Thursday, March 07, 2002

Reading chooses service director

By Susan Vela
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        READING — Mayor Earl Schmidt has appointed fellow Democrat Timothy Hoerst to replace Mike Rahall, who resigned as the city's safety-service director last week after serving about six years.

        Mr. Hoerst, 54, owned a ceramic tile business until this month. He began his new job on Monday. He will receive an annual salary of about $65,000 while overseeing the city's police, fire and recreation employees.

        He has been heavily involved in city affairs for years. From 1989 to 1994, he served as council clerk and has been a member of the City Records Commission, Board of Zoning Appeals and the Zoning Updates Steering Committee.

        He also once served as campaign chairman of the city's Democratic Party.

        Mr. Hoerst is looking forward to his new responsibilities.

        “It'll be challenging and something different for me,” he said.

        City officials said they became aware of Mr. Rahall's plans to resign last month.

        “He felt that he needed to move on. It was his decision to make. I had to scrounge around,” Mayor Schmidt said.

        Mr. Rahall could not be reached for comment.

        Mr. Hoerst's past experience and knowledge of the city made him the best candidate for the opening, Mayor Schmidt said.

        Council President Albert C. Elmlinger Jr. said Mr. Rahall's resignation put the city in a vulnerable position. The person filling Mr. Rahall's shoes will stay only through the remainder of Mayor Schmidt's term, another two years.

        “This is the middle of a term. I'm sure it would be quite difficult to fill 20 months of a term when there might be a change,” Mr. Elmlinger said.


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