Oregon Mayor Marge Brown and City Administrator Ken Filipiak said goodbye to council at their last council meeting as city officials on Nov. 23.
Brown, who was defeated for a third term by Councilman Mike Seferian on Nov. 3, choked back tears during a brief speech at the end of the meeting.
“Since this is my last council meeting,” said Brown, “I wish to thank the staff for their great support. You guys have always been there for me. Eight years is a long time, but a short time, too. We’ve had a lot of good friendships. I wish you all well.”
Filipiak, who has been with the city for nearly 10 years, resigned after the election to take a job as city manager of Mentor, Ohio.
“This is my last council meeting,” said Filipiak, whose last day was Nov. 25.
He said he expected to provide Seferian and council with a proposed draft budget before he leaves.
“What is probably in the best interests of the next council would be to adopt before the end of the year a temporary budget. Then that will give you the first quarter of the year to work through a final draft. It will give the new mayor and new council a chance to go through, at your leisure, the items that the administration is proposing. That will be a compilation of all those items that are submitted by the department heads. I will also prepare draft legislation for the temporary budget so you’re in a position to adopt that before the end of the year.”
Filipiak said he was pleased that one of his last acts as city administrator was to negotiate the part-time firemen’s contract agreement.
“Those labor agreements to me reflect 10 years of working closely with all the employees here. I’ve enjoyed my association with the part-timers, all the regular full-time employees, our department managers, and the two mayors I’ve had the great pleasure to serve under. I’m sorry I won’t be able to serve under a third mayor. I’m sure that I would have enjoyed that experience as well. It’s been my distinct privilege to serve with council through the years.”
He said he will fondly remember his years as Oregon administrator.
“They will always be a very special time in my life that I will reflect on in a positive way,” said Filipiak.
“A little bit of me stays behind here in Oregon. I will always cherish the memories here. My family is from this area. We plan on coming back to it some day and maintain the friendships we made here,” he said.
On Nov. 20, Brown appointed Public Service Director Paul Roman as acting city administrator.
Roman said he was sorry to see Brown and Filipiak go.
“The mayor, on the first day she came into office, said she supported me and our department. She did that every day for eight years. She certainly is a pleasure to work with. I certainly will miss her,” said Roman.
“With Mr. Filipiak, when I found out he was going to Mentor, I was very upset because I felt we had so many success stories, and he was a vital part of that,” added Roman.
Brown’s campaign for a third term sputtered when the police department on Sept. 4 issued an internal affairs report against her son, Jeff, an Oregon police officer. The investigation, which stretched back over seven years, resulted in disciplinary action against Jeff for various infractions he committed against several women, including his repeated use of a Law Enforcement Automated Data System (LEADS) to look up a former girlfriend, which the Ohio Revised Code describes as a felony.
Eleven days after the report was issued, Seferian beat Brown 61 percent to 38 percent, and again in the Nov. 3 election by the same margin.