Trustees elect new chairperson

by Dan Holland

Jan. 4 township trustees meeting

Richfield Township trustees elected Trustee Don Laubacher as their new chairperson. Incumbent chairperson Janet Jankura was elected vice-chair.

Janet Jankura repeated the oath of office given by
Mayor Michael Wheeler for her fifth term as Richfield
Township trustee.

“We [the trustees] had talked previously, so I was expecting it, but it is still a very good feeling. I appreciate their confidence in me to do it,” Laubacher told The Richfield Times after the meeting. “I look forward to working more closely with [township administrator] Mindy Lott to set the agenda. I think we have a great set flow and pattern at these meetings that I would really like to keep in place. I don’t expect to make any major changes, but I’m just honored take on this new role.”

Township Zoning Inspector Kendall Jarrell participated in his first trustee meeting. He replaces former zoning inspector Patricia Ryan, who retired at the end of 2023. Jarrell worked with Nationwide Insurance for more than 20 years, where he was involved in performing residential and commercial inspections, he said.

With a videographer present, Ohio Representative Bill Roemer and State Senator Kristina Roegner present Vik Sandhu with a proclamation after he was sworn into the office of Richfield Township Fiscal Officer. Roegner opened the ceremony with a prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag. Roemer and Roegner supported Sandhu for the election. Photos by S. Serdinak.

“Being new to the position, I want to learn how to best serve our residents and do the job to make them and the entire community happy with my work,” said Jarrell, a Richfield Township resident. “Getting involved more with the community and being able to give back a little bit is a nice aspect of the work.”

Citizens Forum

Resident Hamid Homaee asked about the purpose of an impending road closure in 2024 to replace the Brecksville Road culvert over Furnace Run. He questioned why the Summit County Engineers office did not coordinate with the township on project details and asked if a public meeting could be arranged to respond to residents’ questions.

Richfield Fire Chief George Seifert suggested that trustees could reach out to Richfield Village Mayor Michael Wheeler to formulate a plan of action regarding an informational meeting. Lott said she would reach out to Larry Fulton of the Summit County Engineer’s office for more information.

The county engineer’s website lists the project as scheduled to occur between April 1 – Dec. 31, 2024.

Homaee also inquired about possible improvements to the appearance of the north end of town along Brecksville Road.

“There are a lot of businesses that have gone out of business and a lot of vacant land; it’s just not a good representation of Richfield,” said Homaee. “We would like to get together with the village to have some kind of communication to see what is going on and what we can do to improve that area. There are a lot of opportunities there right now from the businesses, the turnpike, ODOT and the county to spruce up that area.”

Laubacher noted that Richfield Village held a public input workshop in November that addressed the north end of town as part of a 10-to-15-year comprehensive land use plan.

“They’re gathering lots of information and they understand the need to spruce that area up,” he said. “There are a lot of ideas floating around, including putting in a median with trees and reducing some of the asphalt. So, it’s a work in progress.”


Laubacher presented a proclamation of recognition to Trustee Robert Luther, which was delivered earlier in the day by State Rep. Bill Roemer, R-Richfield, recognizing Luther Farm Market for 30 years of operation in the township.

In other business, trustees passed three fiscal housekeeping items to start the new year. ∞