By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
SOUTHGATE – Edward Gawlik Jr. was appointed Feb. 1 by the City Council to fill the position vacated by Bill Colovos’ recent resignation.
Nine candidates submitted applications to be considered by the council, and four were found to be current on payments to the city for property taxes, water bills and other miscellaneous invoices.
In addition to Gawlik, applicants Nicole Yaklin, Saul Lupercio and Andrew Moul were eligible candidates. Gawlik was the only candidate to appear before the body at the Feb. 1 special council meeting to be interviewed by the council.
The council members provided their top three choices to the city clerk, with each member ranking their top choice with three points, second choices with two points and third choice with one point, with Gawlik being the clear top choice.
Gawlik, who has lived in Southgate for 37 years, served for 12 years on the Southgate Community School District Board of Education, and was the board’s president for five of those years.
He also served for six years on the City Planning Commission, and was chair of the commission for three years.
Gawlik retired from Speedway Convenience Stores following 42 years as a store manager, human resources consultant, auditor and multi-unit district manager.
He has volunteered with many groups, including active participation with the Southgate school band boosters and the Gibraltar Food Pantry.
Gawlik said he wants to serve on the council to give back to the city and because residents encouraged him to apply.
“I’m on the planning commission right now and I’m chairman of the planning commission,” he said. “I feel I have a good relationship with the city and its administration and hopefully with the council as well.”
Gawlik said the City Council has had longtime, veteran members until recently.
“With all the turnover there’s been, you’ll have three appointed members on council and two other members with less than three years of experience, so I feel some of my leadership skills would help with that,” he said.
Gawlik said he’s always had a healthy balance between work and community involvement, and now, as a retiree, he is completely available to serve the city.
He said he also is willing to take classes to become a better qualified council member.
“I will definitely be committed to being a councilperson to the best of my ability,” Gawlik said. “I will always look at questions or controversies or issues at how it relates the best for the citizens involved, and if it wasn’t my viewpoint but something passed by council, I would truly support it.”
He said residents can always expect him to try to do what is best for them and their interests within the city’s budget when making a decision.