Green Springs Mayor sworn in

From behind the snowplow to behind the gavel: Derek Knieriemen becomes Green Springs Mayor

Story and photos by Sheri Trusty, Seneca County Media Relations Coordinator


Derek Knieriemen had an usual experience serving as a Green Springs Village Council member. About six months into his term, village council fired the village administrator, and the fulltime employees quit. Knieriemen, village council member Dan Shafer and former mayor, Adam Greenslade, rolled up their sleeves and took care of their town.

The men tended to snow removal, brush pickup, water line breaks, water testing and any other issue that arose. Knieriemen started as a council member and also became the town’s unofficial village administrator.

Now, he is the village’s mayor.

Knieriemen was sworn in as Mayor of Green Springs by Seneca County Commissioner Bill Frankart during the Jan. 2 village council meeting.

Derek Knieriemen, left, was sworn in as the Mayor of Green Springs by Seneca County Commissioner Bill Frankart in Green Springs Village Council chambers on Jan. 2.

“I had the distinct privilege to swear in the new Mayor of Green Springs,” Frankart said. “Derek is very community-minded and will continue to lead Green Springs in a positive direction.”

While Knieriemen was still on council, the village hired Ryan Stohl as the village administrator, and John Branski and Dakota Hemminger were hired for the village street department. Knieriemen called the three employees “amazing” for the proactive effort they put toward improving the village infrastructure. In addition to the new village administration department, two new people joined village council. Kathleen McGuire Morris and Bob Morris, who are unrelated, were also sworn in on Jan. 2.

The Knieriemens became the First Family of Green Springs when Derek Knieriemen was sworn in as mayor on Jan. 2. Shown are, in back, Megan Knieriemen and Derek Knieriemen. In front are, from left, Hanna, 4; Harper, 5; and Haddie, 8.

Knieriemen’s experience digging deep into infrastructure issues and the promise of a fresh village team inspired his run for mayor when Greenslade announced he would not seek reelection. Knieriemen wanted to help continue the momentum that began inadvertently when he, Greenslade and Shafer led the village with their boots in the dirt.

“I got intimately involved with infrastructure problems and maintenance needs,” Knieriemen said. “I want to see the maintenance plan we developed continue. I want to rebuild what we had uncovered, with a big focus on maintenance.”

Knieriemen’s first year on council gave him a crash course on the scope of running a village, and he plans to use that knowledge to make further improvements. He wants to bring greater transparency and accountability to the village, widen the village’s revenue sources, and streamline the budget.

“The town has property that needs upgrades, and I want to develop policies that will help the council, help the residents, and help save money,” he said.

Greenslade supported Knieriemen’s bid for mayor. As they worked together, he saw firsthand that Knieriemen had the work ethic and commitment to the village to be its leader.

Seneca County Commissioner Bill Frankart, right, said new Green Springs Mayor Derek Knieriemen, left, will lead the village in a positive direction.


“He really stepped up and met problems head on,” Greenslade said. “Unless you’re involved as a village councilperson, I don’t think you really understand what it takes to make a village run.”

Knieriemen gained that knowledge the hard way, when he stepped out of the warm council chambers and climbed into the cold seat of a snowplow to keep the village running and its residents safe.