SOLON– Mayor Rick Jedlicka announced last week he’ll be hanging up his gavel at the end of the year.
“We did, I hope, some really good things,” Jedlicka told members of the Solon City Council and city staff at the end of last Wednesday’s regular session.
Jedlicka has been mayor of Solon since August of 2001, when he, as a member of the city council, was appointed to fill the mayoral term of Steve Grover, who moved outside the city limits. Several months later, Jedlicka retained the position in a general election, and has been re-elected twice (2003, 2007).
Jedlicka said he was making the announcement in order to provide plenty of time for prospective candidates before the general election Nov. 8.
Anyone interested in filing for the position can contact City Clerk Susie Siddell. Candidates must file the required paperwork between Aug. 29-Sept. 22.
“It’s been 14 years,” Jedlicka said the day following his surprise announcement. “In my mind, that’s long enough.
“It felt like it was time for a number of reasons,” he explained, noting that two of his children would be in college by the end of another four-year term.
The scales started to tip this spring, he said, when he found himself not as excited to go to meetings. “As the summer wore on, it became very apparent that this was the time I needed to probably step away,” he concluded.
“I don’t know if there’s ever a good time to get on or get off something like that,” he continued. “At some stage you just have to draw the line in the sand and say ‘enough’s enough.’”
Jedlicka has made the mayor’s position a very active and visible one.
“In a given week, it can consume multiple hours a day, but part of that is by choice,” he said.
He took time to thank fellow council members and city staff for their years together. “It was very fun to work with those people on a daily basis and I’m really going to miss that part of it,” he remarked.
There have been a number of changes during Jedlicka’s tenure in city government, from the hiring of Solon’s first city administrator in 2000 to the development of municipal facilities like the Solon Recreation and Nature Area (SRNA) and the Solon Public Library.
“The community was doing a lot of very positive things from a growth standpoint and I just happened to be around when all that happened,” he said. “But you still kind of hope that some of the leadership stuff was a part of what made that happen.”