by Mark R. Potter
Akron -- Former Ward 1 City Council member and Stow-Munroe Falls High School teacher Daniel Horrigan was selected Jan. 16 to be the next Clerk of Courts for Summit County.
Horrigan, 44, was selected over Tallmadge Mayor Christopher Grimm, who was the only other candidate vying to fill former Clerk Diana Zaleski's term, set to expire in 2008.
The Summit County Democratic Party's central committee voted at a special meeting at Akron North High School in favor of Horrigan.
"[Horrigan] has the experience to be a great leader and a great public servant," said county Democratic Party Executive Director Russ Balthis. "Diana Zaleski was a great Clerk and will be difficult to replace." The central committee was charged with finding a new clerk because Zaleski is a Democrat.
Balthis said the vote tally was approximately 130 to 90 in favor of Horrigan.
"I'm ecstatic about the opportunity," Horrigan said. "I'm looking forward to serving the citizens of Summit County as I did for the citizens of Akron."
Assuming the full-time role of Clerk, Horrigan leaves behind two posts -- one as an Akron Council member and the second as a high school social studies teacher at Stow-Munroe Falls High School, a post he has had for more than eight years.
Horrigan, who made $57,000 a year as a teacher, will now make $81,500 in the role of Clerk.
Grimm said he was actually "relieved" when he did not get the majority of votes.
"I'm probably the only guy who has ever had a victory party after losing an election," Grimm said. "I feel about 50 pounds lighter since this has been lifted off my shoulders."
Grimm, who has subsequently announced he will be seeking another term as Tallmadge mayor in the November 2007 election, said once he announced he was seeking the Clerk post, he began to receive a lot of feedback from Tallmadge residents encouraging him to continue to serve as their mayor.
"As the campaign went on, I thought, 'why would I leave this job, I love being the mayor of Tallmadge,'" Grimm said. "I'm the happiest loser you've ever met."
Horrigan said he was proud to be chosen over Grimm, who he called a "really good candidate."
Two issues Horrigan said he would like to focus on in his new role include making an effective switchover for the courts paperwork into a more modern electronic filing system.
Horrigan also said he would like residents to be able to use credit cards to make payments at the county's title bureau.
"In today's age of technology," Horrigan said. "This is just one of those things we should be offering our residents."
The position will be up for election November 2007.
Phone: 330-688-0088 ext. 3154