STOW — City Council clerk Bonnie J. Emahiser has bid adieu to city hall after nearly 40 years in the role.
Emahiser has worked for the city of Stow for more than 42 years and retired May 14. She joined the city as a legal secretary in February 1977 with the intention of becoming a paralegal. She became the clerk of council in July 1979 — a liaison between the public, the administration, City Council, businesses and governmental agencies.
Last month, Mayor John Pribonic presented Emahiser with a proclamation recognizing her long career and wishing her well in retirement.
"Thank you, Bonnie," Pribonic said, "You’ve been a tremendous asset to the city — words cannot even describe what kind of tremendous asset you are."
"I’ve enjoyed very much working for the city of Stow ... I’m going to miss it, I really am. I’m going to miss the people," Emahiser said.
As to the timing of her departure, Emahiser said, "A few people I know have gotten sick and are not able to enjoy their retirements. I want to be able to do that with my husband for at least a couple of years."
Many City Council members thanked Emahiser for her service to the city, lauding her professional yet friendly attitude. Council Member Brian D’Antonio (At-Large) noted Emahiser was the clerk when both his father and later his mother served on City Council. "No offense to anyone else in the administration," D’Antonio said, "but I typically call Bonnie first if I have a question ..."
Council Member Jim Costello (At-Large), who served as the city’s interim mayor for six months last year, echoed D’Antonio’s sentiments, lauding Emahiser as "the go-to person for any question you have related to the city." Both Council members Brian Lowdermilk (Ward 3) and Sindi Harrison (Ward 2) praised her helpfulness when new members join City Council.
"Bonnie and I have been friends since she came here," Budget and Management director John Earle said, "and we’ve worked together on a lot of things and I think everything you want in an employee Bonnie has been ... I personally will miss Bonnie and she’s been an excellent city employee and will be very hard to replace."
Council will choose Emahiser’s successor, and it has interviewed candidates to replace her. Its president, Matt Riehl, said, "We hope to be able to announce something soon" regarding Emahiser’s successor.
Asked what advice she would give to the new council clerk, Emahiser said, "Hang in there. There will be good weeks and very stressful weeks. However, the career, being involved with the community and helping people is very fulfilling."
Reporter Ellin Walsh can be reached at 330-541-9419, email@example.com or @EllinWalsh_RPC.