Stow -- The Stow administration welcomed a new member to its engineering staff this month.
Sheila Rayman was recently hired as an assistant city engineer, filling a void in the department headed by City Engineer Jim McCleary.
"This is a very people-oriented office," said Rayman, an Akron resident. "Everyone I have met has been kind and helpful. I am appreciative of the warm welcome."
Finance Director John Baranek said Rayman will be paid $35.76 an hour.
While Rayman officially joins municipal ranks for the first time in her Stow job, she boasts a nearly 20-year background in civil engineering for consulting firms.
"I've worked as project manager and designer on several land development, redevelopment projects for commercial and residential use. I also have quite a bit of expertise in utility and roadway design, stormwater management, and construction management," Rayman said. "This is my first position with a government office, but have worked as a consultant with many local municipalities.
"My background, especially in stormwater and utilities, will provide the engineering office additional flexibility to manage projects and provide the additional manpower necessary to insure city improvements benefit the safety and welfare of the public," she added.
After coping with a reduced staff, McCleary said he's excited to have Rayman join his department.
"The city of Stow Engineering Department went from nine employees a year-and-half ago to only four employees remaining last April," McCleary said. "Two engineers with 35 years experience retired, two engineers found employment elsewhere, and one inspector switched departments. After nine-and-a-half months of a reduced staff, Sheila is the first replacement and will concentrate on water and stormwater projects. It's a good start on rebuilding the engineering department."
Rayman said some of the projects topping her list of priorities include stormwater improvements at the city's Fox Den Golf Course and participating in redevelopment efforts at the Stow-Kent Shopping Center -- an initiative led on the city administration's end by Mayor Sara Drew and Planning Director Rob Kurtz.
"The city of Stow has a bright future," said Rayman, "and I'm looking forward to being part of the growth and progress that is to come."
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