Aurora -- Classic cars are a way of life for Alan Shorr. "That's a hobby I really enjoy," he said.
He might get to enjoy that hobby more as he winds down his 12-year tenure as Aurora law director. Former Parma mayor Dean DePiero will take over that position following an announcement by incoming mayor Ann Womer Benjamin. Shorr will continue in his current role through Dec. 31.
"I've enjoyed being the law director very much," Shorr said. "I enjoyed working with City Council for the most part and with all the city directors. It's been a good 12 years. We tried, and I think we did a good job. I think we brought value to the city for the last 12 years.
Shorr, who was appointed law director by former Mayor Lynn McGill, has been a partner in the law firm of Christley, Herington and Pierce for more than 20 years. He plans to spend more time at the law firm, and with his classic cars once the weather turns warm.
Shorr owns two classic cars -- a red 1962 Thunderbird convertible that he's had for 13 years and a white 1972 Cadillac Eldorado convertible that he's had a little more than one year. He doesn't drive them from November to late April.
"Once the road salt is on the ground, I don't take them out," he said.
Does Shorr have a favorite?
"No," he said. "It's like it is with kids and dogs. The Thunderbird is totally restored, and the Cadillac is totally original."
Shorr tries to attend at least one out-of-town classic car show a year. Last year, he went to shows in Marietta, Columbus and Dearborn, Mich.
"I've been a car buff all my life. I enjoy looking at classic cars," he said. "The people you meet are a pretty good group of folks that are in this hobby. They are from all walks of life."
Shorr drove the Thunderbird to Dearborn, where he took part in a parade of about 20 cars. Along with other members of a classic Ford club that he belongs to, he visited the Henry Ford Museum.
He drove the Cadillac to Marietta, also as part of the classic Ford club, while he also took the Cadillac to Columbus. "We drive the cars -- slowly," he said with a laugh.
Shorr's wife, Debbie, goes with him on the road trips. They have four grown children -- Alison Jaeb, who lives in Shaker Heights; Ryan (Chagrin Falls); Jeremy (Twinsburg); and Stephanie Quinn (Twinsburg) along with five grandchildren.
"Alan has been a valuable asset to the city during the past 12 years," Mayor James Fisher said. "His importance goes well beyond his role as law director. His experience and leadership qualities defined his role as a key decision maker in the city of Aurora.
"During my time as mayor and City Council president, Alan provided insight and guidance well beyond the legalities of city government," Fisher said. "Additionally, Alan was a 'go-to' person for many of the city's directors. His problem solving capabilities and general perspective represented a valuable resource as it related to the city's many challenges.
"As mayor, I want to thank Alan, who is a colleague and friend, for the many contributions he has made to the city of Aurora and for his overall public service."
Council member Kathi Grandillo said she met Shorr years ago through other dealings in Aurora, both professionally and at various community events.
"He is a very forthcoming individual, attentive to detail, an excellent legal adviser and, most importantly, a warm and caring person," Grandillo said. "I wish him nothing but the best as he starts a new chapter in his life."
Phone: 330-541-9400 ext. 4187
Twitter: Mike Lesko@MikeLesko_RPC