Thrusday, December 31, 1998

Florence mayor's job family tradition

Whalen follows in dad's footsteps

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        FLORENCE — Minutes after Diane Ewing Whalen was sworn in Wednesday as the city's sixth mayor, she thanked the man who spurred her interest in politics.

        “There's where my love of (this) city comes from,” she said, pointing to her father and former mayor, C.M. “Hop” Ewing, who left his seat to congratulate his daughter during her brief remarks. “It is an emotional thing.”

        Mrs. Whalen, a former bookkeeper and assistant city clerk with Florence, on Friday will succeed Evelyn Kalb as the city's second woman mayor. Along with Mrs. Whalen, sworn in were council incumbents Dale Stephens, David Osborne and Linda Schaffer, plus newcomers Julie Metzger, Larry Brown and Melodee Grubbs Merrell.

        Boone District Judge Michael Collins elicited a chuckle from the council members as he read, and they repeated, the part of the oath of office that says elected officials must not have fought a duel with deadly weapons. Among the more than 100 family, friends and city employees attending the swearing-in ceremony was Boone County Jailer John Schickel, a former Florence policeman who has known Mrs. Whalen for 21 years.

        “I think she'll do an excellent job,” Mr. Schickel said.

        Mrs. Whalen was elected mayor Nov. 3, after serving her first two years on city council as vice mayor.

        Mrs. Whalen, an executive assistant/family office manager with Whitt Co. in Hyde Park, won't waste any time getting started in her new role: she will preside over a special meeting Saturday morning called to annex a 366-acre tract along Longbranch and Fowler Creek roads.

        The new mayor, a Florence native, will work from the Florence Government Center, located on Ewing Boulevard, named for her father.


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