Thursday, January 18, 2001

Silverton GOP selects ex-councilman for return

By Allen Howard
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        SILVERTON — Former Councilman Michael Morthorst has been selected by the city's Republican Central Committee to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Councilman Michael Hagen.

        Mr. Hagen's unexpired term ends in November. The committee will present the selection to council today.

        Mr. Morthorst, 50, has been serving as city clerk-treasurer since he lost in the council race in November 1999. He had served one term on council.

        The clerk-treasurer position was created as the result of a charter revision that passed in that election, combining the clerk's and treasurer's offices into one position.

        Mark Quarry, who served as clerk of council in 1999, was elected to a council position that year, but nobody ran for the clerk-treasurer's position.

        “Since that position was held by me, a Republican, the committee asked Mr. Morthorst to serve,” said Mr. Quarry, a member of the Republican Central Committee. “We are also glad he accepted the council position because of his experience. We have to look for another clerk-treasurer.”

        Mr. Morthorst is a Hamilton County assistant prosecutor in the Juvenile Division. He is single and has lived in Silverton all his life.

        “I am glad to be back on council,” Mr. Morthorst said.

        He said he plans to push some of the issues he was involved in before he lost the election. He was chairman of the city's law committee and was primarily responsible for drafting the charter revision, which also provided for the position of Municipal Administrator.

        “I think a big issue in Silverton is going to be development to attract more businesses,” Mr. Morthorst said. “We have some vacant lots in the heart of the business district that need developing.”

        He was talking about the northwest corner of the Montgomery and Plainfield road intersection where the Rite Aid Corp. canceled a $2.5 million project in 1999 to buy land, demolish buildings and construct a superstore. Mr. Morthorst said attention will be given to developing land around the Stewart Road and I-71 inter change.

        “The city owns some of that land and we have to reconnect water and sewer lines to help solve the flood problem,” Mr. Morthorst said. “It is important for Silverton to continue to build our tax base because we are essentially a residential community. We operate on a tight budget.”

        Mr. Hagen, 42, who served on the city council for three years, said he resigned because he was moving to West Chester.


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