ELYRIA — Law Director Scott Serazin will not seek re-election this year, he announced Monday, less than two days before the filing deadline for the May primary election.
Serazin spoke of his intention to “move on” at City Council’s meeting Monday, surprising Council members. He had pulled but not yet filed petitions to run again, though he had until Wednesday to do so, according to the Lorain County Board of Elections.
“First, although it doesn’t seem so long ago, it was 38 years ago that Mayor Mike Keys asked me to be on the Elyria Fair Housing Board. I went from that position to the Civil Service Commission and from there to the old law director’s office,” he said, reading from prepared remarks.
A former assistant prosecutor for Lorain County, Serazin won the May 2011 Democratic primary election for the law director’s seat and was unopposed in the general election. He turns 67 in March, he said.
Serazin on Monday threw his support behind his chief of staff, Amanda Deery, whom he said is seeking his seat.
“Without meaning to steal her thunder, my decision not to run for this office again was made much easier for me by the willingness of Amanda Deery to seek election to this office,” Serazin told City Council. “She has a proven track record in her seven years with me, and it is my firm belief that in addition to outstanding legal abilities, she possesses the character, integrity and experience to make an excellent law director. I would exhort each of you to support her for the good of the city.”
Serazin also thanked Mayor Holly Brinda, Council Clerk Forrest Bullocks and his assistant clerks, Finance Director Ted Pileski, Safety Service Director Mary Siwierka and his predecessor Terry “Pete” Shilling. He also thanked former mayor Keys for giving him the opportunity in 1980 “to work for the people of this city.”
“Few people realize how much we rely on each other to make the city run,” Serazin said.
Council members and those present at the meeting applauded Serazin at the conclusion of his comments.
“That came as a surprise today,” Council President Mike Lotko said of Serazin’s announcement.
Councilman Marcus Madison, D-5th Ward, thanked Serazin for helping him during his time on City Council.
“Thank you, Mr. Serazin. It has been an honor and a pleasure working with you,” he said.
In his remarks, Serazin even offered a tidbit “for you Elyria trivia lovers.”
“I even spent 24 hours as mayor. At the end of Mike’s final term when both Mayor Keys and the Safety Service Director Tim Coey resigned due to a glitch in the sick leave payout ordinance I was, by operation of the city charter, the mayor for a day. I was happy to resign that post because as a result therefore Council President Thomas Shores ascended to the mayor’s office, an honor he richly deserved.”
During his 38-year career in public service, Serazin also served as appointed law director in Elyria and in North Ridgeville. He also ran an unsuccessful campaign for Elyria Municipal Court judge in 2010.
After Monday’s meeting, Serazin said he has no plans for retirement as yet.
“They say you shouldn’t make plans for retirement,” he said.