Saturday, February 03, 2001

Two on Mason council to step down




By Kevin Aldridge
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        MASON — Two longtime City Council members have decided to end their political careers when their terms expire at the end of the year.

        Councilwoman Betty Davis and Councilman Tom Muennich say they will not seek a sixth and third term, respectively. Ms. Davis' and Mr. Muennich's seats are two of the four available in November's general election.

        Seats held by Councilman Peter Beck and Mayor John McCurley also will be up for grabs. Both men have said they intend to run for re-election.

        Ms. Davis, 52, who has served on council nearly 21 years, says she's ready to step down. The lawyer and former mayor says it's something she tried to do four years ago, but was talked out of by fellow council members and some residents.

        “My mind is made up and I'm going to walk away,” she said.

        Ms. Davis, executive director and part owner of Community Concepts Inc., plans to give up politics al- together and focus on other areas of community service. She says she will continue to be involved with the Mary Haven Youth Center, as well as issues dealing with mental health and battered women.

        “There are so many projects out there that I don't think I will be at a loss for something to do,” Ms. Davis says. “Of course, there will be times when I'll miss being on council, like when the new city building or the community center opens.”

        Apparently, eight is enough for Mr. Muennich. That's how many years the 65-year-old has served on council. Mr. Muennich says it's time for other residents in Mason to step up.

        “Four years on council wasn't enough for me, but eight is,” says Mr. Muennich, who was elected in 1993 and re-elected in 1997. “There are a lot of young and honest people out there that can come on the scene and do a good job. I just hope they all come forward and run.”

        Though their departure will mean the loss of nearly 30 years of political experience, Ms. Davis says she doesn't expect council to miss a beat. Both she and Mr. Muennich think their decisions to step down will open the door for residents looking to get involved in local government.

        “I think sometimes people are more willing to do that when there are more vacancies than when there is a full slate of incumbents running for council,” Ms. Davis says. “It's time for some fresh perspectives and new, creative ideas.”

        Candidates for council must file petitions with the Warren County Board of Elections by Aug. 23.

       



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