Friday, January 9, 2004

Reading mayor replaces official

By Steve Kemme
The Cincinnati Enquirer

READING - Albert "Bud" Elmlinger, a member of City Council for the past 20 years, now holds the city's top administrative position.

Robert "Bo" Bemmes, the new mayor of Reading, has fired Tim Hoerst from the safety service director position and has appointed Elmlinger, a fellow Republican, to replace him.

Hoerst had been appointed to the job by Democrat Earl Schmidt, who served as mayor for nine years and decided not to seek re-election last year.

Bemmes said the removal of Hoerst is no reflection on the job he did. Traditionally, when a different political party gains control of the mayor's office, a new safety service director is appointed.

Elmlinger, 65, has lived his entire life in Reading. He has served as president of council for the past six years and was a 4th Ward councilman for the previous 14 years.

His father served as Reading safety service director in the 1940s. Elmlinger and his wife, Judy, have five children and 16 grandchildren. His daughter, Susan Slavey, had served on council for four years.

"He's from a great old Reading family," Bemmes said. "He has deep roots here. I can't say enough good things about him."

For the past five years, Elmlinger worked as office manager at Northland Motors in Norwood. For the previous 34 years, he worked as business manager and accountant at Century Motors in Montgomery.

He said he's glad he'll be more involved in Reading's activities than he was as president of council, a position he held for the past six years. The primary duty of president of council is to run council meetings.

"I was a little disappointed in the lack of real activity as president of council," Elmlinger said. "Becoming safety service director was a way to get more involved."

Hoerst, 56, said he understood when Schmidt appointed him safety service director two years ago that he would lose the job if a Republican mayor succeeded him.

"That's just the way Reading works," he said.

During Hoerst's term, the Reading Road streetscape project began and Vorhees and Koenig parks were improved.

Hoerst is a candidate for Reading's vacant deputy auditor position.


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