Akron is renaming its community center in the Ellet neighborhood to honor a former city and state lawmaker.

City Council agreed on Monday to rename the facility the Robert J. Otterman Ellet Community Center.

Otterman, a Democrat known as “Mr. Nice Guy,” died in May at the age of 83.

“It’s an outstanding tribute to his service and his family,” said John Valle, the city director of neighborhood assistance who served on the City Council with Otterman.

Councilman Bob Hoch, who proposed the renaming, noted that Otterman was “respected and dedicated,” and was influential in getting the community center built.

Otterman was first elected to City Council in 1969 when he was teaching government at Ellet High School. He also was a coach and counselor. He juggled both the school and city jobs for years.

He served on the council until he was elected as a state representative in 2001.

He stepped down from the state position in 2007 to take a job with Summit County serving as a liaison with senior citizens. He then returned to the council in 2009 and served until 2011 when he lost an election to Hoch.

Rick Armon can be reached at 330-996-3569 or rarmon@thebeaconjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter at @armonrickABJ.