During his last meeting at the helm of Powell City Council on Tuesday, outgoing Mayor Brian Lorenz received an outpouring of praise from fellow council members for his commitment to the city over the past two years.
“When you became mayor, I think the city was in somewhat of a tumultuous place, and you did a tremendous job of leading the city through that tumult,” council member Daniel Swartwout said to Lorenz. “Here we are two years later, and I think the city is in as good a position as it ever has been.”
Lorenz said while he appreciated the kind words, he would be remiss not to thank city staff and his fellow council members for their hard work and support during his two-year term as the face of the city.
“It wasn’t just me. It was all of us working through it together,” Lorenz said. “I appreciated the opportunity to serve as the mayor.”
Based on every member of council taking a moment to recognize Lorenz’s service to the city, he may be selling himself a bit short.
“Each person who becomes mayor brings their own gifts to that role, and I think Brian did the same,” council member Tom Counts said. “Brian very much elicited conversation and comments from all sorts of people throughout the community. That’s something that really didn’t happen as much in the past.”
Outgoing Vice Mayor Jon Bennehoof, who was selected by council as Powell’s new mayor on Tuesday, thanked Lorenz for his help and guidance.
“Your mentorship for me has meant a lot to me,” Bennehoof told Lorenz. “I think the standard that you’ve set as a social media mayor certainly set the bar. Social media is a double-edged sword, and you’ve handled that fairly well, I think, these past several years.”
Bennehoff added he’s learned a lot from watching Lorenz guide the city through some trying times over the past two years and said he hopes to be able to display the same type of “stamina and patience” Lorenz has if future “tough” meetings were to arise.
While Lorenz’s role as mayor may be over, his time on council isn’t as he began his second term on Tuesday after being sworn in by Delaware County Common Pleas Judge David Gormley, who also presided over oaths of office for re-elected council members Frank Bertone and Counts, as well as Melissa Riggins, council’s newest elected member.
As for his future as a city official following his announcement last month that he’s entered the race for the 67th District seat in the Ohio House of Representatives, Lorenz reiterated Tuesday that the city and its well-being is still a top priority.
“Even though I have endeavors to make it to the statehouse, I remain committed to giving the City of Powell my fullest attention during my council term,” he said.
Contact Joshua Keeran at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @KeeranGazette.