by Mark R. Potter

Regional Editor

Akron -- Former Cuyahoga Falls Councilmember John Schmidt was appointed May 24 to fill the vacant seat on Summit County Council.

Schmidt will serve the remainder of former member Tom Teodosio's four-year term for District 2 -- which includes parts of Akron, Cuyahoga Falls and Munroe Falls -- that is set to expire December 2008.

Teodosio's seat became open when the longtime Munroe Falls attorney was sworn in May 15 as a Summit County Common Pleas Court Judge.

The 34 Democratic Precinct Committee members in the district voted unanimously for the appointment of Schmidt, who said he is anxious to go to work. Schmidt said his first meeting will be a Summit County Council Committee meeting May 30.

"It's a great feeling to get unanimous support," Schmidt said. "What's most important to me is to continue to provide the people in District 2 the same quality of leadership that they've become accustomed to under Tom Teodosio."

Teodosio is a Democrat and per county charter rules, a Councilmember's party is responsible for appointing an interim replacement.

Russell Balthis, executive director of the Summit County Democratic Party, said he believes Schmidt's presence will have a positive impact on Council.

"John will bring a wealth of experience to County Council," Balthis said.

Russell Pry, chairman of the county Democratic Party, echoed Balthis' comments.

"I think John will bring a lot of knowledge about the legislative process," Pry said.

Schmidt said one of his priorities on Council will be to help stabilize the county's financial future.

"I'd like to do everything I can to promote economic growth," Schmidt said. "There are very few problems that can't be solved if everyone has a good job with benefits."

Now retired, Schmidt served as a Cuyahoga Falls City Councilmember for 20 years. He also has served as the assistant director of administration for the County Executive's office and as deputy director of the Summit County Board of Elections. Schmidt will be paid the current amount for Council members of around $20,000 a year for his service.

Party-wise, Schmidt is in like-minded company on Council. Since the November 2006 election, Councilmember Louise Heydorn remains the only Republican on the panel.

E-mail: mpotter@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-688-0088 ext. 3154