Her vision differs from city council’s
By Bert Lehman
Clintonville Mayor Lois Bressette has decided not to seek re-election next year.
In an interview with the Clintonville Tribune-Gazette, Bressette said she made the decision in October.
“I feel that the [city] council and I really don’t share the same vision for the city,” Bressette said. “And I feel like even though we have a fairly experienced council with just one person who has been on for just a year, that somehow over the past year we’ve gotten off the same page on what we would like for the city.”
When asked how her vision for the city of Clintonville differs from the council’s vision, Bressette said: “I feel like we had a lot of momentum going into this year with economic development. There were some goals set by the Personnel Committee to get our personnel policies up and running, and it just seems like there were some things that we had a lot of momentum and we’ve just petered out over the last year.”
She also expressed frustration with the difficulty of establishing a quorum when scheduling committee and council meetings.
After former mayor Judy Magee resigned Jan. 1, 2016, the Clintonville City Council voted not to appoint anyone as mayor and let Bressette, who was the council president, fill in as mayor until the mayoral election in April of that year.
During that election cycle, Bressette decided not to seek another term on the city council, but ran in mayoral election instead. She won that election.
Bressette said she feels the city is in a better place than before she became mayor.
“I think I’ve played a significant role in getting the city back on its rails,” Bressette said. “And that’s where it goes back to where I think we were all on the same page to get our city back on track.”
She added, “But there really doesn’t seem to be much on the horizon and I think that’s kind of where I got frustrated because I think we had a lot of momentum going and then all of a sudden we’ve kind of fallen off the page and I’m not really sure how to get that back on track again.
“I’m really a big picture thinker. I just don’t like to sit around spinning wheels and coming up with ideas but really no ways to make those ideas happen.”
Bressette said she has enjoyed her time as mayor until recently, adding that she enjoyed working with different groups within the city, as well as representing the city.
“Meeting the people that live in our city and really care about the city and care about their hometown and the place they’ve chosen to raise their families and work,” she said.
When asked what she was most proud of during her time as mayor, Bressette said: “Being able to do the best I could to have the council and staff that were working really hard to keep our city going. When Judy [Magee] was on her leave of absence and Lisa [Kotter] had departed there were department heads that really stepped up and kept our city going.
“So I think being able to work with the council and department heads to work together as a team, I think that was really significant, especially when there was a transition.”
Bressette also cited the city moving to a single garbage and recycling hauler.
“I think once people get used to the single garbage hauler and the amount of savings that we were able to provide by going to a single hauler and all the hard work that was put into that, I think that was a major accomplishment for our city as well,” she said.
After her mayoral term is over, Bressette said she will look to set new goals for herself.
“When I first moved to Clintonville back in 2003, I had just finished my master’s degree in public administration, so my goals were to become a council member and eventually mayor,” Bressette said. “I’m really proud to be able to say that I accomplished those goals after I moved to Clintonville.”
Part of her new goals may include growing the small business that she owns with her husband.
“I’m looking at a lot of different things but for right now I’m still trying to finish out my term and do the best I can for the city until my term is up in April,” she said.
She is also looking forward to being a private citizen again.
“I would like to thank the people that supported me,” she said. “And my family, especially my husband, because being on council and being mayor, sometimes on the outside they look like really easy positions to be in, but actually sometimes they’re not. Having to make decisions for your city, for taxpayers and for the long-term welfare of people, those decisions are now always easy.”