ROSSFORD — Councilman Robert Ruse was showered with praise after unexpectedly resigning his position on Monday.
In a prepared statement, Ruse bid an emotional farewell to council and the position he has held for 11 years, through three successful elections and almost five additional years as a member of the city planning commission.
“All good things have to come to an end,” Ruse said at Monday’s meeting. “I’ll be moving on to a new chapter in life.”
In a follow-up interview, he said he is leaving council because he is moving out of Rossford.
“By charter I cannot continue on council,” Ruse said.
In addition to his work on council, Ruse was president of TTL Associates, an environmental and geotechnical testing consulting firm.
Ruse didn’t have one specific project that he was proud of working on with council, but talked about his time there.
“The community has certainly changed over the years. It was definitely a team effort. It was encouraging to see the growth in the community, the development and the ability that we had, with dollars available, to do transportation projects to be able to keep the latest equipment in the hands of the fire department, the police department and public works,” Ruse said. “So I can’t say it was one single project, or a couple projects, but it was the overall. I was encouraged to see the growth of the community and be able to support the department heads with their needs.
“It was just the evolution of the community, over the last 10 to 12 years, that it was nice to be a part of,” Ruse said.
He was also pleased with the confidence that the public and other council members had in him.
Of finding a replacement, Council President Caroline Eckel said that there is not a process completely in place in the Rossford municipal code and different methods have been used when similar vacancies have occurred.
She added that there will be a committee of the whole meeting on June 5.
“We will hash that out at that time, but we do have only 30 days to replace him,” Eckel said.
If a replacement is not found in that time period the mayor can then make an appointment.
She said there may be letters of interest requested of interested candidates.
The five council members at the regular meeting thanked Ruse for his contributions.
“You’ve made this a much better body and we will miss you,” Councilman Greg Marquette said.
“It’s sad to see him go. It was great to have another engineer, with a like mind, on council with me. I’ll miss him, but I wish him the best,“ Eckel said. “He is going to be hard to replace.”
Councilman Chris Heban sat next to Ruse for six years during the full council meetings and they could regularly be seen talking to each other.
“He was the consummate professional,” Heban said.
Heban had an excused absence and had to miss the meeting, but thanked his friend with a prepared statement.
“I learned from Mr. Ruse because he was experienced, consistent, and probably the smartest guy in the room most of the time. I have the utmost respect for what he provided to the City of Rossford and his commitment to doing things right, the way he thought they should be done. Thank you, Robert, for your commitment to the city, and for the knowledge that you passed on to me. I’m forever grateful,” Heban wrote.