By Joe Wiercinski
Herald Staff Writer
Victor S. Heutsche wrapped up his service as a Sharon councilman on Thursday. He had served for nearly nine years and also was council president.
His fellow council members thanked Heutsche, who is a lawyer in private practice, for his service during a time when Sharon was struggling financially through the national economic recession and also changing its form of government to home rule so it could begin to operate more efficiently with a professional city manager to serve as its executive.
“You served and served well in one of the most difficult and interesting times in Sharon,” Ed Palanski said, adding that the other four council members wanted to acknowledge Heutsche’s contributions toward helping the city get back on firmer financial footing.
Palanski, Frank Connelly, Tom Burke and Bill James presented Heutsche with a ceremonial gavel acknowledging his leadership as president of council.
James and Connelly both said they learned how to be effective councilmen from Heutsche’s example. Burke said he was especially appreciative of his respect for city employees and the work they do for Sharon residents.
“You were always professional,” Burke, a former Sharon police chief, told Heutsche. “You didn’t join in the flogging of city departments that some used to like to do.”
Connelly traced his relationship and friendship with Heutsche back to their high school years when both played football in the 1970s for the Sharon Tigers.
“I hope the city remembers what a good soldier you were, Vic,” Connelly said. “Moving to home rule was tough but you worked to see it through. It wasn’t easy but now we’re able to see that it was the right thing to do.”
Heutsche, who was born in Sharon and has his office on Stambaugh Avenue, said he knows his colleagues and City Manager Scott Andrejchak will keep Sharon moving ahead in a positive fashion.
“It was contentious,” he said of the change in governance. “But I feel confident that the city is in good hands and on its way to regaining the status it formerly had.”
The Rev. Adam Trambley, rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Sharon, was elected in November and will begin his council term in January.