Racca named interim mayor of Westlake

Daniel W. Racca was sworn in as interim mayor of Westlake at a special city council meeting Tuesday. The vacancy was created when Westlake Mayor Robert “Bob” Hardey succumbed to cancer on Jan. 29.

Hardey served on the Westlake City Council for 12 years and was elected mayor in 2014. He ran unopposed in 2018 and was serving his second term.

Racca was elected to city council at the same time as Hardey and served a total of 20 years. “We were a team all that time,” Racca said.

Upon the council’s approval of his resignation of his city council seat and mayor pro tempore role, Della Hoffpauir was sworn in to fill vacated council Seat D. In 2019, Hoffpauir finished out the term of council member Betty Bates after her death.

Westlake Council member Michael Bergeron said the council could think of no one better to fill that seat.

“First and foremost, she knows what’s going on,” Bergeron said. “She’s probably attended more city council meetings than all the current city council members combined. She can step in and move the city forward and she’s doing it not because she wants to run for office, but as an act of public service for the city.”

Racca said he will consult with the council at the next agenda meeting regarding the mayor pro tem appointment. Racca and Houffpauir will serve through December 2022.

Funeral arrangements for Hardey are as follows: Visitation will begin at 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 4 at St. John Bosco Catholic Church with a Rosary at 1 p.m. and a Memorial Mass at 1:30 p.m. The Rev. Jenesh Joseph will officiate. Burial will be at the Hardey Cemetery in Westlake.

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