Another Mantua Village official resigned, continuing high turnover trend

Image of the Mantua Village Hall
Mantua Village Hall Lyndsey Brennan/The Portager

Mantua Village Council Member Chuck Peterson has resigned, citing conflicts with his work schedule as a union officer.

Peterson was appointed in July 2021 to fill the post left vacant when former Council Member Matt Rosolowski moved out of the village. Barring additional exits, whoever replaces Peterson will serve until Dec. 31, 2023.

The village is advertising for residents to apply to replace Peterson. Letters of interest should be submitted to Mayor Linda Clark at [email protected] or by mail to PO Box 775, Mantua, OH 44255. The submission deadline is 4 p.m. on March 11. 

Council intends to fill the post during its March 15 regular monthly meeting.

In a Feb. 15 email to Clark, Peterson wrote:

“I’m afraid I will have to withdraw as a councilman. Our union president is resigning and I’m the only officer willing to take his place. Not my first choice but we have contracts to bargain in May and nobody else will take on the role to finish his term and work the contract. … I’m sorry for the late notice. I was just informed today of the situation here.”

Peterson’s resignation is the most recent in a long line of public officials leaving their posts.

Dave Sluka resigned from his council seat in July 2020, citing family obligations. Prior to his resignation, Sluka, who was then serving as council president, had recommended that Clark enroll in “some sort of workshop or training program focused on Professional Leadership and/or Interpersonal Communication Skills.” Clark never attended the classes, and council never followed up.

Chelsea Gregor served as Mantua’s administrative assistant from May 2016 to March 2020. She cited Clark’s abrasive management style for her departure and filed a complaint against her that led to an investigation by the Portage County Prosecutor’s Office. That investigation found the mayor “lacks leadership skill, causing conflict” with employees, but no criminal wrongdoing.

Council Member Paula Tubalkain resigned from her post in January 2021, saying she wished to focus on her family.

Council Member Ben Prescott, who had served on Mantua Village Council since 2006, resigned in September 2021.

Former Village Clerk/Treasurer Jenny August also resigned in September 2021, citing Clark’s micromanagement and abrasive leadership. August had held the elected post for four terms, since 2008. After August left, Clark and village council recast the position as a part-time fiscal officer who would serve at their discretion.

Teresa Criblez took on that role but had received limited training from August, who had been working from home, Clark said. In November 2021, council hired Deborah Wordell, whom they recognized as “an experienced municipal fiscal officer,” to bring her up to speed. Wordell serves as fiscal officer for the City of Reminderville.

Street Supervisor Dave Akerley was fired in June 2021. Akerley had been hired as village administrator in August 2013, then moved to the street supervisor position in October 2014. Clark gave no reason for his termination, citing Ohio’s at-will employment law.

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Wendy DiAlesandro is a former Record Publishing Co. reporter and contributing writer for The Portager.