Aurora -- The city is getting closer to filling two key positions.

The field of candidates to succeed retiring Police Chief Seth Riewaldt has been whittled from 23 to nine, according to Mayor Ann Womer Benjamin.

Riewaldt will retire no later than July 1, and Womer Benjamin expects to have a successor named before then.

Candidates are undergoing assessments this week, she said, adding multiple assessments plus interviews must be completed first.

The salary range for the new police chief will be $63,654 to $121,000, according to Womer Benjamin.

The mayor said the search committee includes herself, Law Director Dean DePiero, psychologist Dr. Dixie Benshoff Ludick, Riewaldt and Councilman Denny Kovach, with U.S. Marshal Peter Elliott as a consultant.

Riewaldt's salary is $94,700, according to City Council documents.

Womer Benjamin said the nine remaining candidates are Janet Boehler, Moreland Hills Police Department; David Frisone, Lake County Narcotics Agency; Robert Gonzalez, Eastlake Police Department; Donald Johnson, Aurora Police Department.

Also, William Scott Niehus, Geauga County Sheriff's Department; Kevin Nietert, South Euclid Police Department; Terry Pasko, Akron Police Department; Stephen Sabulsky, Aurora Police Department; and George Seroka, Cleveland Police Department.

ALSO, WOMER Benjamin is eliminating the position of planning and zoning inspector and creating a job of assistant director in the planning-zoning-building department.

Council approved legislation May 12 to put the wheels in motion for that hiring. The salary range would be between $47,741 and $92,000, according to the legislation.

The mayor said she expects to name a person who'll be taking that job at City Council's May 27 meeting. That person will report to Denise Januska, head of the planning-zoning-building department who previously served as a planning and zoning inspector.

"After careful review, the city has determined the ideal structure would include one inspector and an assistant director who could absorb a variety of duties and responsibilities at a higher level of proficiency as needs arise," Womer Benjamin said. "The department and city will be better served by this new structure."

Womer Benjamin said the city expects greater development activity with the mixed-use zoning of the former Geauga Lake amusement park property that was approved by voters at the May 6 primary election.

"We need flexibility to address these growth opportunities," she said.


Phone: 330-541-9400 ext. 4187


Twitter: Mike Lesko@MikeLesko_RPC