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Government & Politics

New Law Director in Cuyahoga Falls Makes History

a photo of Janet Ciotola
Janet Ciotola is the first woman to serve as law director in Cuyahoga Falls.

For the first time, a woman will serve as law director in the City of Cuyahoga Falls. City Council unanimously voted Monday night to confirm the appointment of Janet Ciotola. Ciotola previously served as deputy law director for the city. She replaces Russ Balthis who resigned after six years in the position to join the public and infrastructure practice group at the law firm Squire Patton Boggs. 

Before joining the city of Cuyahoga Falls, Ciotola served as assistant law director for the city of Akron for 13 years. She graduated from the University of Akron's law school in 1989. A Falls resident, Ciotola stated in a press release that she is, "both excited for and humbled by the opportunity to serve the residents of Cuyahoga Falls. I have spent most of my entire law career as a public servant and look forward to continuing to work in this new capacity.”  

a photo of Russ Balthis
Russ Balthis ended his tenure as Cuyahoga Falls law director Jan. 28, 2020 after six years in the position.

Balthis is also a Falls resident and plans to remain involved in the community. He says he's most proud of the success of downtown redevelopment in the Falls under his tenure and attracting to the city the headquarters of Summit County's Developmental Disabilities Board. It's moving to Cuyahoga Falls from Tallmadge, bringing about 200 jobs with it.  

Ciotola says the Falls has momentum on its side under the "dynamic vision" of Mayor Don Walters. Walters looks forward to Ciotola's leadership. "[She] has an undeniable passion for working to improve the quality of life for our residents."  

Ciotola has appointed former Summit County Common Pleas Court magistrate Matthew Dickinson as deputy law director. He has served as the city's assistant law director since 2014.