Sunday, February 06, 2000
Mayors take marrying to heart
BY SARA J. BENNETT
The Cincinnati Enquirer
Mayor Stephanie Summerow Dumas stood at the lectern of Forest Park's council chambers Wednesday, speaking in calm yet intense tones on a topic of great importance.
Not water rates. Not crime reduction. But the everlasting bond between husband and wife.
Her audience, April Kehrer, 26, and Randy Travis, 31, listened more intently than most constituents, too. The Colerain couple is the fifth Ms. Dumas has married in her two months as mayor.
Ms. Dumas knew when she took office that mayors in Ohio have the power to conduct weddings. But she says she didn't fully appreciate that power until she stood before a man and women to bind them for life.
Just to know that you play a part in joining two people together is an awesome opportunity and responsibility, Ms. Dumas said.
Folks turned off by the hoopla of big ceremonies, those who prefer their nuptials quick and simple, and people who lack a preferred church or pastor, often opt for marriage-by-mayor.
And mayors often find weddings a relief from the meetings, politicking and citizen complaints that are an everyday part of their jobs.
In Ohio, election or appointment to the office of mayor entitles a person to conduct weddings within that county, said Jonathan Ring, supervisor of Hamilton County's marriage license department.
Others vested with that power include probate and municipal court judges, and the superintendent of the state school for the deaf.
Ms. Dumas finds her services are in demand.
Tuesday night, she presided over a double wedding the brides were mother and daughter. She married another couple immediately afterward.
Sandy Ostenkamp, the mom in the double wedding, said she chose to get married by Ms. Dumas because it was convenient.
I thought having a female mayor was kind of neat, too, she added.
Donna Lajcak, mayor of Loveland, enjoys performing weddings so much that she's created a scrapbook she asks each couple to sign.
Not only do I think it's a lot of fun, but I think it's wonderful to become part of the lives of these people, Ms. Lajcak said.
With Valentine's Day coming, Ms. Lajcak said she expects to conduct a lot of weddings in the coming weeks. Loveland is known for its Valentine's Day celebrations, and Ms. Lajcak said, I have seen one mayor conduct five or six weddings on that day!
At the Kehrer-Travis wedding, Ms. Dumas made every effort to make the occasion special.
Never mind that members of a baseball committee were waiting outside to hold a meeting inadvertently scheduled for the same time. Never mind that the ceremony took just 10 minutes to conduct.
The newlyweds kept saying, "Thank you, thank you,' Ms. Dumas said. Well, it was my pleasure.
Virtual University clicks for students
'Why did police shoot my son?'
Last look at Carpenter shooting
Ohio not impossible dream for McCain
Closing door on Bethesda's 102 years
Better late than never
Deal might stymie rail station
Neighbors now top concern of rail planners
Last school dash greeted with joy, trepidation
Sprawl boosting water bills
Casinos watch security
Queen City's moments to shine reflected in book
Bauer ends run with style
NKU student dies in sand bin at plant
Salon star a real draw
'Wit' role under her skin
Ballet stages wickedly fun 'Musketeers'
Bio sings Marian Anderson's praises
Book fair spotlights young black writers
Cammy tickets on sale Monday
Cincinnatian was friend of famous concert singer
Exhibit links art, blindness
GET TO IT
'Going to do it,' writer says as he takes the plunge
He's partyin' like he's 60
Tenth is a journey into Mahler's mind
This is no little teapot, short and stout
Dr. King's dream deferred
Butler County native makes sweet music in Hollywood
Avenue to open way for offices
Double celling considered for Warren jail
House candidate just moved to Ky.
Juvenile-justice reform in jeopardy
Kentucky legislators get earful on issues
Mayors take marrying to heart
Newport retools plan for housing
Traficant steels himself against legal, political challenges