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Veteran city leader cites experience as key qualification

Ironton City Council chairman Jim Tordiff has been involved with city government, in one capacity or another, since the 1970s and he cites his experience as a key element of being city councilman.

Thursday, October 25, 2001

Ironton City Council chairman Jim Tordiff has been involved with city government, in one capacity or another, since the 1970s and he cites his experience as a key element of being city councilman.

Tordiff went to work for the city in 1972 then left for college at The Ohio State University, returning back to the city in 1975 and working until 1982 in various departments.

Tordiff then became the city’s finance director from 1982 through 1987. He ran for council in 1987, was elected mayor in 1990, serving until 1995. He then ran for council and has served in that capacity ever since.

When asked why he originally ran for public office, Tordiff said he felt he had the background experience to make him a qualified candidate. He said he had watched the city function through the eyes of both workforce and management view points.

Now, Tordiff said, his previous experience will help him work together with his fellow councilman and the city’s administration to rebuild the city financially.

Tordiff said recruiting jobs is one of the major steps the new council will need to take in rebuilding the city. He was quick to qualify, however, that job recruitment is more than "just hanging a sign outside the corporation limits that says ‘Ironton welcomes industry.’"

Tordiff said job recruitment involves pulling together incentive packages that makes the city an attractive place to build industry. He said corporations look at what kind of tax incentive packages are available and the type of infrastructure – buildings, access, etc. – the city can provide in order to reduce the startup amount the company will need to shell out to open business in Ironton.

"We were almost successful," Tordiff said, in recruiting a corporation into the city but, as circumstances would have, the national economy took a dip and the corporation – which was not identified due to the sensitive nature of the negotiation – decided to halt all expansion projects until the national economic scene rebounded and became steady.

Tordiff said he feels his experience working with the city budget and in recruiting industry is an important asset when it comes to being a city councilman.

"I hope some citizens think it’s meaningful for a candidate to be qualified," and experiences in the affairs of the city Tordiff said, adding that council should have a cross-section of people that works together for the city. Tordiff said his experiences allow him to understand the interworkings of government.

Tordiff said he would like residents to give him "the opportunity" to work on rebuilding the city.

Editor’s note: This is the second part of a series of interviews with those running for Ironton City Council. Council candidates are urged to contact the newsroom if they wish to be included.