In some ways, Steve Robinette says, his 33-year law-enforcement career served as a preparation for his new role as a Grove City Council member.

"In law enforcement, you're in regular contact with all aspects of the community, from residents and developers to business owners and criminals," he said. "It's all about interacting with people in the community, and that's a big part of being a council member."

Grove City Council voted unanimously Feb. 1 to appoint Robinette, a retired Grove City police chief, to an at-large seat.

City Council members chose Robinette, 56, from among three finalists to replace Laura Lanese, who resigned in December after being elected to represent the 23rd Ohio House District.

A dozen residents submitted resumes, but four withdrew their names before initial interviews were held Jan. 28, City Council President Roby Schottke said.

City Council members interviewed Robinette, Matthew Caudill, Christopher Fulton, John Galasso, Christine Houk, J. Allen Jones, Matthew Jordan and Amy Lawson.

Follow-up interviews with Robinette, Fulton and Houk were conducted Jan. 30.

Robinette was sworn in at the Feb. 6 City Council meeting.

He joined the Grove City Division of Police in 1984. He was appointed chief in 2011 and retired in August 2015.

He also is chairman of the city's charter-review task force and serves on the economic-development subcommittee of the GroveCity2050 initiative to update plans and policies to help city leaders make decisions regarding future growth.

"I've watched as our community has grown and developed over the years," Robinette said. "With all that we have achieved already, I think we are in a position where we have more opportunity to grow and prosper than ever before.

"It's an exciting time for the city and I want to be part of helping move it forward. It's a real honor to be selected."

Schottke said Robinette's experience as police chief and on the charter-review and GroveCity2050 groups helped make him a uniquely qualified choice to replace Lanese.

But that choice was not easy, he said.

"All three of the people we asked back for second interviews were extremely qualified to serve on council," Schottke said. "We could have selected any of them and the choice would have been a good one."

Lanese's term is up at the end of this year and Robinette said he planned to run for election to the at-large seat in November.

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