Bowling Green has a new councilman.
Jeff Dennis was officially chosen by the Wood County Democratic Party Central Committee members of Bowling Green on Tuesday night to fill the at-large seat vacated by the late Neocles Leontis. He was subsequently sworn in during the brief meeting.
“I’ve got some big shoes to fill and I’m looking forward to getting to work,” Dennis said.
Leontis, who was in the first year of his first term on council, died Dec. 8 as the result of a car crash that took place on Ohio 25.
A press release issued by the Wood County Democratic Party noted that “per the Bowling Green Charter and the Ohio Revised Code, the Wood County Democratic Party Central Committee members within the city of Bowling Green are tasked with filling the vacancy caused by Dr. Leontis’s death for the position of At Large Council.”
“We have a process where people have been invited to send applications to me,” Wood County Democratic Party Chair Mike Zickar said during the meeting. “We had one official application, Jeff Dennis, and so the committee has to formally nominate and vote on Jeff Dennis.”
Dennis was nominated at the meeting by BG Councilwoman Sandy Rowland, who said she did so “with great enthusiasm.” Dennis was subsequently confirmed by a unanimous voice vote.
After the vote, Leontis’ wife, Vassiliki Leontis, said she wished Dennis “the best in this challenging work that’s ahead of him. It’s going to be challenging, I wish him perseverance, but I also know that he’s going to enjoy it so much, and he will learn so much. Again, I want to tell Jeff not to worry about Neocles’ shoes. He’s got his own shoes to fill and those are big enough… and I know he’ll do a perfect job. This is your time, Jeff… Neocles would be very proud and happy.”
New Wood County Judge Joel Kuhlman swore Dennis into his post afterward.
“We’re just so excited about Councilman Jeff Dennis carrying on the work of Neocles and beyond,” Zickar said near the meeting’s close.