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Schell set to replace Grohe

Andy Ouriel • Mar 10, 2014 at 9:48 AM

Commissioner Keith Grohe submitted a resignation letter this past weekend, ending his two-year stint as a citybased elected official.

Grohe, a Cedar Point maintenance worker, first took office in January 2012 but last attended a public meeting in November.

In December, Grohe told the Register how doctors had placed two stents into his heart, causing him to miss significant time following surgery.

“Unfortunately at this time, I am unable to fulfill my duties as commissioner as unforeseen personal health issues have taken priority,” Grohe wrote in a letter to commissioners. “I have greatly enjoyed serving as a city commissioner and wish all the best for the commission in the future”

Scott Schell now assumes Grohe’s position, a four-year term spanning through December 2015.

Officials scheduled a swearing-in ceremony for Schell during today’s commission meeting, set for 5 p.m. at City Hall.

Schell came in fourth place in November’s city commission race, receiving the most votes among all other candidates who didn’t win one of three contested seats.

Sandusky’s charter indicates the first vacancy among the seven elected officials must be filled by the next highest vote recipient from the previous election, meaning Schell takes over for Grohe.

“I’m really excited for the challenge and looking forward to it,” Schell said. “I feel bad that commissioner Grohe had to come to this decision. He’s a friend. But I knew that coming in fourth meant if something happened to another commissioner, I would be asked to fill in, and I am honored to do so” Schell works as the Erie County land bank’s director. The land bank helps transform vacant, abandoned and tax-delinquent properties back into productive use. Land bank properties ideally become tax generators, injecting additional funds into schools and local governments once someone assumes the previously abandoned land.

City commission fired Schell in 2010 when he served as Sandusky’s economic development specialist. His termination occurred after he allegedly laughed at insensitive remarks made by former city manager Matt Kline, who was also fired.

During interviews and debates leading up to November’s election, Schell’s top goals revolved around:

•Making Sandusky safer.

•Bolstering code enforcement.

•Improving the area’s business climate for current and prospective entrepreneurs and investors.

“Scott is an excellent professional,” Sandusky ex officio mayor Dennis Murray Jr. said. “He has a varied background in terms of different government experiences, which should be a positive for the commission”

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