WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – Warren City Council paused at Wednesday night’s meeting to say goodbye to an old friend, someone whose long and distinguished career has come to a close.
Dan Sferra dedicated his life to bettering the city of Warren for 48 years.
He is probably best known as the city’s only four-term mayor, but he also served on city council and represented the city in the state legislature in Columbus.
Wednesday night was Sferra’s last council meeting. He’s retiring.
“It’s been a long road from 1972 until now, but I’ve always been proud to serve the citizens of Warren and I think the city is in good hands now. It was just time for me to move on,” Sferra said.
Sferra first got into city politics because he opposed federal government-sponsored subsidized housing projects.
He got hooked and never looked back.
“It just got in my blood and I love this city. I just hope I can do some good for the city. I’m just proud of what I’ve done,” he said.
Sferra’s political ambitions also led others to represent Warren.
“I actually wanted to become a councilman because when I was a young guy in high school, Dan is a few years older than me, Danny was a teenage councilman,” said third ward councilman John Brown.
Sferra was known for favoring short council meetings. Now, he’ll keep an eye on things from a distance.
“Well, I’m not going to miss coming to council meetings as much, but I’ll just follow things in the paper but I’ve been through it all. I’ll just keep aware of what’s going on,” Sferra said.
He said his toughest political fight was to build the Trumbull Correctional Institute and spent four years as a state representative, which were the least favorite of his career.
Sferra took part in 16 elections across his political career and only lost twice.