To the delight of many Galena residents, Jill Love was sworn in as the new mayor during Galena Village Council’s organizational meeting held Monday.
Love was one of many residents who had spoken out last year against a proposed development of Blackhawk Golf Course by Champion Builders, and she rode the wave of discontent to become the village’s new mayor in a landslide in the November election.
“All of you made this possible,” Love said after being sworn in by Delaware County Prosecutor Melissa A. Schiffel. “We’ve got a heck of a four years ahead of us. Let’s do it.”
The audience that filled half the pews in the village hall applauded loudly. They patiently waited an hour for the organizational meeting to conclude, retiring to the dining area for a pizza reception.
Boy Scout Troop 197 presented the colors; and after the Pledge of Allegiance, Ruben Minor gave a stirring rendition of the national anthem.
Love gave the oath of office to two re-elected councilmen, Jason Hillyer and Todd Musacchio. She nominated Hillyer to be president of council, and he was elected.
Several people, including Love’s children, congratulated her. One person called her “a new bright light over Galena. Seven of ten people are ready for this change.”
Other comments included:
• “The last half of the year (2019) was ugly. The community wasn’t being listened to.”
• “The voice of the community has been heard.”
• “I’m looking forward to the changes coming to our community.”
Another speaker, Dave Adams, said he was a former council president for eight years who no longer lives in Galena.
“Work together,” Adams said. “I urge you to make this village what it could have been, what it should have been.”
Renee Vaughan, who herself was sworn in last week as the newest Genoa Township trustee, was also present.
“I think Galena has a bright future with Jill,” Vaughan said.
In other news, Mark Brooks has resigned from Galena’s Planning and Zoning Commission. Taking his place is Zachary Hopper, 18, the son of outgoing Mayor Tommy Hopper.
Hopper was recognized for his 32 years of service to Galena at the Dec. 16 council meeting. Among the tributes was naming the Galena portion of the Ohio-to-Erie Trail the Thomas W. Hopper Legacy Trail.
The zoning meeting scheduled for Dec. 18, 2019, was canceled due to lack of business.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.