City of Aurora closer to filling police chief, planning/zoning jobs

By mike lesko Aurora advocate Published:

The field of candidates to succeed retiring Aurora Police Chief Seth Riewaldt has been whittled down to nine, Mayor Ann Womer Benjamin said.

Riewaldt will retire no later than July 1, and Womer Benjamin expects to have a successor named before then.

Womer Benjamin said the candidates are Janet Boehler, Moreland Hills Police Department; David Frisone, Lake County Narcotics Agency; Robert Gonzalez, Eastlake Police Department; Donald Johnson, Aurora Police Department; William S. Niehus, Geauga County Sheriff's Office; Kevin Nietert, South Euclid Police Department; Terry Pasko, Akron Police Department; Stephen Sabulsky, Aurora Police Department; and George Seroka, Cleveland Police Department.

The search committee includes herself, Law Director Dean DePiero, psychologist Dr. Dixie Benshoff Ludick, Riewaldt and Councilman Denny Kovach, with U.S. Marshal and Aurora resident Peter Elliott as a consultant.

The salary range for the new chief will be $63,654 to $121,000.

Womer Benjamin is eliminating the position of planning and zoning inspector and creating a job of assistant director in the planning-zoning-building department.

Council approved legislation May 12 to put the wheels in motion for that hiring. The salary range would be between $47,741 and $92,000, according to the legislation.

The mayor said she expects to name a person who'll be taking that job at City Council's May 27 meeting. That person will report to Denise Januska, head of the planning-zoning-building department who previously served as a planning and zoning inspector.

"After careful review, the city has determined the ideal structure would include one inspector and an assistant director who could absorb a variety of duties and responsibilities at a higher level of proficiency as needs arise," Womer Benjamin said. "The department and city will be better served by this new structure."

Womer Benjamin said the city expects greater development activity with the mixed-use zoning of the former Geauga Lake amusement park property that was approved by voters at the May 6 primary election.

"We need flexibility to address these growth opportunities," she said.

Email mlesko@recordpub.com or call 330-541-9400, ext. 4187

Facebook: facebook.com/mike.lesko.378

Twitter: Mike Lesko@MikeLesko_RPC

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