The usual laughing and camaraderie was noticeably absent at the Feb. 11 meeting of Reynoldsburg City Council, as council members and city staff mourned the loss of Diana "Susie" Lyday, longtime assistant clerk of city council.
President William Hills choked back tears during the invocation prior to the meeting, requesting that Lyday’s family and friends be comforted during this difficult time.
Lyday, 51, passed away unexpectedly of unknown causes at her home on Feb. 9.
"It was just a shock," commented Mayor Brad McCloud after the meeting. He said Lyday did not appear to have been sick, and had just been at work just the day before her passing.
Lyday had been employed by the city of Reynoldsburg for 14 years, McCloud said, and served as assistant clerk of city council for the past decade. McCloud said when he served as a council member, he always appreciated her tenacity and attention to details.
"She was so thorough," he said. "She looked out for city council and anticipated their questions. She was very loyal to the council folks."
Lyday, a 1974 graduate of New Albany High School, is survived by her husband, Dan; son, Chris (Ilene) O’Neall; daughters Natasha O’Neall and Jessica Smith; stepson Zeke Lyday; and several grandchildren.
A memorial service was scheduled for Feb. 13, with interment to follow at Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens.
McCloud said he would like the city to honor her dedication to the city in some way.
"I think at the minimum maybe we will plant a tree in her honor," he said.
The assistant clerk of city council is an appointed position, and it will be up to city council to choose her replacement, McCloud noted.
"Once the dust settles and they begin to look forward, I assume they will look forward to filling that position," McCloud said.
In other news, Reynoldsburg City Auditor Richard Harris was presented an award from the auditor of state’s office for excellent financial accountability. John Leavett, a representative of auditor of state Mary Taylor’s office, presented Harris with the "Making Your Dollars Count Award" for fiscal year 2005 and 2006 audits. Fewer than 5 percent of all Ohio government agencies are eligible for this award.
"It’s a track record of good work," Leavett told council. "You are truly a model for accountability."
To receive the award, the entity must complete and submit a comprehensive annual financial report; there must be no findings or issues present in the audit; and there must be no other financial concerns involving the entity.
Also during the meeting, Police Chief David Suciu recognized several employees of the police department for their contributions to the city. The "Officer of the Year Award" was presented to Officer Tye Dowanard; the "Distinguished Service Award" was presented to Officer Michael Loyszczsk; and the "DUI Service Award" was presented to Officer James Rodgers, who arrested 108 impaired drivers in 2007. In addition, 10-year service awards were presented to officers Jeff Gammell and Brian Marvin, and 20-year service awards were presented to sergeants Dave Bauchmoyer and Jeff Gregory, as well as Karen Branscom, secretary to the chief of police.
Mike Brining of the Ohio Department of Public Safety’s Highway Safety Office also honored the city for its efforts.
"We’re here to award some equipment to the Reynoldsburg Division of Police because of their exemplary performance," Brining said, noting of the 900 agencies eligible for the honor, only 200 are receiving it. "It speaks volumes. This agency leads Franklin County in the number of DUIs for an agency of its size. These folks are out here working."
He presented Suciu with a new radar unit valued at $2,000.
Approved the Treasury Investment Board’s recent selection of UBS as an approved security broker/dealer.
Confirmed the mayor’s appointment of Lucas Haire, planning administrator for the city of Reynoldsburg, to the Licking County Tax Review Incentive Council to fill the unexpired term of John Brant, former development director for the city. The term will expire on Dec. 31, 2009.
Authorized the mayor to purchase three 2008 Crown Victoria police cruisers for the Reynoldsburg Police Department.