Township waives residency requirement for director of community development

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TOWNSHIP — City Council has agreed to waive the residency requirement for the city’s new director of community development, Sherice L. Freeman.

She will start on July 5 and succeed Rollin Seward, who will retire on July 1 after about six years in the role. The board also approved an annual salary for Freeman of $95,800, $8,436 more than the maximum salary allowed without board approval.

“I’m looking forward to it,” Freeman said Monday after being greeted by council members.

After:Christopher Hardesty hired as Director of Economic Development

After:The canton takes the necessary measures to annex the property of the new Aldi

Freeman said she has lived in Hartville for 26 years. She has worked in higher education, including administrative roles involving federal funding at the University of Akron, Kent State University, and Bowling Green State University.

Most recently, Freeman served as a program coordinator for the Mayor of Akron’s Youth Leadership Council, according to her resume. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in education from the University of Toledo.

Mayor Thomas Bernabei said Seward informed him about three months ago of his impending retirement and the job posting was posted three times to find the right candidate.

“We were looking for the person who had the right background when it came to the federal government and HUD and this type of regulation, and the personality and academic background needed,” he said.

Freeman will lead the city’s Community Development Department, which operates the Canton Fair’s housing office and administers community, development and service programs and funds for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

The council also waived a residency requirement last month for the city’s new director of economic development, Christopher J. Hardesty, whose first day was Monday. Directors of city services, security, community development, and economic development are non-elected positions with a condition of residence in the city under cantonal ordinances.

Other action

  • Approval of a corporate zone agreement with B&T Associates LLC and Terydon Incorporated that provides businesses with a 75% property tax abatement over 10 years at 420 Fourth St. SW. Terydon designs and manufactures high-pressure waterjet systems and will relocate from Bethlehem Township near Navarre, bringing 15 employees, according to a memo from the mayor. Council previously approved a $200,000 loan for renovations to the site for a planned cryptocurrency operation, but that didn’t happen, the mayor told city council at a previous meeting.
  • Honored Joe Palmisano with an informal resolution for his work with Ukrainian refugees in Poland.


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