By Rick Palsgrove
Long time Groveport City Councilman Ed Rarey has retired from council.
On Feb. 3, Rarey sent a letter to Mayor Lance Westcamp and city council members announcing he will resign from his council seat effective March 10.
Rarey, 87, was serving in his sixth term as a councilman. He was first elected to council in 1993.
“My recent health issues have caused me to review my qualifications for this position,” wrote Rarey in his retirement letter. “I realize that the responsibility requires a great deal of consideration and preparation for the many issues that arise.”
In the letter Rarey said it has been a pleasure working with the various council members and mayor over the years, as well as with city employees who “work hard to keep the city running smoothly.”
“But my favorite part has been the interaction with the residents of this wonderful community,” wrote Rarey.
Rarey wrote that one of the highlights of his time on council was “collaborating to bring numerous recreational opportunities to our community, such as the Groveport Recreation Center, the bike path, and improvements to the golf course.”
During Rarey’s nearly two dozen years on council, he and his fellow council members, the mayor, city officials, and residents saw the town: grow from a village to a city; expand its recreational offerings by – building the recreation center and aquatic center, purchasing the golf course, and constructing a bicycle path to connect to Three Creeks Metro Park; and complete many infrastructure improvements to streets and water lines as well as several commercial development projects.
“It has always been my goal to provide the best opportunities and services to the Groveport residents, regardless of their ages,” wrote Rarey. “I have been pleased to be a part of the creation of KidSpace and the installation of numerous sidewalks.”
Rarey is appreciative of his time on council.
“Thank you for the many years I have been able to represent the residents and work to make this community one of the best in central Ohio,” wrote Rarey. “I wish you all the best and ask that you always put the needs of the residents first and foremost.”
According to the Groveport City Charter, council has 30 days from the date of Rarey’s resignation to name his replacement. If council does not name a replacement within 30 days, then the mayor has the power to select someone to fill the seat by appointment.
Council President Pro Tem Ed Dildine said individuals interested in applying to fill Rarey’s seat on council may send their resumes to: Clerk of Council Ruthanne Ross, Groveport Municipal Building, 655 Blacklick St., Groveport, OH 43125. Resumes will be accepted until noon on March 10.
Dildine said council will go into closed session on March 13 to review the submitted resumes. He said at that time council will decide whether or not to go ahead and select a replacement from the submitted resumes or to schedule interviews with the applicants.
Rarey’s replacement on council will serve the remainder of his term, which expires Dec. 31, 2017.
Rarey is the second long time council person to retire from council in the past two years. Donna Drury, who had served 14 years on council, retired on Dec. 15, 2015.
Reactions to the retirement of Councilman Ed Rarey:
•Mayor Lance Westcamp: “Ed once told me, ‘We are here to serve our citizens. Anything less is unacceptable.’ I always remembered that. Ed served the community greatly and has been a great councilman.”
•Council President Pro Tem Ed Dildine: “I hope I can remember half of the Groveport history Ed knows. I’ll miss his historical perspective.”
•Councilwoman Jean Ann Hilbert: “Ed always has the residents’ interests at heart.”
•Councilman Shawn Cleary: “Ed always has Groveport in the forefront of his mind. He loves Groveport.”
•Councilwoman Becky Hutson: “Ed will be missed. I truly respect him.”
•Councilman Scott Lockett: “I hope we continue to see Ed at functions and events around town.”
Thank you Mr. Rarey for your years of service to the residents of this community. I look forward to seeing you around town for a long time to come.
Thank you, Mr. Rarey. It has been a sincere honor to work with you. Your dedication and love for this community is unmatched.