City council appoints new at-large councilman

Ozie Ikuenobe

After hours of interviewing candidates, Kent City Council appointed former Roosevelt High School principal Roger Sidoti as the new at-large councilman.

Sixteen people, including Erik Clarke, freshman political science major, had applied for the council seat. During the first few hours of Wednesday’s council meeting, the applicants all pitched their reasons for applying and said what they felt they could do for Kent as a council member.

At-large councilman Robin Turner said the group of candidates was tremendous and the council members couldn’t have made a bad decision with the options presented.

Mayor Jerry Fiala said he was impressed with the applicants and that choosing a replacement was a hard choice to make.

“My colleagues boiled it down to Mr. Sidoti and I think that’s a very good choice as it would’ve been for anybody,” he said. “In 18 months, when that term’s up, it’ll be open for the voters to go to the polls. I hope these people knock on some doors, and if they’re that interested they’ll do that and they’ll pass the partitions, and they’ll be on the ballot. I hope we can all vote for them then.”

Fiala said he thinks Sidoti can bring flair to council with his background in school administration.

“One thing I always say is any panel, committee or even a city council, ought to be a good cross-section of the city of Kent, and I think he’s going to add to that, and there’s a perspective that we need, and he’s going to bring that here.”

Sidoti said that he hopes he can add some value to council with his participation.

“First you have to have a belief that you can add something, and secondly, you really have to work at that,” he said.

Sidoti added that his approachability makes him somewhat of a character and that it is a positive aspect he can bring to council.

“I’ve learned over the years that my size sometimes can be intimidating to people so I work extra hard to be open and to engage people in conversation,” he said. “… I think that sometimes when people take themselves so seriously, what happens is that they don’t realize that it gets in the way of that responsible process. I am who I am, but if I have a responsibility I’m going to take that really seriously, but it doesn’t mean that I’m not going to do it with a smile and I’m going to have some fun with it.”

Contact Ozie Ikuenobe at [email protected].

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