Rowland picked to fill Hyde’s former seat on Wellington village council

By Jason Hawk -

Keith Rowland has been chosen to replace Wellington village councilman Jeff Hyde, who stepped down in September.

He was selected by unanimous consent in a special meeting Wednesday night.

“Everybody who applied had a very different bouquet of talents to offer,” said council president Guy Wells. “And yet at the end it was a pretty quick, easy consensus. (Rowland) has deep roots in the community and knows it pretty well. He’s had a lot of organizational experience in his own manufacturing career, and that’s always a plus to bring in to the job.”

Council members interviewed each of six candidates for roughly 15 minutes before making a decision.

Others who applied for the job include William Berger, Austin LaFleur, Vicki Rutherford, Ty Brocksieker, and Duane Bremke.

After graduating in 1988 from Wellington High School, Rowland served in the U.S. Army until 1993.

He has since coached Wellington junior high school football eight years and works at NN Inc. (formerly Whirlaway) as a product manager overseeing materials and purchasing departments.

“I hold dear to the traditions that I remember as a child and now an adult of Wellington. Wellington has such a rich tradition that unless you grew up here I don’t think you truly know the meaning of,” he wrote in a letter for consideration to council.

“I also understand that changes need to take place to keep this community vibrant with new technologies and ideas from the next generations.”

Wells said a swearing-in ceremony for Rowland will likely be held at the start of council’s Nov. 16 meeting.

Now the process will begin again as Wellington leaders seek a replacement for councilman Hans Schneider, who will become mayor Jan. 1.

The village will accept applications now but no selection will be made until 2016 when the new term begins.

Those who applied for Hyde’s vacated seat have been invited to “refresh” their applications, Wells said, but they will not be automatically placed in consideration for Schneider’s seat.

Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @EditorHawk on Twitter.

By Jason Hawk