• 54°

Interest lacking in city council seats

With four Ironton City Council seats up for grabs this November, only three petitions were filed by Wednesday’s deadline and the lack of interest has some of the filers puzzled.

Former mayor and councilman Bob Cleary, current councilmember Beth Rist, and R. Craig Harvey will sit on council come December. The fourth person will have to be determined by a majority vote of council after the new term begins.

“Usually incumbents run,” Cleary said. “In this case, you had a couple of incumbents who did not want to run. It’s really a strange situation, I think. It’s the first time in my whole time in city council that I have even seen this happen.”

Cleary said he could remember past elections where there would be a dozen candidates running for council.

“It really concerns me the lack of interest the community has in wanting to serve,” he said. “You don’t make much money. I think only $120 a month. … If you are doing it to make money, I think you’re doing it for the wrong reason.”

Cleary said he was looking forward to returning to council.

“I’m excited and thrilled to be able to get back on council,”

Cleay retired from council in December citing changes in Ohio Public Employee Retirement System for the upcoming year.

Ralph “Butch” Huff was nominated to fill the vacancy. Huff’s term ends this year and he did not pick up a petition to run for re-election this fall.

Rist, the only incumbent to file a petition, said while she was excited about another term on city council, she said it was a shame that more people didn’t file.

“It’s a shame more people don’t show interest in trying to help with council,” Rist said. “It’s a shame there is not more interest in it. I think a lot of people have given up on politics and politicians.”

In addition to Rist’s and Huff’s seats, the other seats up for grabs were council president Mike Lutz and councilman Dave Frazer.

A message left for Harvey was not returned by press time.



Aid (2 seats, fiscal officer)

Trustees: Brian Pancake, George Gabriel Patterson

Fiscal officer: Wayne Taylor. Tonnia Meadows


Decatur (2)

• Tim Blagg, Ronnie Cox



Elizabeth (2)

• Ron Davis, Brian Kidd, Phillip Bailey


Fayette (2)

• Mike Finley, Perry Brock, Travis Wise


Hamilton (2, fiscal officer)

• Bob Blankenship, David Blankenship, Larry Fraley, Forrest Kerns

Fiscal officer: Terri Robinson


Lawrence (2)

• Scott Mootz, Scott Gore, Brent Dickess, Donald Mannon, Joe Ferguson


Mason (2)

• Stephen Colegrove, Derek L. Wilson, Jeff Estep, Lewis Pauley


Perry (2)

• Jeffrey Joseph, Barry Blankenship, Jeffery Pemberton, Ryan Bentley


Rome (2)

• Brian Pinkerman, Mark Bailey, Dean Cooper


Symmes (2)

• Ronald Hatfield, Rick Carpenter, Chris Brown


Union (2)

• Mike Curry, Rick Gue


Upper (2)

• Robert Ackerman, Mike McDaniels, Don Klaiber


Washington (2, fiscal officer)

• Terry Kelly, Mike Freeman, Barbarina Davidson

Fiscal officer:

• Katrenda Lewis


Windsor (2)

• Donald Adkins, Mark Johnson, Robert Burcham, David Wilson


Villages, city

(four seats)


• Ervin Napier, Debra Evans



• Elonzo Sawyers, Paul E. Hart, Paul N. Hart, Richard McMaster, Richard L. Stover, Tommy Templeton


Coal Grove

• Frederick P. Roush, Randy Wise, Eric Holmes, William Bryant, Shawn McDaniel, Nick McKnight, Kimberly McKnight

Hanging Rock

• Tim Dickens, David Hopper



• Bob Cleary, Beth Rist, R. Craig Harvey



• Brenda Chapman, Justin Wurtlzer, Brian Root, Raymond Shepherd, Larry “Davy” Peters, Fred Cooper


South Point

• Jim Payne, Mary Cogan, David Classing, Christopher Smith, Danny Smith, Buel Collins, Eric Rawlins, David Moore, Michael Lynd, Dale Jackson, Sam Suiter Jr.


School Boards

Lawrence County (3)

• Ray Malone, Ronald Hayes, Phillip Carpenter


Chesapeake (3)

• Arthur Suiter, Carl Lilly, Jeanne Harmon


Dawson-Bryant (3)

• William Irby, Jamie Murphy, Debbie Drummond, Donny Turner, Brady Harrison


Fairland (3)

• Barbara Dimwiddie, Gary L. Sowards, R. Matt Ward, Charles Workman, Martin Appleton


Ironton (2)

• Jay Zornes, Burton Payne


Rock Hill (2)

• Paul David Knipp, Wanda Jenkins


South Point (2)

• Stacy A. Thacker, Rita Vance, Jack Nuckols, Jan Keatley


Symmes Valley (3)

• Chris Thompson, Tommy Shepherd, Hope Rowe, Allen K. Miller, Mile Wall



• Village of South Point 3-mill replacement levy

• Clarks Pump N Shop local option (Sheridan precinct 2)

• Elizabeth Township 1-mill 5-year tax levy for fire protection

• Perry Township 1-mill fire levy renewal

• Sam’s Club, Walmart local option (Burlington 1 precinct)

• Ironton City half-mill recreation levy

• Coal Grove 1-mill 5-year tax levy