Delaware County commissioners on Thursday recognized and honored Larry Cline for his 50-year career in public service to the county.
Thursday’s commission meeting was standing room only.
Barb Lewis, president of the commission, thanked Cline for his decades of public service to the community. “You have inspired everyone here and many hundreds more,” she said. “What is important is the wonderful legacy that you have left behind.”
Cline watched the meeting online at home — due to health issues. Representing him at the meeting were his son, Jeff Cline, and his daughter, Jessica Cashman.
“We’d be here for an hour if we went into all the detail that Larry has done on behalf of the county,” Commissioner Jeff Benton said. “Everybody I know just says Larry is a good guy.”
Commissioner Gary Merrell talked of an egg-toss contest he and Cline had entered at the fair. “You can’t throw a ground ball, you have to keep the darn egg in the air,” Merrell said. Merrell humorously recalled that Cline said, “Next time we’ll use hard-boiled eggs.”
In a recent phone conversation, Merrell said he told Cline that he was “an ambassador for Delaware County.”
Curt Sybert, who had served with Cline on the Delaware County Finance Authority Board, spoke of Cline’s professionalism. “I say he is a professional board member,” he said. “It was obvious that Cline wasn’t there for the paycheck, the chicken dinner; he was there to help the particular organization he was dedicating his time to.”
Cline’s son, Jeff, spoke of how his dad only had good things to say about the people he worked with.
Buckeye Valley Schools Superintendent Andrew Miller talked of how Cline has also been a great ambassador for Buckeye Valley. “He helped build a concession stand that is still used today,” he said.
Congressman Pat Tiberi had honored Cline’s service to his friends, neighbors, Delaware and central Ohio with a proclamation from the U.S. House. Tiberi’s representative, Kristen Frissora, read the proclamation during Thursday’s meeting.
Cline’s career included serving in the Navy during Vietnam; as a member of the Buckeye Valley school board; as a Marlboro Township trustee; as a longtime member of the Buckeye Valley athletic and band boosters; as a volunteer with the Delaware County Fair; as a member of both the Delaware County Board of Mental Health and the county Board of Health; and as a member of the Delaware County Board of Zoning Appeals, the Delaware Chamber of Commerce, Marion Goodwill Industry and as the first student government president for Ohio State Marion and numerous other subcommittees.
“He has left a large footprint in Delaware County,” Merrell said.
In other business, county Administrator Ferzan Ahmed reported that he recently had met with Bill Lowe, the county fair manager. The meeting was about the possibility of transferring title of fairgrounds property owned by the county to the fair board.
During an April 11 commission meeting, county assistant prosecutor Aric Hochstettler expressed concerns about the county being named in a liability lawsuit if a person was injured on fairgrounds property that is owned by the county. Hochstettler suggested, “If all the property is titled in the name of the (fair board), you don’t even have the issue of who’s the owner.”
“We got the impression from Mr. Lowe that he was very amenable to what we were proposing,” Ahmed told commissioners Thursday.
Lowe is retiring as fair manager so a meeting will be set up with the new fair manager in the beginning of June to continue the discussion, Ahmed said. Sandra J. Kuhn was named Tuesday as Lowe’s replacement.
D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.