Keith named new Council clerk

January 13, 2009

   Former Ward 8 Councilman Bob Keith was named the new clerk of Council during Monday’s meeting of Akron City Council.

   Keith was selected out of a dozen applicants for the seat, left vacant when Cheryl Prough retired in December.

     Council passed two resolutions offered by President Marco Sommerville, which appointed Keith to the clerk’s position and accepted his official resignation from Council. Sommerville also announced that Council Aide Connie Genevish will be promoted to deputy clerk.

     Keith pledged to keep the business of Council running smoothly.

     “I have been working with you; now I’ll be working for you,” Keith said when he addressed Council Monday night. “With 11 years experience on Council, I have a feel for what you expect of me and I hope my political experience will help me to make your jobs easier.”

     The clerk, while appointed by Council, is an employee of the city administration. The clerk’s key duties are to keep the records of Council.

     Keith was elected 11 years ago to represent Northwest Akron’s Ward 8. Keith, a Democrat, made history when he unseated John Frank, the last Republican councilman in Akron.

     Keith’s departure leaves open not only the Ward 8 seat, but also the seat of the President Pro-Tem and chair of Council’s Public Service Committee. Sommerville is expected to announce replacements for both. The President Pro-Tem serves in the Council President’s place when the president and vice president are absent.

     Sommerville appointed At Large Councilman Jim Shealey to head the Ward 8 replacement search committee. Applications for the seat will be accepted at Council offices until 4:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 26.  Council will elect its top candidate Monday, Feb. 2.