Before Liberty Township’s trustee meeting on Monday, Trustee Tom Mitchell said his goodbyes as a trustee by shaking hands, exchanging hugs, having photos taken with residents, friends, and members of the Liberty Township Fire Department.
Mitchell’s term as a Liberty Township Trustee comes to an end on Dec. 31. He made the Nov. 20 meeting his last.
Mitchell said that he stands by all of the votes he cast as a trustee over four years, except for maybe one or two that he might have second-guessed, but he felt good about his experience on the board.
“By and large, I (can) live with my conscious, I (can) live with my heart, and I (can) live with my brain,” he told the residents that had gathered to wish him well. “I think those three things combined, I’m proud of what I’ve done. I wish I could have done more.”
Mitchell said as a board, the three might have not always voted together or agreed on every issue. He said there had been times Trustee Melanie Leneghan and he had voted against Trustee Shyra Eichhorn and sometimes he and Eichhorn had voted together opposing Leneghan.
However, “in general we’ve voted as a majority the best we could when we could,” he said.
Mitchell said when he took office, he was offered some advice by the trustee whose seat he had taken.
He said the old trustee told him, “In your first four years, you figure out what you’re doing. Then in your second four, you get things done.”
“I think in any job it takes you a year or two to figure out how to do it,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell said when he was running to be a trustee, he didn’t realize the amount of time it took to do the job. He thanked all those who supported him by picking up the slack in his absence because of his trustee obligations.
“I’ve grown as a person and as a leader because of being part of this board,” he said.
Mitchell turned to Trustee-elect Mike Gemperline who was in attendance and said, “I wish you the best of luck, sir, and I hope you run this position as I have, with passion and thought, because when you vote together and act together it can be a very strong thing.”
At the end of the meeting, Eichhorn presented Mitchell with a plaque.
D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.