Seventy-four years of experience will leave New Russia Township when two leaders step down later this year.
Trustee John Piwinski decided not to run for another term this past election season after 31 years and director of operations Fred Swanson is retiring after 43 years with the township.
They both agreed that it’s hard to leave.
“It was a tough decision,” Piwinski said. “We’ve had a great time and we always had a great staff to work with.”
He has served 20 years as trustee and a previous 11 years on the zoning boards of appeals.
Swanson started as a zoning board member and worked his way up to the township zoning inspector, trustee, and director of operations.
He attributes his decision to retire to age and says the job needs younger blood: “It’s time to give it to someone else,” Swanson said.
“It’s time for someone with more time to do it,” said Piwinski, adding that it’s been a privilege to serve as a trustee.
The two leaders have guided the township as it expanded with a nature park, cemetery, and the new complex on Butternut Ridge Road.
“We always chipped in to help with everything,” Piwinski said. “We’ve made some great accomplishments.”
The officials’ main goal from the beginning was to make the township better than when they started.
“I couldn’t be more proud,” Swanson said.
“We want people to see what’s here,” Piwinski said.
Even after stepping down, both men promise they’ll be around and just a call away should they be needed.
Valerie Urbanik can be reached at 440-775-1611 or on Twitter @ValUrbanik.
Valerie Urbanik | Oberlin News-Tribune
Director of operations Fred Swanson and trustee Jim Piwinski are stepping down later this year after serving a total of 74 years with New Russia Township.