonathan Mendel, Recreation Center Director Mike Wright and Economic Development Director Kimberly Rice.

In one change in the administration, the former city forester, Jansen Wehrley, was appointed as the new parks director.

Hanwell officially appointed his administration’s directors Monday, with Council’s approval.

Deputy Director of Finance Rich Petrunyak was named to another four years at Dirham’s request. Council also agreed to have Councilman Jim Shields, 4th Ward, be president pro temp for meetings at which Council President John Coyne is absent.

In addition, Council approved a number of committee appointments: Coyne and Jon Burkhart were given seats on the Joint Economic Development District board. City resident Dolly Yowler joined the Medina County Drug Abuse Commission as Council’s representative.

Contact reporter Pamela J. Miller at areanews@medina-gazette.com.