Village solicitor resigns at council meeting

November 8, 2012

Ryan Scott Ottney

PDT Staff Writer

New Boston Village Solicitor Walter Lytten submitted his resignation to members of village council during their regular meeting on Tuesday, effective as of Nov. 30.

“I’ve been doing this off and on for 25 years. I’m getting up in age, and I decided I’ve done enough,” Lytten said.

Lytten began his career in 1973 after graduating law school and moving back to New Boston from Columbus to open a private practice. In 1975, he started working with the village part-time while maintaining his practice. He also served as an assistant attorney general and was a small-claims referee for three years. In 1989, he became a Common Pleas judge and held that bench for 14 years, when he left the court and returned to work as part-time village solicitor in 2003.

“This is my hometown and I’m proud of it. When I got out of law school, Vern Riffe Sr. had just retired as being mayor and (Charles) ‘Burr’ Ottney became the mayor and I worked with Burr. Then when I became solicitor, the first thing I did was begin taking blighted properties and we did the 50-apartment (Buckeye Towers) high-rise. I’m just happy to see the hometown improve,” he said.

Lytten also played a part in approving the Kmart mall in New Boston in the 1970s, but the most difficult time he remembers is when the steel mill closed in the village.

“It was like falling off a cliff. The village would have no tax revenue if the mill shut down. Burr determined we had to do an income tax just to survive and achieve a source of income. It was a scary time,” Lytten said.

Now after many years serving the village, Lytten said it’s time for him to turn it over to someone else and enjoy life.

“A little fishing. Mainly spend time with my grandkids more, and get my health back,” Lytten said.

His retirement will begin on Nov. 30.

“I hated to see Mr. Lytten resign, but he felt like it was time for him to move on. I think he’s been one great solicitor for the village of New Boston; one that really cares and looked out after the village both at council meetings and representing us in municipal court,” said New Boston Mayor James Warren.

Unlike a city government where a solicitor is elected, the village government appoints a solicitor. Warren said the village will now begin accepting resumes for village solicitor, and those can be mailed or dropped off to the village office at 3980 Rhodes Ave., New Boston, until Nov. 16.

Ryan Scott Ottney can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 287, or rottney@heartlandpublications.com.