Schell set to replace Grohe

Citing ongoing personal health concerns, a Sandusky city commissioner stepped down from his post.
Andy Ouriel
Mar 10, 2014

 

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”

Comments

DGMutley

I'm not impressed.

Nor'easter

THIS IS A CONFLICT OF INTEREST. ERIE COUNTY vs. CITY OF SANDUSKY
OHIO REVISED CODE
ORC 102.03(9) Division (A) of this section does not prohibit a nonelected public official or employee of a political subdivision from becoming a public official or employee of a different department, division, agency, office, or unit of the same political subdivision. Division (A) of this section does not prohibit such an official or employee from representing or acting in a representative capacity for the official's or employee's new department, division, agency, office, or unit on any matter in which the public official or employee personally participated as a public official or employee at the official's or employee's former department, division, agency, office, or unit of the same political subdivision. As used in this division, "political subdivision" means a county, township, municipal corporation, or any other body corporate and politic that is responsible for government activities in a geographic area smaller than that of the state.

Julie R.

The section says it does not prohibit a NONELECTED public official or employee of a political subdivision from becoming a public offical or employee of a different dept., division, agency office, or unit of the same political subdivision.

We all know it should be a real conflict of interest, not to mention a violation of ethics, but the catch there is he is NOT an elected public official as the director of the Erie County land bank. Instead, the county APPOINTED him to that position. That's how he ran for city commissioner to begin with.

DGMutley

Nor'easter,

Yes, you're right. He's in an either-or situation. He either works for the county or he works as a commissioner. Not both.

Also, looking at section (C) under the same code 102.03, Murray is in the same situation. He either works for the commission or Cedar Point, not both.

DGMutley

.

Darkhorse

I like the quote from Murray stating Schell is an excellent professional then why was he fired from the city and now the city has him back as city commissioner?

Nor'easter

Two Masters, One Person? Conflict of Interest!

Julie R.

This guy gets fired as the city's economic development specialist for laughing at an insensitive remark made by the then city manager Matt Kline. (wasn't it a racist remark?) He then goes on to get hired by the county as the director of Erie County's land bank. (who does the hiring there --- the county commissioners?) Now he's added on as a city commissioner, with the applause of Dennis Murray, Jr., who just happens to be an ex-city commissioner, who is now back once again as a city commissioner and ex offico mayor of the city.

You have to admit, Sanduskians, the more things change in your city, the more they stay the same!

Julie R.

Doesn't surprise me a bit that an attorney would call somebody that laughs at a racist remark an excellent professional. I'm sure the Murrays would say the attorneys in the black robes at the Erie County courthouse are excellent professionals, too!

doppleganger

He can't be any worse than the last appointed commissioner. (Warner)

Nor'easter

How can Shell be both a City Commissioner and the director of Erie County's land bank. Isn't this a VIOLATION of the Ethics Law of Ohio? Since the City uses the Land Bank Services, there is clearly a conflict of Interest. You can NOT work for 2 conflicting Masters.

Julie R.

Why not ask the city law director, Don Iscman, if it's a violation of the ethics law?

DEATHnTAXES

Just when ya think you've seen it all, along comes something new.

Julie R.

I don't think this is anything new. Violations of the ethics laws have been going on forever & a day in Sandusky. Just look at the Nuesse fiasco alone. There were so many ethic violations there it was pathetic, yet notice how Nuesse's attorney, Ron Bailey, never made even one single complaint.