Sunday, June 1, 2003

Lebanon mayor does it all

Painting, teaching, meetings fill busy day

By Michael D. Clark
The Cincinnati Enquirer

LEBANON - If you're going to try to stick a label on Amy Brewer, don't use glue.

Lebanon Mayor Amy Brewer follows the agenda during Lebanon's City Council meeting May 13.
(Glenn Hartong photo)
| ZOOM |
Brewer is an art teacher at Donovan Intermediate School, where she enjoys being a role model.
(Glenn Hartong photo)
| ZOOM |
The Lebanon mayor is the political leader of this Warren County seat and the top vote-getter in each of the past four elections and also a popular teacher for Lebanon Schools. And she runs a downtown printing business with her husband, Paul Brewer, vice president of the Lebanon school board.Then there is her 15-year stint working as a mental health professional and her current position serving on the Warren and Clinton County Mental Health Board

She's also an artist, with paintings on display in an art shop along the city's historic main street.

And there's what she describes as her most important title - mother to four children, two of them teenage students in Lebanon schools.

Did we mention Brewer's new national modeling career - as a leather-clad biker?

She explains that a friend, a magazine editor, asked her to model during a recent shoot in downtown Lebanon. Check out the latest issue of Woman Rider motorcycle magazine and there's the mayor of historic Lebanon, decked out in a full-body leather outfit.

Brewer, the second female mayor in Lebanon's 200-years-plus history, proudly calls herself a "citizen politician" - a generalist of sorts who is determined to improve the quality of life in Lebanon, a city of about 17,000.

"The people of Lebanon want a mayor that is actively involved in all phases of the community," says the 48-year-old mayor.

Day begins before 6 a.m.

Active is the key word for her.

A typical day starts with a 5:45 a.m. wake-up, then helping get her 13-year-old daughter off to school. Brewer arrives at Donovan Intermediate School by 7 a.m. She teaches until 4 p.m. She hustles between there, home and business. She also performs various mayoral duties such as weddings, issuing proclamations and meeting with homeowners or business leaders.

An aerobics class at 6:15 p.m. is often followed by government-related meetings that usually find her arriving back home between 9:30 to 10:30 p.m. That leaves just enough time to dabble a bit with her painting.

"I sleep about six hours a night," Brewer says. Asked how she does it, she shrugs and says: "I've always been like that."

Fellow City Council member Norm Dreyer II calls Brewer "a great communicator, not only to the Lebanon residents but also to fellow council members and the city administration. I also admire her dedication and her work ethic."

Her style has also earned her fans in the city.

"Some of our other mayors were more laid-back. She is so outgoing. I think some people around here are just jealous of that," says resident Ed Smith.

Fellow Donovan Intermediate teacher Becky Charlton says Brewer is "always trying to get everyone involved."

"She is everywhere and everybody knows her. She truly wants what is best for this town," Charlton says.


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