Johnstown Independent

Fagan fills vacant seat on council

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Johnstown Village Council voted 5-0 during a special meeting June 10 to appoint Thomas Fagan as a new council member.

Council member Kevin Riffe was absent.

Fagan fills the vacancy left by former council member Christopher Speck, who recently moved outside the village limits. Speck's resignation was effective May 21, and the council had 30 days from May 22 to fill the vacancy.

In his letter of resignation, Speck wrote to council, "Although it has been a great honor serving with each one of you, I have decided to move outside the village and must therefore resign from council effective today. It was a difficult decision for me, but this was an opportunity too good to refuse. As a downtown business owner and president of Downtown Johnstown, I'll still see most of you quite regularly, and I plan to stay involved in what's going on with council."

Johnstown Mayor Sean Staneart said seven residents had applied to fill the position, which expires Dec. 31.

"We had a lot of great candidates," he said. "It's nice to see such community involvement. One of them stood out."

Staneart said Fagan's resume was impressive on all levels, and he was clearly an excellent choice to fill the vacancy.

"We're excited," he said.

According to Fagan's resume, he and his wife, Christine, and two young children have lived in Johnstown for about five years.

"During our time in Johnstown, we have been consistently impressed with the sense of community that we feel here," he said in his resume. "The people of the village of Johnstown are friendly, inviting and have created a community that we want to be involved in."

Fagan graduated from Kent State University with a master's degree in accounting. He then graduated with a law degree from the University of Akron. He is a tax manager for the Columbus firm of Ernst & Young, where he consults with Fortune 500 companies on complex state and local tax issues.

Fagan said the practical experience he's gained through his work helps him to understand businesses' needs.

"As we want out local village of Johnstown businesses to grow and flourish, this understanding will be a valuable resource for the Johnstown Village Council," he said. "The No. 1 issue for all municipalities now is funding."

Fagan said he looks forward to solving the challenges that face council. As the costs of operating a village increase and revenues generally don't, the challenge will be in how to continue offering the same village services under and increasingly tightened budget, he said.

"It's not an easy problem to solve," he said.

As Fagan's appointed term ends at the conclusion of this year, he must run for election in November to retain the seat.

He's considering it, he said.

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