Thursday, December 02, 1999

McCurley new mayor of Mason


He has been on council for 10 years

BY KEVIN ALDRIDGE
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        MASON — As a young boy playing in the streets of Mason, John McCurley never dreamed he would be a member of City Council, let alone mayor.

        “I thought they were all a bunch of stuffed shirts,” joked Mr. McCurley. “I thought I'd never want to be like them.”

        Well, now he is.

WHAT LIES AHEAD
  John McCurley, Mason's new mayor, sees these among the challenges council will face during the next two years:
  • The recreation center project.
  • Improving infrastructure.
  • Addressing the city's water supply.
  • Continuing parkland development.
  • Improving communication with residents.
        Mason City Council on Wednesday night unanimously voted (7-0) to appoint the 10-year council veteran as the new mayor during its biennial reorganizational meeting. Mr. McCurley will replace Councilwoman Betty Davis, who has served as mayor for the past two years.

        As mayor, Mr. McCurley will be the presiding officer on council and act as the ceremo nial head of the city. He will not have any additional voting or veto power.

        “Being a lifelong resident of Mason, this is really an honor for me,” said Mr. McCurley, 54. “I'm grateful that I've had the opportunity to serve this fine city for the past 10 years, and being named mayor is just icing on the cake.”

        Ms. Davis, who elected not to run for mayor again in order to pursue other political interests, wasn't saddened by stepping down.

        “To be honest, I'm very excited,” said Ms. Davis, who nominated Mr. McCurley. “I believe everyone who diligently serves on council deserves a shot at mayor. I think the leadership of the city is in very good hands, and I think John will do a tremendous job.”

        Mr. McCurley was first elected to council in 1989 and re-elected in 1993 and 1997. Since then, he has served on the Utilities Committee, Finance Committee, ADHOC Fire Committee, Equipment Committee and 10 years on the Mason Planning Commission — the past six as its

        chairman.

        “John will do a great job,” said Councilman Pete Beck. “He is very insightful, very open to comments and opinions. He'll do a good job keeping the cohesiveness council has enjoyed with the past two mayors, (James “Dick”) Staten and Davis.”

        In other business, council named Jim Fox vice mayor. As vice mayor, Mr. Fox will serve as the presiding officer of council in the absence of the mayor.

        Council also officially welcomed its newest member during a formal swearing-in ceremony. Recently elected Councilwoman Charlene Pelfrey, along with recently re-elected Messrs. Staten and Fox, took the oath of office before a packed council chamber.

        Mrs. Pelfrey, who was the second-leading vote-getter in the Nov. 2 election, got her first taste Wednesday of what the next four years will be like.

        “I was very exciting sitting up there for the first time,” she said. “This has been a long-awaited day for me.”



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