SOLON– Rick Jedlicka’s family was present, and he brought with him the gavel he had been given but never used, to close business after Sue Ballantyne offered the motion to adjourn.
The Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2011, Solon City Council meeting was the last for two tenured and well-known elected officials.
Mayor Rick Jedlicka and council member Sue Ballantyne said their public good-byes at the end of a regular session, the last of the year and the last of their final terms.
Jedlicka has been mayor of Solon since August 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). He was first elected to the council in 1997.
Ballantyne was first elected in 1999, the top candidate in a six-way race, and was re-elected in 2003 and 2007, three terms total.
“I gotta have something profound?” Ballantyne asked as the meeting drew to a close with council comments.
“I’ve been doing a rough calculation and I figured it’s been at least 350 meetings in 12 years,” she observed. “I think that’s a good time to stop. It’s had its ups, it’s had its downs, but overall it’s been a good experience, and an experience it’s time to pass on to somebody else.”
Ballantyne said she would continue to follow the council and might stop back in for a meeting or two. She thanked the public for electing her to three terms.
“It’s time for me to move on to something else,” she concluded.
Then, it was Jedlicka’s turn.
He thanked his wife Terri and kids for attending their first council meeting, his last. “After all these years, they finally showed up!” he exclaimed as a wave of laughter passed through the room.
“Jeannie has no recollection other than her dad being the mayor, so that tells you kind of how long I’ve been involved,” he said. “They’ve been very patient and very supportive through this whole run and it’s been truly wonderful.”
He additionally thanked all the people he had worked with, and he passed on his advice.
“We’ve been fortunate to do some great things, but not because of one person but because of the whole, and that’s the key,” Jedlicka said.
Over the 14 years, the city government has evolved with the city, he said, thanks in part to the work of council members, sometimes behind the scenes.
That’s brought the community to a point where the council can undertake big, visible projects that will really stop people in their tracks, he added, something previous council’s couldn’t afford.
“I’m excited to sit back and watch some of those things unfold, and hopefully maybe be asked to take part in a few of those,” he noted.
He thanked the council members for their support, and brought out the wood gavel he had taken to two meetings but never used.
“With that, I will entertain Sue’s motion,” he said.
“My last motion– I would like to make a motion to adjourn,” Ballantyne responded.
One last roll call.