Kettering city manager called ‘pillar’ for peers as long tenure nears end
Mark Schwieterman’s employment with the city of Kettering spans five different decades, during which he’s become what one fellow city manager called “a pillar” for municipal leaders statewide.
The end of Schwieterman’s 34 years with the city — more than 16 as its top administrator — ends Saturday. His departure closes a chapter that those who have worked closely with him say has been marked by successes that far outweigh failures.
The redevelopment of what is now Kettering Business Park, the modernization of Kettering’s fire and police facilities, and job growth at the Miami Valley Research Park all came under Schwieterman’s leadership, several officials have said.
Kettering “acknowledges the work, the foresight and the unwavering grit” Schwieterman has displayed to improve the city and “the entire region without hesitation or complaint,” according to a city council proclamation approved recently.
“Mark has been a pillar within the local government management profession, within the Dayton region and throughout Ohio,” longtime Oakwood City Manager Norbert Klopsch said in an email.
Schwieterman has served as treasurer for the Ohio City/County Managers Association since 2012, according to its website.
Painesville Announces New Assistant City Manager
PAINESVILLE, Ohio— At Monday, October 3’s Painesville City Council meeting, City Manager Doug Lewis announced his appointment of Tony Zampedro to the position of Assistant City Manager of Painesville. City Council approved the appointment in a 4-2 vote, with one member excused on leave from the meeting.
“I’m looking forward to having Tony be part of the City of Painesville’s management team,” said Lewis. “His wealth of experience and knowledge are extremely impressive and will benefit the City greatly. I look forward to working together to move the community, and our many exciting projects, forward.”
Zampedro comes from Painesville Township, where he recently was appointed Administrator. Prior to the position, Zampedro served as the Assistant City Manager for 16 years at the City of Mentor. He also served as Law Director for the City of Parma and City of Conneaut throughout his career. He is a graduate of the University of Toledo College of Law and holds a Masters of Public Administration from Cleveland State University.
“Painesville is a community that I have had a long-time desire to become a part of their professional city management team. From its historic downtown, county seat status, hometown to a four-year college, multiple municipal utilities and exciting community and economic development opportunities, Painesville is an ideal place for me to apply my experience and education to best serve its residents,” said Zampedro. “I am very enthused to be joining City Manager Lewis’ administration.”
The role opened after former Painesville Assistant City Manager, Derek Feuerstein, announced his departure in mid-September. Zampedro is expected to start his new position by early December.
About the City of Painesville
Settled in 1800, Painesville is the county seat of Lake County, Ohio and is located along the beautiful Grand River, roughly 30 miles northeast of Cleveland and 2.5 miles from the shores of Lake Erie. Painesville is home to Lake Erie College, Morley Library and a dynamic historical downtown district. The city is named after General Edward Paine who served in the Revolutionary War and settled in the area shortly after. Painesville has a population of over 20,300 per the 2020 census. For more information visit www.painesville.com or call 440-352-9301.
Washington Twp Administrator Lightle Leaving for Sinclair College
Washington Twp. Administrator Jesse Lightle will resign from that position effective Jan. 15, and will take on a vice president role at Sinclair Community College..
Lightle has served as administrator of Montgomery County’s largest township since July 2006 and has helped Washington Twp. experience the largest residential growth in the county over the past decade, township officials said.
Lightle told this news outlet the thing she is most proud of in her 16 years on the job is the township’s staff and the team that has been built.
“Our staff truly care about our residents and the services they provide,” she said. “I feel honored to work alongside such a phenomenal group of dedicated public servants and it is certainly what I will miss most about the position.”
Sharon Lowry, president of the Washington Twp. Board of Trustees, said the trustees will meet in the coming weeks to determine the process and timeline for hiring a new administrator.
“Our initial plans are to hire a search firm to assist us with the recruitment efforts,” she said.
Lightle recently facilitated the land purchase, construction and funding of the new Washington Twp. Fire Station 41 on Franklin Street, and navigated three successful cycles of accreditation of the fire department. In 2015, she oversaw the creation of the Enrichment Center, now the Joyce C. Young Center, and in 2020, finalized the township’s rebranding, including the streetscape enhancement plan, township officials said.
Lightle said when she first started with the township, it was seeing the beginning of increased residential and economic growth.
“It slowed down during 2008 and then, over the past 10 years, we have experienced some of the most robust and healthy growth in the township’s history,” she said. “Thanks to the leadership of our elected officials and staff, this growth has been controlled and measured. Washington Twp. has so much to offer, and it’s been exciting to share that with our regional partners and watch more families and businesses call the township home.”
Lightle will assume the position of senior vice president and chief of staff for Sinclair Community College starting Jan. 16. Adam Murka, who has worked in that role for more than a decade, is leaving to start his own business, said Cathy Petersen, Sinclair’s chief of public information.
”I strongly believe that the students who attend Sinclair will shape the workforce and economy of Ohio for years to come, and I’m eager to be part of that,” Lightle said.
Lightle said she and her family plan to continue residing in the township.
Lowry said township officials are “so grateful” for Lightle’s many contributions to the community.
“Washington Twp. has never been in a stronger position than it is now and much of that is owed to Jesse’s foresight and leadership,” Lowry said. “There are a lot of projects and initiatives that simply would not have been accomplished if it weren’t for her.”
Sandusky City Manager Leaving To Be Cuyahoga County Chief of Staff
Eric Wobser announced that he will be leaving his position as Sandusky City Manager effective at the end of day Friday, November 11, 2022. Wobser has been named co-director of the transition team for Cuyahoga County Executive-Elect Chris Ronayne and will assume the role of Ronayne’s Chief of Staff when he officially takes office in January.
“Being City Manager of my hometown has been a dream job for me,” said Wobser. “I’m proud of everything we were able to accomplish over the past eight years and I’m grateful for the leadership of our City Commission, the dedication and hard work of our city staff, and our committed community partners who helped make it all possible. I know that the future is bright for Sandusky.”
Wobser was hired as Sandusky’s City Manager in 2014 after previously serving as Executive Director of Ohio City, Inc. in Cleveland. In his new role as chief of staff at Cuyahoga County, Wobser will help oversee the second largest government entity in the state of Ohio which employees over 4,500 people and has a budget of over $1.5 billion. The City Commission was informed of the possibility of Wober’s departure in mid-October.
“Eric has guided this city for the past eight years to a level of success that is unmatched in our history,” said City Commission President Dick Brady. “Sandusky is blessed with a very capable staff that will continue to perform their jobs to ensure that the momentum provided by Eric continues. The trajectory of our city has been forever changed by Eric’s leadership. This commission thanks him and wishes him continued success.”
During a special meeting on the evening of Thursday, November 10, the Sandusky City Commission appointed Assistant City Manager John Orzech as Interim City Manager. Orzech has served as assistant city manager since January 2020, having previously served as the chief of police for seven years. The Commission appointed Chief Neighborhood Development Officer Colleen Gilson as Interim Assistant City Manger. Gilson joined the city in July 2022, previously serving as Vice President of CDC Advancement at Cleveland Neighborhood Progress and the executive director of the Cleveland Neighborhood Development Coalition.
The City Commission will begin the process of launching a search for Wobser’s permanent replacement.
“The city will forever be grateful for Eric’s dedication, commitment, and championing Sandusky’s successes over his tenure as City Manager,” said Assistant City Manager John Orzech. “I will work closely with the Commissioners, directors and staff to keep Sandusky’s positive momentum going forward, until a new City Manager is named. It is an honor to serve the citizens of Sandusky in this new role and I thank the Commission for their trust in me during this transition period.”
Mentor Names OCMA President Robert Fowler New Assistant City Manager
The city of Mentor is pleased to announce the appointment of Robert M. Fowler to the position of Assistant City Manager.
Fowler brings extensive experience in economic and community development, public safety, municipal operations, finance, grant writing, and project management, as well as a passion for public service, to his new role.
“All my life, I have served the public in various capacities, including working as a runner for the Board of Elections to becoming a city administrator. My passion for public service was furthered during graduate school, when I became more aware of the profession and the impact a person would have in this role on the constituency,” says Fowler.
“Mr. Fowler has a proven record of success in public administration and economic development in several Ohio communities. He brings energy and a desire to raise the level of public service effectiveness wherever he goes. I have confidence he is ready to serve the residents of Mentor well,” says Mentor City Manager Kenneth J. Filipiak.
When asked what attracted him to the position, Fowler remarked that, “Mentor is an amazing city with a diverse economy. It is one of the most coveted positions in the State of Ohio. It is an amazing place to live, work and play. This is also an opportunity to work with a great team of professionals, while gaining additional knowledge and experience.”
Most recently, Fowler served as the Administrative Officer for the city of Norton, Ohio, a position he held since 2017, and is proud of the role he played in attracting grant funding to that city from a variety of county, state, and federal sources. Under his leadership, Norton was awarded over $10 million in funding for various infrastructure projects.
His previous Ohio experience includes serving as Director of Public Safety and Service in Lorain, Director of Administration in Wooster, and Village Administrator in Carollton.
Fowler attended the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University where he earned a Master of Public Administration, a Graduate Certificate in Local and Urban Management, and a Bachelor of Arts in Public Safety Management. He currently serves as the President of the Ohio City/County Management Association.