Susor, who was elected to council last month, was the top vote getter.
Councilman Mike Sheehy, who had been president of council, made the motion to make Susor president.
Councilman Jerry Peach had nominated Sheehy to continue as president.
Council voted 6-0, with Peach abstaining, for Susor, who had served on council in the 1990s.
“I want to thank council for their vote of confidence,” said Susor. “Thank you for your service as chairman, Councilman Sheehy. I will attempt to be limited in my errors, but there will be many.”
“I’d like to thank Mr. Peach for his vote of confidence,” said Sheehy. “But I’m well aware of how strongly Mr. Susor ran in the last municipal election, and I think this is a way of welcoming you home. Welcome back.”
Susor then passed out proposed committee assignments to council.
“I am very satisfied with these proposed committee assignments,” said Peach.
“I had just a little bit of input in these committee assignments,” said Sheehy. “As you can see, several senior members of this panel have continued their chairmanships and the positions they have previously held. There’s been very little change here, except with respect to the positions that you’ve taken as president of council and your positions on council.”
Councilman Sandy Bihn said she was unaware of the assignments until that day.
“I won’t object (to the assignments), but I do object to the fact that I’ve not seen this until this evening, and others have been given that courtesy. And I would request in the future that this be a more open process, that we all be consulted with as opposed to a selected few,” said Bihn.
“I would respond by saying until I was officially in this position, I wasn’t in a position to,” said Susor.
“This list was made, typed and done, so somebody did something,” said Bihn.
“Not a problem,” said Susor.
“I’m sure if Mrs. Bihn wants something different,” said Councilman James Seaman, “we could make that change. I’d be willing to accommodate that. I don’t think she’s necessarily asking for that, but if she were, though, I would definitely accommodate her in any way I could.”
“I would have asked for chairing the Public Utilities and Environmental Committee if I’d had input into this process as opposed to heading the Water and Sewer Committee,” said Bihn, a long time environmental activist and Western Lake Erie Waterkeeper.
“I’d be more than happy to make that change,” said Susuor.
“I would really appreciate that and thank you very much,” said Bihn.
“Just as a point of order,” said Mayor Mike Seferian, “we had designated the Environmental to the Public Utilities Committee. It doesn’t have to be the case. You could simply move Environmental to Water and Sewer and leave everything else the same. Just re-designate Environmental to Water and Sewer and not change anything else on there. We put that on Public Utilities just because we had to put it somewhere.”
“Whatever works best for you guys,” said Susor. “My belief on these committees if it there’s a committee meeting and if something’s happening, that all of council is welcome and open to come to each and every committee meeting and express their views, as I was very welcome at the Finance Committee this evening, as I was able to express my views and my opinions. So it’s just a formality on the chairmanships, and we’ll move to make everyone part and parcel.”
“I certainly have no objection to Mrs. Bihn chairing the Public Utilities and the Environment,” said Sheehy, “but I think for the sake of tradition, at least, we continue with those committee setups the way they are. And in the future, if we decide to change them, maybe let’s not do that in such a frivolous manner. I would rather keep them the way they are. As you indicated you are willing to make that swap for Mrs. Bihn, I don’t think anyone would have any objection.”
“There’s no attempt to make it frivolous by moving that,” said Seferian. “I don’t think there’s any harm or anything wrong if council agrees to put it there. I understand Mrs. Bihn’s desire to have Environmental, as she has made that a part of her life for most of the time she’s been here.”
“I think Mrs. Bihn would serve wisely on that committee,” said Councilman James Seaman, “with all the work she has done in that area and her deep interest in that area. I think would be good for her.”
Council then voted for Bihn to be chairman of the Public Utilities and Environmental Committee.