Saturday, April 07, 2001

Smith again on Silverton council

By Allen Howard
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        SILVERTON — For the third time since the last election, city council has sworn in a new member.

        John Smith, 60, a former councilman and vice mayor, was sworn in Thursday night to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Pete Gilligan.

        Mr. Gilligan, a Democrat, left council after 11 years when he moved to Anderson Township.

        Last year, Mr. Smith ran against Michelle Schneider, former mayor of Madeira, for the state representative's seat in the 36th District.

        The Democratic Central Committee appointed him to fill the council vacancy.

        Mr. Smith is a para-professional with the Cincinnati Public Schools, working as a behavioral counselor for Beech Acres in Anderson Township.

        He served on Silverton City Council from 1993-97.

        “I am glad to be back,” he said. “One of my primary interests will be keeping an eye on the city's fiscal strength.

        “We have to keep our eyes on the city's infrastructure, such as keeping good streets and good housing to attract a younger population,” Mr. Smith said.

        He will run for the unexpired term in November.

        Mr. Gilligan, 43, is vice president and part owner of the Gilligan Funeral Home, based in Walnut Hills. He has served on council 16 years.

        “I was there during the good and bad times,” He said. “I am going to take a little time to get settled before I consider getting back into politics.”

        He is a nephew of former Ohio Gov. Jack Gilligan.

        “Mr. Gilligan was very helpful with the new council members because he could share his experience with prior issues,” said David Waltz, municipal administrator. “He helped me a lot since I came here.”

        Mr. Waltz was the city's first municipal administrator, a position made possible by a charter revision in 1998.

        Councilwoman Carrie McClemore-Walker said Mr. Gilligan had served the city well.

        “We served on council to gether during the fiscal problems, and we were there to help trim the budget to get us out of the problem,” Mrs. McClemore-Walker said.

        Other recent appointees: Michael Morthorst, 50, will succeed Michael Hagen, 40, who resigned in January after moving to West Chester; Oscar Gunnar Jr. replaced Arthur Hackett last year after Mr. Hackett became ill.


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