A Summit County Councilman has been hired to work for the County Executive’s office, a move that creates a vacancy on the legislative body.

County Executive Ilene Shapiro announced that she selected County Councilman Tim Crawford (D-7) as her new Deputy Director of Law, Insurance and Risk Management.

Crawford, who served as County Councilman since 1993, was the Mayor of Norton for five years. Crawford began his employment with the Executive’s office on Thursday after stepping down from his Council seat, according to a news release from the County Executive's office.

Crawford said former Summit County Executive Russ Pry had wanted him to serve in this role back in 2012. The position became available when Greta Johnson moved up to Deputy Administrator, according to Crawford.

"I decided that now's the time to take it if I’m going to make a move," said Crawford, who added he had considered running for state representative in the Ohio House.

After spending a quarter of a century on the "legislative side" of county government, Crawford said "it's going to be different" to move into a role as an employee.

"I think it’ll be a good move," said Crawford, who noted he’s worked in the insurance business for 35 years. "It’ll be challenging. It’ll be fun."

On a county level, Crawford said his biggest accomplishment on Council was completing the Towpath Trail.

"I worked hard on not only getting state money, but getting other people sort of enthused about what this meant to the county for recreation," said Crawford.

For the last 18 months to two years, Crawford said work has continued on the development of a canoeing and kayaking path through the Ohio and Erie Canal, and into Portage Lakes. He noted he would like to see that path completed.

Another item that he has worked on, but has not yet finished, is running water lines to some businesses in his district, Crawford said.

Crawford operated a Nationwide Insurance Agency in Norton for more than 35 years and has been active in the Southern Summit Chamber of Commerce.

"Tim is a committed public servant who has always shown an unwavering dedication to the people of Summit County," said Shapiro. "I am thrilled to have him bring this commitment as well as his many years of experience in the insurance field to my team."

Crawford’s salary will be $78,915.

Process to select a replacement on Council

The Democratic Precinct Committee members who are in Council District 7 will be in charge of appointing someone to replace Crawford on County Council, according to Mark Potter, chief of staff for County Council. Potter noted that the appointee will then have to run in November for election to the remainder of Crawford’s term, which concludes Dec. 31, 2020.

Reporter Phil Keren can be reached at 330-541-9421, pkeren@recordpub.com, or on Twitter at @keren_phil.