Tina Skeldon Wozniak Honored by Hundreds in Last Official Meeting Before Retirement

By Fletcher Word
The Truth Editor

Lucas County Commissioners held their last official meeting of the year last week but not in their usual meeting place. Their chambers were far too small for the expected crowd and for the last official meeting of Commissioner Tina Skeldon Wozniak’s career. They moved the event next door into City Council chambers to accommodate the many co-workers, friends, family and well-wishers who wanted to witness Wozniak’s retirement ceremony.

“Her legacy is outstanding,” said Commissioner Pete Gerken whose career as an elected official has been nearly similar to those of his fellow commissioner. Gerken began his career as an elected official by entering Toledo City Council in 1996; Wozniak joined him there in 1997. Skeldon Wozniak moved over to the Commissioners’ offices in 2002 and Gerken joined her in 2005.

This is a celebration,” said Gerken of his fellow commissioner’s last meeting, even as he also noted how “bittersweet” the occasion was.

Praising Skeldon Wozniak’s “courage and determination, Gerken also commended her “consistent character and consistent leadership” through the years of “trials and tribulations.”

Gerken listed a few of the accomplishments the Commissioners have enacted over the years during Skeldon Wozniak’s tenure such as curbside recycling, a smoking ban, the Huntington Center, the downtown Hilton Hotel, the renovated convention center, the Lucas County Improvement Corporation, to name a few.

He also spoke of her strength during the difficult times.

“We went through the recessions together but with Tina there was no complaining, no wringing of hands.”

Gerken also told of Skeldon Wozniak’s penchant for putting people together to address issues. “Tina loves her some task forces,” he said sparking a roomful of laughter.

At her urging, the commissioners relied on a variety of citizen task forces addressing issues such as the foreclosure crisis, the Toledo Zoo, the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board, the Health Department and TARTA.

“She’s been my sister,” Gerken said summing up what his partner on the Board of Commissioners has meant to him and to the community.

Lucas County Commissioner Lisa Sobecki also had plenty of kind words for her colleague. Sobecki praised Skeldon Wozniak for her leadership and her ability to listen to others. She spoke of Skeldon Wozniak’s initiative in bringing about the county office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion as well as the Workforce Development Board.

“Tina has been a consistent champion for families and children,” added Sobecki.

Skeldon Wozniak, a licensed independent social worker, earned her bachelor’s degree in social work from Bowling Green State University and a master’s degree in social work from The Ohio State University.

She comes from a long line of prominent Toledoans. Her grandfather, Frank Skeldon, helped found the Toledo Zoo. Her uncle, Phillip Skeldon, was a Toledo Zoo director for 27 years and was instrumental in expanding the zoo and enhancing its facilities.

Ned Skeldon, Skeldon Wozniak’s father, also served as Lucas County commissioner for eight years and was key in bringing the Mud Hens baseball team back to the city in 1965.

Skeldon Wozniak was appointed as a Lucas County commissioner in 2002 to fill the unexpired term of Bill Copeland who retired because of health concerns. She was elected in 2004 to the seat and re-elected by wide margins four times after that.