SALEM - The new year will begin with a couple of new faces in city government, along with a familiar face in a new role at city council meetings.
Salem's new At Large Councilman Roy Paparodis and new city Treasurer John Conrad will assume the positions voters selected them to fill, while At Large Councilman K. Bret Apple will take over gavel duties as the new President of Salem City Council.
Paparodis and Conrad both filed as Independent candidates, with Paparodis taking the seat vacated by Apple and Conrad taking the place of city Treasurer Bob Tullis, a Democrat-turned-Independent who chose to retire instead of running for a fifth term.
Apple, a Democrat, ran unopposed for the presidency being vacated by council President Mickey Cope Weaver, who was elected as a Republican. Weaver chose not to seek re-election and instead ran for Perry Township Trustee, which is non-partisan, but failed to get elected.
As a result of all the moving around, the new makeup of the seven voting members of city council will include one Democrat, Councilman Clyde Brown; four Republicans, including Councilwoman Cyndy Baronzzi Dickey; Councilman Rick Drummond and Councilmen Brian Whitehill and Jeff Cushman, who received new terms from voters to start the year; and two Independents, Councilman Dave Nestic and Paparodis. As president, Apple will only vote in the event of a tie.
Dickey, Drummond, Brown and Nestic each have two years left on their terms representing their wards.
With a new president, there will be some shuffling around of committee assignments, too, especially since Apple will no longer be able to head up the Finance Committee. Each committee is made up of three council members selected by the president out of the seven. The president assigns the committees, but does not serve on any.
Apple said he has been working on the list and will announce the committee assignments at the first meeting in January, when council will officially re-organize for 2014. Each councilman serves as chairman of at least one committee. Nestic has been serving as chairman of both the Economic Development Committee and the Committee of the Whole, which is made up of all seven members.
The next council meeting is set for 7 p.m. Jan. 7.
For residents who want to see the meeting, but can't attend, the meetings are aired live on Time Warner Cable Channel 9, and then re-aired several more times. Anyone can access videos of the meetings on the city website at www.cityofsalemohio.org, usually a day or two after the meeting has been held.
Meetings are normally the first and third Tuesday of the month unless changed due to a holiday or Election Day.