Clerk of council retiring at transition point for city government


AVON LAKE – If you’ve come into contact with an ordinance in Avon Lake, there’s a good chance council clerk Barbara Dopp wrote it.

Quiet and observant, Dopp is a treasure trove of information. At the end of the month, she’s retiring. After eight years as assistant clerk, Dopp went full-time in 2003. For 11 of those years with the city, she’s trained and mentored council’s assistant clerk, Valerie Rosmarin, who will be stepping into the full-time clerk position Nov. 1.

“She knows a lot, so it’ll be pretty seamless,” said Dopp. She laughed, adding, “I don’t have to train a new person.”

The hiring process for a new part-time assistant clerk hasn’t begun yet. Rosmarin said the job is great for someone with kids, or even someone who’s retired. Someone she could mentor would be a plus.

Though it’s a part-time position, Dopp says it’s not

to be taken lightly.

One of the most interesting aspects of the job, she said, is getting into the legal side and cultivating an awareness of public records laws, as well as how to write basic or “boiler plate” legislation.

For potential assistant, said Dopp, “I think they have to be very organized and very willing to learn.”

Everyone at the city is aware that council may soon look a lot different. Nine candidates are running for three open seats in November. Only one candidate is an incumbent — council President Marty O’Donnell.

Councilmen John Shondel and Dan Bucci announced they were calling it quits when their terms expire at the end of this year.

The eight additional candidates vying for these three seats are: Bob Brooks, Daniel Clifford, former Avon Lake Mayor and Councilman Karl “K.C.” Zuber, Frederick Hothan, Duncan Roberts, Willie Schuette, Zachary Arnold and Michael Sherban.

Mayor Greg Zilka, who also served as council president for 10 years during Dopp’s tenure, pointed out that in two years the ward races will take place, potentially shaking up leadership even more.

Dopp sees all this change as a good opportunity for a transition.

When pressed on weather or not she’ll be staying involved with the city through committees or commissions, Dopp said, “Absolutely not,” laughing. Instead, she’ll be traveling, reading and soaking up some grandkid time. She has four.

Most of all, she’ll miss seeing the firefighters and police officers sworn in. Young and always so hopeful, Dopp has found them to be an inspiration.

Rosmarin will also be leaving some things behind. She currently serves as Pride Day coordinator and clerk for the Civil Service Commission.

Of course, she’s also losing her long-time mentor, an emotional change for her.

But she’s ready for the first person who walks into her office asking for a random public document, realizing she still has a lot to learn and some big shoes to fill.

“In addition to a great supervisor and mentor, she’s a friend, too,” Rosmarin said about Dopp.

“I’ll be sad to see her go.”







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