Longtime economic development official leaving
Mentor is losing arguably its greatest cheerleader.
Ronald M. Traub, 67, is retiring no later than late July after nearly 30 years leading the Economic & Community Development Department.
He will be relocating to the Chicago area to be near family. He recently shared his reasons with colleagues via email.
“As the (city) manager knew, there would be only three reasons I would choose to leave: One, (wife) Susan’s or my health; two, one of our kids would move to Chicago; or three, Ken would call me into his office and say, ‘Thank-you for your service to the City.’ Fortunately, it is reason two as our son, his wife and ‘baby bear’ are making their home in Chicago,” he wrote.
“To say it’s been an honor to serve as the director for 29 years would be an understatement. I’ve looked forward to almost every day, curious what new opportunity or problem we would face. Perhaps that’s why when people would inquire how I was, I’d reply, ‘It’s a great day in the city of Mentor.’“
Longtime Councilman at large Ray Kirchner reflected on the news.
“We came on board at (about) the same time and we served on the Planning Commission 12 years together … and we’ve had a great relationship in the 28 years I’ve been in public service — watching our economic development grow year after year with Ron at the helm,” Kirchner said. “He’s going to leave a deep void and big shoes to fill, but I’m confident we’ll get someone to continue the great job he’s done.”
Traub agreed, anticipating such sentiments in his farewell.
“You may be inclined to tell me how difficult it will be to ‘fill my shoes,’ ” he wrote. “To the contrary, it gives the department, the administration and the city an opportunity ‘to go where no man has gone before.’ (Apologies, I’m a ‘Star Trek’ fan.)”
He expressed gratitude and appreciation for coworkers, and said much remains to be done.
City Manager Ken Filipiak said the administration is looking to identify some candidates for the position and at restructuring the department before opening up the job opportunity.