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^w.i» i w u.>» >iti .,<ai um*iawm*a***a*m ■.j.j' i —11 anna min •Has* MMa»»StSMaV*B«tafp«K*ayaa*asS*»WBaBMM Travelogues are under way — Page 3 | Who's the first baby of '97? — Pa< Amherst News-Time o H O O O X> X X r- 00 ►-( (-1 ■ X 00 < X - ' .-, 0) 3 H 3> O < n Wednesday, January 8, 1997 Amherst, Ohio I : ;. City auditor says he won't finish final season by BILL ROSS News-Times reporter Citing his increased business as a manufacturer's representative, city auditor Jim Gammons has announced plans to step down from his elected position before his current term expires in the fall. "In order to stay competitive, it's necessary to branch out, and I now have business in Kentucky, Toledo and Detroit — but not enough time to handle it all," Gammons said. Gammons was elected to the position four years ago and says he has enjoyed working for the people of Amherst Before becoming auditor, he sat on city council for 10 years. As a manufacturer's representative, Gammons sells commodities like natural gas, aluminum and electricity to companies and municipalities throughout the area, and he also works directly with Roth in New London, a large-machine fabricator. Gammons and his wife Susan arc now planning to find a condominium near or on the lake in Huron County. This will allow him to be closer to his Toledo and Detroit connections, as well as giving him the opportunity to devote more time to his favorite recreational activity — fishing. Both the auditor's and the treasurer's position for the city of Amherst are elected part-time positions and what seems a little unusual, according to Gammons, is that both he and treasurer Kathleen Litkovitz oversee several full-time employees. "1 think that partisan politics should stay out of the auditor's and the treasurer's office completely,'' Gammons said, adding that he believes the best approach would be for the city to hin; a full-time finance director to handle these positions, along with three full-time employees working. CONTINUED on page 2 Commissioner settles back to 'normal' civilian routine Amherst resident makes travel plans first by GLEN MILLER News-Times reporter Herb Jacoby has no regrets about becoming a politician 12 years ago. Despite the campaigning, headaches, feuds and disappointments, he'd do it again if he were younger. Little did he or his wife, Mary, realize he'd have to work as hard as he did when he became a Lorain County commissioner in 1984. But no more. At 68, Jacoby retired Dec. 31 after serving three four-year terms as a commissioner. For the next few months, the Amherst resident plans to relax and enjoy life, providing his wife doesn't find odd jobs for him to do around the house. It's not that he's neglected keeping things up around their North- wood Hollow Court home, he just hasn't had much time in the last 12 years. "He's never been lazy. Never. He's too busy," Mary said. "Now he can slow down — a little." When he wasn't busy with government, he taught real estate appraisal classes at night at Lorain County Community College. It was his part-ume job for 19 years. He was good al it. After all, he had worked in the county auditor's office real estate division for nearly 10 years before being persuaded to step into the political arena. After consulting with a trusted advisor — his wife, he started campaigning. The first time was the toughest. He had to introduce himself and his political philosophy — Democrat, of course — to people. Annexations were among the hardest. Townships fight from being engulfed by growing municipalities. Conversely, ci?v officials accused him and his fellow commissioners of deterring development He didn't have much time to get his feet wet before diving into murky political waters. Five months after being sworn in, he approved the county's one-half percent sales tax. "We needed more revenue be cause property tax just wasn't making it for us (the county). We were dangerously close to default — $18 million in debt," he said. Opponents warned him and former commissioner George Koury a "yes" vote would make them one- term commissioners. To him, the welfare of county government overrode his job. "You have to make decisions as a commissioner that offend large groups of people," he said. "There were some tough decisions to make. They weren't snap decisions. I had to do my homework." Three years later, voters decided he had made the right decision. He won more votes than he did in 1984. But understanding sales tax was a small portion of the homework he did during his 12 years in office. He brought a lot of work home with him at night, reading he didn't have time to thHduring office hoars because of an endless number of appointments and meetings. CONTINUED on page 2 Retired county commissioner and Amherst resident Hebert Jacoby exchanges greetings with well wisho, s at a retirement party held on his behalf in the county administration building. Here's a look back at the top headlines of '96 January SERVICE WITH A SMILE: At a ceremony held at city hall, John Higgins was sworn in as mayor, Alan Anderson as law director, Wayne Whyte as council president and other new council members and city officials were also sworn in to office by Oberlin Municipal Court Judge Martin Heberiing. ON THE LIST: City law director Alan Anderson appointed Steve List to be his assistant law director. List, an Amherst resident, was chosen because of his familiarity of the city and because of his law background. S'NO PLACE TO HIDE: A severe blizzard dumped heavy snow in a 24-hour period, causing a level three emergency in the county. Residents were warned to stay off treacherous roads or face a ticket or possible arrest NOT SUCH A GAS: One of two new E-Check emission testing centers opened in Amherst Commerce Park. The new three-part tests were designed to detect cars with heavy emissions and to require owners lo fix defective exhaust systems. PROFICIENCY HIGH, SPENDING LOW: A report by the Education Management Information System showed that although the median income for a local family in Amherst is higher than the state average, the amount of tax valuation per pupil is lower than the state average. But in spite of the lower spending, Amherst students continued to rank high academically. RUNAWAY TRAINS: Two trains derailed by Crosse Road after a piece of pipe came off one of the cars, landed on a track, causing one train to run over it Fortunately no injuries resulted, although there was One of the top stories of 1996 was construction, and opening, of the new police station and jail facility, a project that was years in the making. appreciable financial damage and extensive clean-up of the area was needed. STATE OF THE CITY: New mayor John Higgins outlined some of his ideas for the coming year. Some of the issues addressed were controlling the flooding problems, the creation of citizens' committees, the police and jail facility, sealing streets, utilization of the old post office building and analyzing the city's equipment needs. NO ELATION IN ELYRIA: Superintendent Howard Dulmage was unable to provide much encouragement for the parents of Elyria West High School students, who were hoping to send their kids to Steele High in the fall. Dulmage reported that Steele was already short of space foi its own students, which was disappointing news because the Elyria school was scheduled for closure in June. THE BUCKS STOP HERE: Mayor Higgins reported that the city would be restructuring the way money is collected from the various departments. Now fees from all of the departments would be collected by the treasurer's office, instead of by •the individual departments, which would hopefully mean a more efficient accounting system for the city. COMET POWER: The Steele High basketball team edged closer to the number one spot, as they bested the North Olmsted Eagles at a Southwestern Conference game. The win put them within a half- game of SWC leader, Olmsted Falls. February STALLED AGAIN: A complaint filed by Lake Shore Railway Association, a preservation group, stopped plans to demolish an old railway bridge that would make way for a turnpike interchange on Rt 58. The Turnpike Commission argued that it would be too expensive lo redesign the plans in order to save the bridge, but the demolition was put on hold until a ruling could be Nashville-based hardware and farm supply store, announced plans to lease 25,000 square feet of space in the building that housed the former K-Mart store. SPORTING A NEW LOOK: Marion L. Steele band director Randy Border announced that the marching band would finally be getting new uniforms, after the same ones had been used for more than 26 years. The money for the new uniforms was raised over a two-year period from an aggressive fundraising effort by the boosters. BURSTING AT THE SEAMS: A survey of area developers done by Amherst school officials revealed that up to 1,000 new homes were projected to be built in Amherst, Amherst Township and the Lorain area of the Amherst school district over the next three years, thus contributing to future overcrowding problems. CARRYING THE TORCH: Amherst residents Jerry Buchs and Mary Ling vere selected to carry the Olympic torch through a portion of Northeastern Ohio in June, as it was relayed to the 1996 summer games. Buchs, 29, who has cerebral palsy and is legally blind; and Ling, 62, who has trouble with lengthy walks, promised not to let any phys- made. ical limitations from their complet- A SALTY EXISTENCE: The ing the once-in-a-lifetime excessive winter snow created a opportunity. heavy demand for salt, while also A VICTORY FOR SPITZER: taking its toll on plow drivers and Spitzer management announced the equipment. At one point, there was purchase of Victory Chevy Olds on a two-week wait for salt orders^pd Leavitt Road. Chief executive of- plow drivers were working 18 to*20 freer Alan Spitzer said his company hours straight had big plans for its latest acquisi- FACELIFT FOR CITY tion, including handling increased HALL?: Mayor Higgins outlined business and the possible expansion plans to make a thorough study of of the lot renovations necessary to restore city BRINGING DOWN THE hall to its former beauty. Higgins HOUSE(S): City council was asked said estimates done 12 years ago to by mayor Higgins to authorize the renovate the roof and second floor condemnation of three deteriorating ran about $700,000, but that new es- buildings in Amherst According to annates would now be needed before Higgins, the buildings, all owned by the project could be considered Milad Abraham, were slated for further. condemnation in August of 1993, TRACTOR STORE PULLS but extensions lad been given to die IN: Tractor Supply Company, a CONTINUED on page S ■* ■ , * ■ -
|Title||Amherst News-Times, 1997-01-08|
|Date of Original||08-JAN-1997|
|Submitting Institution||Ohio Historical Society|
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