MINSTER – Retiring Councilman Rick Schwartz said he has enjoyed the 35 years he served on Minster Village Council and has some advice for whoever succeeds him.
Schwartz announced at the Oct. 6 council meeting that he is retiring from his unexpired term on Dec. 31. He said turning 65 was one of his reasons for retiring from council now.
“It will give them time to recruit someone with fresh perspectives,” Schwartz said.
But, back in 1975, it was admiration of two other council members that inspired him to run for council. He said he saw how former members Larry Berning and Gene Burke helped the community.
“I thought with my business background I would be able to help, too,” Schwartz said.
He has worked at Nidec Press and Automation in Minster for 47 years, with the last 25 in international business sales.
Schwartz said he has learned much from working with council and particularly appreciated the support of Mayor Dennis Kitzmiller and Village Administrator Don Harrod.
For the person who will be selected to fill out his unexpired term, Schwartz said he or she can expect an honest and sometimes spirited interaction with council members, the mayor, village administrator and community members.
The new council member will attend a twice-monthly council meeting with colleagues dedicated to betterment of the community. To further that goal, the new person also will be named to a committee that meets monthly. Schwartz is the chair of the Parks Committee. Other committees include streets, branding, utilities, economic development, finance, safety and personnel.
When dealing with issues that may come up in council, Schwartz said, “The most important thing to remember is remain fair and objective. Sometimes you may not particularly like the person (you are dealing with), but it is important to keep emotions out of it.”
He emphasized how important it is to have a loving and supportive spouse.
“My wife, Joyce, was always there to help me think through a subject,” he said. They have been married for 45 years.
He is most proud of the projects completed during his tenure. They include the construction of Four Seasons Park, the rebuilding of Fourth Street through the village, the continuing expansion of the solar fields in the village industrial park and strengthening the police department.
Schwartz does not have plans to retire from Nidec at this time, saying he loves his job and what he is doing there.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.