BY KAREN GERHARDINGER | MIRROR REPORTER — When Dennis Recker was campaigning for a seat on Whitehouse Village Council in 2021, he believed he could continue to spend winters somewhere warmer while participating in meetings remotely.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ohio General Assembly allowed members of council to deliberate, discuss and vote while meeting online. On July 1, that exception ended. As Recker realized he would face three months away from his wife, he decided instead to turn in his resignation.
“It was my mistake for not understanding that the remote meeting option was in fact a temporary, nonpermanent option that would expire,” Recker told council during its December 20 meeting. “Being apart from my wife for the greater part of the winter months for the next three years is just too much of a family hardship. I regret the conflict my oversight has caused.”
Council now has 30 days – or until two days after its Tuesday, January 17 meeting – to fill the vacant seat or Mayor Don Atkinson will appoint someone. Applications and resumes will be accepted until Monday, January 9 so that council can meet as a Committee of the Whole on Tuesday, January 10 and just prior to the regular Tuesday, January 17 meeting to review resumes and discuss applicants in executive session.
“You need to turn up the soil for people with the interest, commitment and genuine desire to do good,” Recker said.
Recker has been involved in Whitehouse government for several years, beginning as administrator from 2006 to 2010. In 2011, he was elected to village council and served until July 2015, resigning five months early because a gap in service was needed to accept retirement from the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System.
Bob Keogh was appointed to fill that position in 2015 and he remains on council.
The candidate selected to fill Recker’s seat will serve until the November 7, 2023 General Election. Recker’s unexpired term will then be one of four seats on the ballot, including those currently held by Keogh, Mindy Curry and Rebecca Conklin Kleiboemer. The deadline to file petitions with the Lucas County Board of Elections is Friday, Sept-ember 1 at 4:00 p.m.
For more information or an application to fill Recker’s spot on council, visit www.whitehouseoh.gov.