Tordiff running on record

Published 10:44 am Friday, October 30, 2015

My name is Jim Tordiff. I’m 61 years old and I’m a candidate for mayor of Ironton. As my yard sign points out, I have extensive administrative experience. The following is my administrative resume: 1. Mayor of the city of Ironton. 2. Director of finance for city of Ironton. 3. Councilman for city of Ironton. 4. Vice mayor of city of Ironton. 5. Treasurer for Dawson-Bryant Local Schools. 6. Treasurer for Rock Hill Local Schools. 7. Hospital human resources director.

I am a lifelong resident of the city of Ironton. I played second base on Coach Burcham’s 1972 Ironton Fighting Tiger Ohio State Championship baseball team. I coached Ironton Little League’s 1990 Ohio State Championship baseball team. I point out the two state championship stories to simply state, I like winning. And I want the city of Ironton to be a winner. Let me tell you, the city of Ironton is winning.

Mayor Blankenship has Ironton on the right path. And I want to continue the same path. How could you not like the direction our city is going? Just look around. We have a new bridge nearing completion. That is huge. We have a fine, new hotel. That is huge. Big Boy has chosen to invest in our city. And there is more business coming.

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We are complying with the EPA’s mandates on our sewer system. That is a necessity. We have Friends of Ironton, Ironton aLive and Ironton In Bloom. The people in these volunteer groups genuinely care about our city. They are making such a difference. For many, the Ro-Na project is a dream come true. Ironton is truly on the move.

For those of you who might be new to Ironton, let me take the time to let you know of some of the success stories that took place during my tenure as mayor a few years ago. I feel those years laid the groundwork that we now are building on.

First, when we were about to lose Cabletron and its many jobs to another location, I intervened. We couldn’t let that happen. Cabletron was practically gone when I prepared a plan to entice them to stay in our city. They needed a bigger tract of land to expand their business.

They had outgrown their space at the former Wilson Sporting Goods building. I identified the property at Ninth and Lorain streets as property large enough for their expansion needs. The problem? Ironton High School’s baseball field was located there.

But, with the help of then Ironton School Superintendent Jim Payne, then athletic director Mike Burcham, Pat Clonch, then of the LEDC, the Ironton Board of Education and Ironton City Council, we put together a plan that would relocate the ball field and keep Cabletron and its jobs in our city. Later, that new modern building would become home for the Liebert Corp.

Another Ironton success story during my mayor tenure was the creation of Sparetime Recreation. When Chapman Drug discussed with me their intent to leave Ironton, it became apparent to me that there was nothing I could do to prevent their departure. But I also knew their building formerly housed a bowling alley and the lanes had never been removed from the building. And I knew two Ironton entrepreneurs (Greg Justice and Jeff Dillow) had exhausted themselves several years prior attempting to find a financially feasible way to build a bowling alley for Ironton to enjoy. Unfortunately, the numbers just did not add up. Long story short, I orchestrated a meeting of The Chapman Drug Co. with Greg and Jeff. Final result — putting those two groups together in the same room paved the way for a success story we know as Sparetime Recreation.

Another success story was Ironton’s relocation of city hall. During my time as mayor, a new federal law came into existence known as the Americans with Disabilities Act. Public buildings have to be handicap accessible. And they should be.

Memorial Hall (across from the post office) was nowhere near handicap accessible.

The cost of bringing it into compliance was not cost prohibitive. And we could no afford to build a new one.

Again, long story short, I negotiated a deal with the local Goldcamp family to purchase the former J.C. Penney building in downtown Ironton for $180,000.

I believed that to be a bargain then and I believe it to be a bargain now. And with the help of Ralph Kline and our Community Action Organization, we secured substantial grant funding to minimize the money we needed to transform the former Penney’s building into our new city hall.

Wish I had more space to keep telling stories. The point of the stories is simply this: One aspect of leadership is putting the right people together and the right time in a meaningful way that gives you the best possible change for success. They is what I did when I was mayor of our city.

I would like to do it again. To coin a phrase from the late Coach Woody Hayes, “You win with people.”


Jim Tordiff

Ironton mayoral candidate


Editor’s note: All four Ironton mayoral candidates were given the opportunity to write a column. They will be published in the order they were received.