Five years serving Clintonville
By Bert Lehman
When the clock struck midnight on New Year’s Eve, in addition to marking a new year, it also marked the end of Judy Magee’s tenure as Mayor of the city of Clintonville.
It has been known since September that Magee would resign as mayor on Jan. 1. Her resignation was part of the Chapter 17 complaint agreement between her and Tricia Rose that the Clintonville City Council accepted at its Sept. 21 meeting.
Magee was serving her third term as mayor.
On Dec. 31, Magee sent a letter to council members, which she also shared with members of the media.
“I have enjoyed my five plus years representing the city,” Magee said in the letter. “I have met so many new people in this capacity and enjoyed working with them.”
She added, “During my tenure there have been good times and bad times. I commend the residents of Clintonville that have proved time and time again, that we are a caring, compassionate community, who are willing to work together to become a better city than we had before.
“I pray that the city council will move forward and do what is best for Clintonville and not their personal agendas. You need to work together.”
In the letter, Magee also stated she wishes the best for Lois Bressette, who will be acting mayor until the April election.
“She has done an excellent job filling in for me in the past,” Magee said in the letter.
Magee in 2014
When the County Post East changed its name back to the Clintonville Tribune-Gazette in May 2014, the Tribune-Gazette contacted Magee to request an interview in order to write an article about her time as mayor and her goals for her third term. The interview was conducted, and the article written.
Before the article ran in the paper, the dismissal of then city attorney Tim Schmid, and the approval of current city attorney April Dunlavy took place. The investigation of former City Administrator Lisa Kotter then dominated the news, and the article about Magee never appeared in the paper.
Below is the article that was written at that time.
When asked why she wanted to become mayor of Clintonville, Magee didn’t hesitate when giving her answer.
“My father always wanted me to run for an elected position,” Magee said. “At the time he wanted me to do it, I didn’t feel it was the right time for me. After I retired in 2009, I thought this was a good time so when it was time to take out papers I decided to do that in December 2009 and got elected in 2010.”
Magee said her father wanted her to run for elected office because he wasn’t happy with what was going on at the time in the city.
It wasn’t her first taste of political life as she was elected to the Clintonville City Council in 2009 as a write-in candidate.
“My father passed away in 1994, so I’m sure he’s looking down at me and saying, ‘It’s about time,’” she said.
Magee said being mayor of Clintonville is extra special to her because she is originally from Clintonville.
“I love the community and I want it to go in the correct direction,” Magee said. “I hope I’m steering it in that direction. Apparently the electors feel that way because they voted me in for a third term.”
Being mayor is a challenge, but something she also enjoys.
“I love all the citizens of Clintonville,” Magee said. “Some of them think I don’t, but they all have a special place in my heart. My philosophy is to agree to disagree because we can’t always agree on everything. I let them know that up front when they come in, when they want to discuss a specific topic. I appreciate the time they take when they come in when they’re upset because if you don’t talk about it or let the people know who might be able to do something, then why do we have a city government.”
The growth in the industrial park is one of the positives Magee cited about Clintonville.
“It seems like our city administrator always has something going on. She’s been very instrumental in getting businesses into town,” Magee said.
That doesn’t mean the city isn’t facing any challenges. She said continued growth in the city is always going to be a challenge.
“My major challenge is to have the council work together as a whole. To me that’s a personal challenge and hopefully we can get going on the right foot,” Magee said.
To help overcome that challenge, Magee said she plans to address that at the next regular council meeting.
“I will have an agenda item on there on how can we work together to be a cohesive unit and be on the same track and do what’s best for the community, not any individual vandettas,” she said.
She also hopes to schedule a council retreat in the future.
“It’s a learning process. I learned a lot coming in as an alderperson because until you are in that seat you just really don’t know what you can and can’t do by state statutes, by local ordinance. Once you learn all that, then things start falling into place. That is why we have all the subcommittees.”
Outside of public life, Magee said she enjoys spending time researching different topics on her computer.
For many years she was also a chaperone when the German class would go to Germany.
“For three years I loved that. I’ve been to Germany 15 different times. My brother was stationed there in the 1980s. I went there when he was there and that sold me on Germany, so when they asked for chaperones, I said absolutely,” Magee said. “So everybody understands, I paid my own way. I did not expect them to up the price for the kids to cover me as a chaperone because I was getting something out of that trip as well.”