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Zickar resigns his 2nd Ward position

Second Ward councilman and faculty member Mike Zickar has resigned, and University alum John Zanfardino of South Prospect Street has been recommended to fill the vacancy.

Last week Zickar announced a move to Perrysburg Township amid concerns over his wife’s commute to work.

“My wife took a job in Detroit, and she was driving at times during the winter an hour and forty minutes or two hours,” he said. “We made a decision to split the difference.”

Zickar was finishing his first two-year term in office.

According to council President William Fischer, the vacancy must be filled by a majority vote of the remaining members of council within thirty days.

As Zickar was elected as a Democrat, and Democrats hold a 4-2 majority on the council, council looked towards the 2nd Ward Democratic Central Committee to recommend a replacement for the office.

The committee chose Zanfardino, who has been a social service worker for nearly 30 years and is currently a rehabilitation coordinator for the Lucas County Board of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities. He holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University.

Fischer hopes that the council will be able to appoint Zanfardino on the June 6 city council meeting. Zanfardino will complete the remainder of the office’s term, which will be elected in November.

Fischer believed that Zickar was doing a great job.

“He was committed, creative and innovative and he had a real desire to work on issues related to the community’s neighborhoods,” he said. “That’s certainly a place where there’s a great contribution to be made, and for those reasons we’re going to miss him.”

Zickar said he will miss council, especially his work to bring the students and the city together. He was also unhappy that he would not be present when the council votes on the city’s new civil code.

The new code, which will also be voted on at the June 5 council meeting, would allow for residents that commit civil infractions, such as having too much trash in their yard, to get something similar to a parking ticket, rather than a criminal citation.

“Instead of getting a criminal citation for letting your grass grow too long, you’d get a ticket. I just think that’s great for everyone involved,” Zickar said.

Zickar, who is currently vice chair of the Wood County Democratic Party, said that he would not be pursuing other offices, citing a love of his job as an associate professor in the Department of Psychology.

“To go to a higher level, you really have to sacrifice your job,” he said. “I love my job as a faculty member more than anything. It’s my passion.”

He is also director of the department’s industrial/organizational doctoral program, which was recently ranked third among such programs across the country in the pages of the U.S. News and World Report’s 2006 edition of “America’s Best Graduate Schools.”

While he may not have time to seek another office, Zickar still wishes to aid in communication between the students and the city, and will continue to be an advisor for the College Democrats.

“I won’t be on council, but I still look forward to making the place where I work a better community too,” he said. “You learn a lot about just living in a city by being on city council. It’s just a great way to be involved in the community at a different level. It breaks my heart, but I had to kind of do what’s best for both of us.”

Council meetings are held on the first and third Mondays of the month at 8 p.m. on the second floor of the city administration building at 304 N. Court St.

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