EATON — Eaton’s new mayor, Dave Kirsch, was voted into the open seat during city council’s organizational meeting the first week of December.
The journey to that position has been several years in the making, however. Originally from Wadsworth, Kirsch arrived in the city about 23 years ago when he was hired by Rodney Cobb to run the Chevrolet dealership in town. Fast-forward 11 years after becoming an Eatonian, he decided it was time to get back into politics.
He placed his name on the ballot after Rick Daily retired – a promise he made to Daily and himself while purchasing a home from the former mayor.
“(Daily) was talking about his politics and being mayor of the city. Where I came from, I was involved in politics too,” said Kirsch.
There were five people running for three seats available, and Kirsch was surprised – being a “newbie” (his words) in the community – to find out he was appointed a seat.
Twelve years later, he finally left his chair to fill a bigger one. In his new role, Kirsch will also get more time to spend in his adopted city.
“I’ve been working a lot out of town. One of the things I worked on this year was trying to get back in town. That’s not saying I was going to be mayor, but one of the things I missed was being a part of the community. I was doing things from afar to still help get things done. But now being in the community, it allowed me to have the opportunity,” he said. “It even allows me to even be closer because now I not only have the time and the passion, but I have the personality and the attitude to be a good servant for the community.”
And while being that “good servant” does come with challenges, Kirsch says the biggest challenge for the new year – managing the city’s finances – are now behind the staff.
“The staff and council have done a great job to rudder us though to where we are solvent. We might have a little cash flow this year,” he said.
During his time as mayor, he wants to help continue the economic growth and development of the area, trying to attract millennials and younger generations through many of the city’s amenities, job growth, and to enhance employers’ positions that currently reside within the city limits.
He wouldn’t be able to do this without the talented staff at the helm though, he says.
“The thing I like about being mayor is that we have a great staff. I’d put these guys up against any of the big town boys or girls,” said Kirsch. “Everybody brings a progressive attitude, a progressive personality. They want to do the right thing for the people. It makes the mayor’s job a lot more fun.”
Reach Jeremy at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @jerskine_RH.