Mayor Greg Zilka, whose term officially began on Jan. 1, infused humor into his acceptance speech at his private swearing-in ceremony Dec. 30 while stressing the need to continue economic growth efforts and maintain city service.
After by Avon Lake Municipal Court Judge Darrel Bilancini during a private ceremony at , he addressed more than 200 supporters with stories of his family connections to Avon Lake.
Zilka told the audience of his grandfather’s visits to Avon Lake on the Interurban and subsequent car accidents while visiting the city he would eventually be mayor of.
“Judge Bilancini, I think there was alcohol involved,” Zilka joked.
He noted that while income tax receipts and the plant’s Avon Lake future solidified in the past few months, other city businesses were also instrumental in an increase in Avon Lake’s revenues.
“A strong Avon Lake makes a strong Lorain County,” he said.
Zilka, who previously served as the council president, stressed the need for Avon Lake to also work with surrounding communities.
“After all we do not exist in a vacuum and our region must grow to have a stable future,” he said.
The ceremony included plenty of local dignitaries, including Avon Lake elected and appointed officials, Lorain County Auditor Mark Stewart, former longtime judge John Mackin, Lorain County Commissioner Ted Kalo, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, Sheffield Village mayor John Hunter and Lorain County Treasurer Dan Talarek.
Zilka will be sworn in again in a public ceremony at City Council Jan. 3, at 7:30 p.m. along with the four ward council representatives (including first-term councilman Robert James).