Thursday, July 1, 2004

Union Twp. trustee's death leaves board to fill vacancy

By Karen Vance
Enquirer contributor

UNION TOWNSHIP - Art Wiedenbein worked for many years on the $6.5 million civic center for Union Township.

But when the building - a project the Republican trustee was especially proud of because it was being built without raising taxes - is dedicated July 23, he won't be there for the ceremony. Wiedenbein, 57, died in his sleep Sunday night, apparently of natural causes.

"It was his building. Art felt like it was a part of him," said Robert McGee, Wiedenbein's friend and fellow trustee for three years.

Wiedenbein, a lifelong resident of the township and owner of Wiedenbein Auto Parts for 35 years, was a member of the Board of Trustees for seven years. His term expires Dec. 31, 2005.

The two remaining trustees, McGee and Doug Walker, have 30 days to agree on a replacement. McGee expects they'll review letters of interest for the position before making a selection.

The new trustee would serve until Wiedenbein's term expires and then the position will be filled by election.

"We have no idea who that will be, we'll try to pick someone best suited for the job," McGee said. "We have to reach out into the community and try to pick an Art Wiedenbein, but I don't know how we're going to do that."

Clermont County Commissioner Mary Walker said Wiedenbein will be a hard man to replace. Before serving as commissioner, Walker served several years on the board of trustees with Wiedenbein, and her husband, Doug, continues to serve on the board.

"He was a great trustee. He really cared about people," Walker said.

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