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Summit County Council picks Rita Darrow as next president

Summit County Council Vice President Rita Darrow
Summit County Council
Summit County Councilmember Rita Darrow was appointed council president at council's meeting on Monday, Feb. 12, 2024.

Summit County Council voted at its meeting Monday afternoon to appoint Council Vice President Rita Darrow as its next president.

Darrow replaces Veronica Sims, who stepped down from her council seat to fill the 33rd District seat in the Ohio House of Representatives on Feb. 7. The vacancy was created when former State Rep. Tavia Galonski resigned to become the Summit County Clerk of Courts, a position that opened up when former clerk Sandra Kurt was elected Clerk of the Akron Municipal Court in November 2023.

Darrow will fill the role until the end of 2024, according to the meeting agenda. She has represented District 1, which covers the northern portion of Summit County, since 2020, according to council. She previously served on Macedonia City Council from 2012 to 2015, including serving as president in 2015.

Councilmember Erin Dickinson was appointed as council’s vice president for the remainder of the year. She was appointed to an at-large seat in 2022 and is an attorney and community activist, according to council. She's also an executive board member of Community Legal Aid.

When it comes to Sims open seat on council, the Summit County Democratic Party needs to set a precinct committee meeting date for a candidate to be appointed to the seat, Summit County Council Chief of Staff Mark Potter said in a statement.

“The replacement shall be chosen within 30 days of the vacancy by the precinct members of the same party,” he said. “If the precinct committee members fail to make the appointment, the county council then has 30 days to make the appointment.”

State House Rep. Veronica Sims is sworn in.
The Ohio Channel
State House Rep. Veronica Sims is sworn in to represent the 33rd district on Feb. 7, 2024.

As a member of the Ohio House, Sims said she is looking forward to working to uplift all the citizens of Ohio, she said during her acceptance speech.

“It is an immense honor to follow in the footsteps of those amazing legislators that have come before me,” Sims said.

Sims had served on Summit County Council since 2020, according to council. Her former District 5 seat covers Copley, Fairlawn, part of West Akron and the western half of Bath,

The meeting began with a commendation for Sims given by Councilmember Elizabeth Walters, according to the meeting agenda.

Updated: February 12, 2024 at 4:55 PM EST
This story has been updated following council's meeting on Monday, Feb. 12.
Janson McNair was an intern at Ideastream Public Media for the spring 2024 semester.
Abigail Bottar covers Akron, Canton, Kent and the surrounding areas for Ideastream Public Media.