WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – The city of Warren has a new councilman after a vote was taken Tuesday evening.

James Shaffer will replace Mark Forte as fourth ward councilman. Forte resigned after holding the position since 2017.

“It’s been sort of a dream of mine to become a politician and run for the fourth ward, so it was sort of a dream come true,” Shaffer said.

Shaffer holds a bachelor’s degree in education and mathematics and also holds a master’s degree. He went on to become a teacher at LaBrae High School for 30 years, as well as a high school athletics coach for 37 years. 

He’s lived in Warren for the past 30 years and says he has some plans to help the city grow. One of his plans was already started, which consists of signs going up in neighborhoods reminding drivers to slow down.

“There’s several things in the works that we’re going to be really working on to spruce up our fourth ward, so we’re going to do the best we can to save our kids and get our houses looking much, much better,” he said. 

The local Democratic Party Warren 4th Ward Central Committee members took the vote Tuesday, with all three members voting in favor of Shaffer taking the position. Warren Mayor Doug Franklin also attended the meeting.

Shaffer will finish out the year but must get reelected to continue in the next term, which starts in 2024. He is on the ballot for the upcoming May primary election.