Stow -- While the city welcomes one new face to the administration, a familiar face plans to rejoin the city ranks next month.

Ken Trenner, a former Stow planning director succeeded by current Planning Director Rob Kurtz, will be taking over the role of economic development coordinator in February.

City Council unanimously approved his appointment Jan. 24. He will be paid an hourly wage of $49.29.

"It feels good to come back," said Trenner, a Stow resident. "I'm excited for the opportunities ahead."

Trenner, who first began working in the city's planning department in the summer of 1990, went on disability last May for health reasons, but had been on extended sick leave since earlier in 2011.

Since recovering from a heart transplant, Trenner said he is healthy and excited to return to work in Stow. He said he's "doing great now."

"He's doing phenomenally well now," said Mayor Sara Drew. "It's just a miracle that we are able to have this conversation and contemplate him returning to the city. I'm just so happy to have him return."

Trenner noted he worked closely under Mayor Karen Fritschel in the mid-2000s to create the position he's now taking over, so he's very familiar with the job's role and responsibilities.

"The foundation is there, and I'm excited to see how I can help move it forward," he said. "I'm just anxious to spend more time with [Drew] and the other folks and see what the priorities will be for the economic development coordinator."

The job was last held full-time by Mike Weddle, who retired last September. The position has been filled on a short-term, part-time basis by Jordan Warfield since then, Drew said.

Drew said Trenner will be focusing on continuing business visits on retention and expansion to evaluate how the city can be of assistance to their goals. An update of Stow's economic development strategic plan will be an ongoing initiative.

"Additionally, we would like to have Ken work on some special projects that crossover between planning and economic development because of his expertise," Drew added.

"His expertise and professionalism and his commitment to this city are just outstanding, and the fact that he wants to return to the city and contribute really speaks volumes about him as a person and as an employee," said Drew. "Having been gone for so long and be able to come back is just a breath of fresh air, and we're all thrilled about the prospect of having him back again."


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