• 50°

It takes patience for leaders to succeed

“The successful always has a number of projects planned, to which he looks forward. Any one of them could change the course of his life overnight.”

This Mark Caine quote could very well be the mantra of Ironton Mayor Rich Blankenship and the city itself.

“Patience is a virtue” also comes to mind.

Issues such as the construction of a new Ironton/Russell bridge, the Ro-Na Theater restoration project, sewer relining, a new water tank and continual flooding concerns make for a hopping mayor’s office.

And this mayor wants everyone to know he’s up for the challenge.

Closing in on the end of his second year in office, Blankenship wishes to reach out to the citizens of Ironton and let them know he is dedicated to the job he was elected to do.

“I’m working as hard as I can to make Ironton better,” Blankenship stressed. “I hope people see that.”

An example he offered concerned bridge construction, a process involving many political hoops and obstacles. “When I took office, the bid date for the bridge had been pushed back to 2013,” he said. “I met with Governor Strickland and the Ohio transportation director and stressed how important that bridge is to Ironton, Lawrence County and even Kentucky.”

Following this meeting, the mayor noted, the bid date was moved up two years to September, 2011, where it stands today. “And it’s my intention to get it moved up to next year because as material and labor costs increase, the price of construction increases,” he said.

Blankenship stressed that the bridge issue is one of the top priorities of his office. “I want people to know that I haven’t given up or forgotten about it,” he said. “I want them to know this issue is very important to me.”

The mayor also noted that he provides city council with updates every two weeks about progress on the many issues the city is presently facing.

“We think we’re moving in the right direction, but these items take time to get completed,” he said.

Time.

That’s really the only tool Blankenship was given to prove himself worthy as our leader.

Do we have the patience to give it to him?

Billy Bruce is a freelance writer who lives in Pedro. He can be contacted at hollandkat3@aol.com or by visiting his website, billybruce45.com.