Last night’s meetings

In lieu of my normal blog post, I want to say a few words about Lou Dirker.

As many of you know, Lou served as Stow’s police chief until his retirement a couple years ago. I worked alongside him for the first 4 years that I was on council. He passed away last week from cancer.

dirker-rasorLou ran our police department with a passion for protecting the residents. His integrity was unmatched from any person I have ever worked with, in any job. Lou served in the Marines, loved his country and trusted his Creator. It is telling that it took nearly two hours to make it through the line at his calling hours last night. If you knew Lou, you respected him. It was just that simple.

One quick anecdote: Lou and I had a big dispute over the proposed tax increase in 2013. He supported it, to fund additional police officer hiring. I thought the additional revenue would be diverted to other areas. We both fought vigorously for our positions. One evening, a club in town asked us both to provide our positions on the tax. It turned into a public shouting match between us.

But, even in this heated battle, I never thought to question his motives, because he had such great integrity. I trusted him to keep it clean–and never say anything behind my back that he wouldn’t say to my face. Even when in political combat, deep-down, I knew Lou had my back, and he knew I had his. After the dust settled from our shouting match, we shook hands and went home. It didn’t negatively affect our relationship at all.

I will miss Lou.