56 years and counting

Yorkville councilman honored for service

T-L Photos/SHELLEY HANSON YORKVILLE VILLAGE Councilman Ron Emerson, third from left, poses with his street sign, Emerson Drive, that will be used to rename a section of Deep Run Road after him in the village. He has served on council for 56 years. Shown with him are Yorkville police Chief John Morelli, Mayor Karen Vargo and Council President Sandy Reasbeck.

YORKVILLE — A long-time village councilman is being honored for his 56 years of service with a road being renamed after him.

In the coming days, Yorkville residents will see a section of Deep Run Road renamed Emerson Drive after Councilman Ron Emerson. The sign features his favorite Ohio State colors, scarlet, white and gray. The section that will be renamed is located between the Ohio 7 underpass and Old Ohio 7.

Emerson said Friday he was honored to receive the recognition, noting a May 23 open house to celebrate the occasion was held by village officials, family and friends with more than 100 in attendance.

But Emerson, 88, said he is not quitting council anytime soon.

“I’m going to run again in November,” he said, adding he still has village projects he wants to pursue and finish, such as a gazebo, repaving of Market Street and repairs to Deep Run Road.

Emerson has served 14 consecutive terms on council, and, as one might guess, he enjoys it.

“I enjoy working for the people. That’s my main objective. I don’t do it for the money, although I do get paid,” he said. “I do whatever I can do.”

Emerson visits the village municipal building daily to find out what is going, something he calls being “nibby,” but for him that’s an important part of being a good councilman. His wife of 23 years, Sally Emerson, said it was nearly impossible to keep the open house planning process a secret from her husband.

Emerson said recognition of service began with an article published by his former employer, American Electric Power. The AEP Retirees and Alumni magazine did a feature article on Emerson and his time with the company and the fact that he’s been serving on Yorkville Village Council for 56 years.

That article led to several proclamations including from those from Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, Yorkville Village Council, Ohio Sen. Frank Hoagland, Ohio Rep. Jack Cera and the Jefferson County Commission.

Emerson worked for AEP for 45 years before retiring in 1993. He began serving on council in 1963 to fill the unexpired term of a council member who had died.

Emerson was the middle child of the late John and Irma Emerson. He grew up in Tiltonsville, graduated from Warren Consolidated High School and had five sisters and a brother. He has three daughters, Angela Davis of Columbus, Susan Koralick of Wheeling and Charlene Kreitzer of Tiltonsville.

His son George “Buddy” Emerson lives in Alabama. He is named after Emerson’s brother who died during World War II while serving in the Army. Emerson also 10 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

“I want to keep going. I don’t want to sit and watch TV,” Emerson said, adding he does enjoy doing research on the Internet. “I am the best Googler around here.”

Emerson said there has been a lot of changes to the village during his time on council. The biggest was the closure of the steel mill. He said at one time 3,000 people worked there. Now the mill property is be torn down.

During his time on council, Emerson said he was instrumental in bringing Ohio Coatings Co. to the village, thanks to tax break incentives. The 130,000 square-foot, tin plate steel plant still operates today.

He also worked with the Yorkville VFW to install a war monument, which is located across the street from the municipal building, and a WWII cannon. Emerson also is a member of the Yorkville Volunteer Fire Department. Over the many years he played golf, he won 30 different tournaments.