Urbana councilman resigns seat

Urbana leader also well known as Buckeyeman at Ohio State games.

Larry Lokai, a member of the Urbana City Council for almost a decade, told council members this week he will resign his position in order to spend more time with his family.

Marty Hess, president of the Urbana City Council, said council members will have 45 days to appoint someone to fill the vacant seat. If they do not fill the position, the city’s mayor will have 60 days to make an appointment.

The candidate selected will have to run for re-election in the primary next spring and be re-elected next fall, Hess said.

Upon retiring from council, Lokai said he will have more flexibility and quality time to spend with his family, said Lokai, who also gained attention at Ohio State football games by dressing as Buckeyeman.

“Fewer meetings on my horizon will allow me to explore the leisure moments of a full-time retired person,” he said.

Lokai, who serves as an at-large member of the city council, has been involved in the city council since at least 2004. He has been through about a dozen primary and general elections in that time and thanked voters who helped keep him in office.

He began his career as a teacher at Northwestern High School in Clark County and retired in Lorain County in 1996.

“Never in my teaching or political career did I let politics rule my decisions, rather what was best for the majority of the citizens served or students I taught,” Lokai said. “My goal was to let people know I had their best interest in mind. I want to thank the citizens for putting trust in me as an elected official.”

Among the council’s accomplishments during his career, Lokai said council increased the value of Board of Control purchases that had to be brought before council for approval. Previously, the figure was only $2,500, but was eventually raised to $7,500. Raising the limits streamlined the process for city administrators.

“It didn’t feel like the council members should micromanage the budget,” Lokai said.