Willis best candidate for mayor

Published 12:43 pm Friday, October 23, 2015

Voting is one of the most essential rights we possess in this nation, and still one of the many rights people around the world do not possess; so I encourage you to be a part of this upcoming election. As we head to the polls on Nov. 3 to elect a new mayor, I want to publically endorse Mr. John David Willis. Mr. Willis has worked for our city since 2011 and is highly educated with a bachelor’s of specialized studies degree in behavioral science, and a master’s of science degree in environmental science.

Mr. Willis currently serves Ironton as the Building and Code Enforcement Official. Since his tenure, Ironton’s condition has noticeably improved. I can attest to this as I have worked with him and the City of Ironton Health Department, inspecting countless properties and addressing health and public nuisances. Usually, these complaints involve both health and building safety issues, which allow him and the health department to save time by taking on several complaints together.

With the collaboration of the health department’s environmental director, John McKean; and health commissioner, Laura Brown; Mr. Willis was able to coordinate and successfully execute the demolition of over 100 dilapidated properties during his ongoing 4½-year tenure. The majority of these properties were a health nuisance and a threat to public safety. For this cause, he prepared the groundwork in identifying dilapidated properties. This helped the CAO attain the Mike DeWine Attorney General Grant, which is designed to reduce blight and improve neighborhoods. The grant assisted with the funds needed, allowing Mr. Willis to come under budget, minimizing the use of local taxpayer money.

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Mr. Willis possesses leadership that is unparalleled. He spent over 20 years in the chemical industry, operating a pilot plant that treated industrial wastewater, and implementing and managing major environmental programs. He has also acted in a supervisory position at the water filtration and distribution department on numerous occasions, overseeing countless water breaks. Having the opportunity to shadow the superintendent of the street flood and sanitation department, Mr. Willis has responded to city emergencies and assisted the erection of the floodgates. He has proven to coworkers that he is a team player and the “go-to” person when something goes wrong. Regardless of the time or day, when Mr. Willis’ phone rings and he’s asked to put in extra time for the benefit of the city, he does so with a smile on his face and a contagious positive attitude to get the job done.

Because of his field experience, Mr. Willis believes that Ironton needs to set the standard on what other cities should strive to be, and I truly believe that our city can accomplish this under his leadership. Today, Ironton’s ongoing transition into the Gateway Development is clearer than ever. The hotel is doing very well and has created a new avenue for growth. Mr. Willis’ vast experience in leadership roles, willingness to collaborate with various agencies, goal-oriented mind, and diligence to complete tasks are just a few reasons of why I believe he would be an excellent mayor and help create a better Ironton.

I want to remind you that Mr. Willis is someone with integrity; he owes zero political favors, and has experience in the administrative side of city government and in the field. Mr. Willis is exactly what Ironton needs to move forward! Thank you for your time, and vote for John David Willis this November.

Yours Truly In Christ,


Shannon Manuel Litton

International Studies Major

Specialization in International Relations and Diplomacy, Global Public Health Minor

The Ohio State University