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City Law Director Says Goodbye at Final Council Meeting

Hans Nilges, who's been the city's law director since December 2009, attended his last North Canton City Council meeting as a city employee Monday night

Law Director Hans Nilges attended his final meeting as a North Canton city employee Monday night.

Nilges, who's been law director for about two and a half years, said his goodbyes as he prepares for his final day on the job July 31. The employment attorney filed his letter of resignation June 29.

"It has been a privilege and an honor to have worked with each of you. This was never something I thought, in my career, that I would end up doing. I'm still trying to figure out exactly how it happened," Nilges said with a smile.

"It was a great privilege to serve the city of North Canton and I thank you for that opportunity."

Council President Jon Snyder had announced Nilges' resignation at the July 2 council meeting, according to the Canton Repository, which also obtained a copy of Nilges' resignation letter.

According to the newspaper, the letter said his resignation was spurred by council’s “desire to transition from a part-time director of law to a full-time director of law. It is the council’s belief that such a move will result in a savings to the city. I fully support the council’s decision.”

Talks of what to do with the city law director position started at council's , when members brought up the possibility of a legal firm assuming the duties of the city law director.

They said the city pays Nilges $52,000 a year and more than $5,600 in benefits. He's required to work 16 hours per week, or 64 hours a month. If they hire the firm to perform the duties of law director, the city would pay $50,000 a year and would have four additional hours of service a week for a total of 80 hours per month.

But the city now is interested in taking on a full-time law director. And, according to the Canton Repostory, Nilges was not interested in the position.

Council members and city administration got a chance to thank Nilges that night for his work in North Canton. Ward 2 Councilman Jeff Peters said Hans saved the city a great deal of money when negotiating with bargaining units, among other successes.

"Your heart is in the right place," Peters said. "You've worked tirelessly and you were a bull dog for the taxpayers of North Canton, and I appreciate that."

Ward 3 Councilman Tim Fox praised Nilges for his service to the city.

"Your courtesy and respectfulness and professionalism not just to members of the council, but to administration and citizens as well, speaks volumes for the city and for our profession, and I want to acknowledge you for that."

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