Written by Kelly Kaczala
December 04, 2009
Michael Seferian was sworn in as Oregon’s new mayor last Sunday at 2 p.m. by
Municipal Court Judge Jeff Keller at the city municipal court.
Seferian, 52, was accompanied by his fiancé, Regina Goulding, his sons, Michael, Eric, and Christopher, and sisters Sue Meis and Cheryl Kinkaid.
It was icing on the cake for Seferian after he overwhelmingly defeated incumbent Marge Brown for the mayor’s seat on Nov. 4.
Seferian said he felt “humbled” as he took the oath of office.
“I looked in the audience and saw not only my family, but all my close supporters smiling. It was really humbling to me. Here are all these people who believed in me. I was looking at their faces. There’s no way I can let these people down.”
Seferian, who had been on council for 18 years, lost to Brown in his quest for the mayor’s seat in 2001. But this year, he sensed a desire for change among the electorate and decided to run again. Last Sunday, he said, was a bit “overwhelming.”
“All of a sudden, it’s real. I was part of elections for 20 years. The campaign is over, and everything else is going to be real from that point on. I’ll be dealing with issues that affect other’s lives. It’s an indescribable feeling. Things register in your mind a little differently when you’re not thinking about yourself, but for others,” he said. “It is overwhelming.”
Among his top priorities will be the search for a new city administrator. Former Administrator Ken Filipiak resigned after the election to take a job as city manager of Mentor, Ohio. Public Service Director Paul Roman is acting administrator until a new one is appointed.
“The most important thing on my list is to find a top quality city administrator,” he said.
Seferian said over 15 candidates have submitted their resumes.
Filipiak advertised the position before he left, calling for a Dec. 15 deadline for resumes.
“I had no input,” said Seferian. “I will not be adhering to that deadline because I will be looking as long as it takes. He expects more resumes as Dec. 15 nears.
He and Roman, and other city officials, will comb through the resumes after the deadline to select finalists for interviews before an appointment is made, he said.
Among his first acts as mayor was to change the location of the city’s Christmas tree from the municipal building to city owned property at the northwest corner of Wheeling and Navarre Avenue.
“Instead of putting a Christmas tree at the city building and decorating it, I felt it was a more appropriate place to light a tree at that corner on Navarre,” he said. “Many more people will see it at that corner. Also, when the tree was at the municipal complex, people caught a glancing view of it because it wasn’t on the road. The traffic that goes by Navarre and Wheeling is probably more than three times the traffic that passes the municipal complex.”
St. Charles Mercy Hospital donated some funds to the city to improve the property. “A few years ago, we had some landscaping done. But for years, it just sat there vacant and unimproved. I thought this would be a good time to do something to it. I hope people like that selection better than the place we had at the municipal complex,” said Seferian.
Councilman Bill Myers donated the city’s Christmas tree for the third year in a row.
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