The village of Ostrander is now under new guidance following the resignation of Robert Taylor, who stepped down from his position as mayor earlier this month. Taylor served in the role for 21 months before ultimately deciding it was time to refocus his attention on his family.
“There’s been a lot of growth (in Ostrander) over that year-and-a-half, and, really, there’s a lot more to the job than people realize,” Taylor told The Gazette. “It’s essentially a volunteer position, the mayor gets $100 a month. It’s a lot more than just a couple of meetings a month. It’s taking phone calls from residents, helping residents with issues they may have, planning and scheduling road repairs, meetings with developers, and lots of other things like that. And there is a lot of time and preparation in between those things.
“With the growth of Ostrander, those obligations were continuing to increase. It just turned out that it was consuming a lot of my life, and I decided I needed to step back for myself and for my family,” he added.
Taylor’s path to public service began simply by attending village council meetings after moving to Ostrander with his wife in 2007.
“I found everything going on at those meetings very interesting,” Taylor said. “I got to know the mayor and a lot of the council members, and I got involved in a lot of the discussions at those meetings.”
That involvement in the meetings led Taylor to be approached about finishing the term of another council member who was stepping down in 2009. He has since been elected twice and has also served as the council president. Last February, citing personal reasons, Larry Crile resigned as mayor, vacating the seat and opening the door for Taylor.
Taylor finished Crile’s term, which ended on Dec. 31, 2019, and he was then elected to a full term. Asked what his expectations were for the job regarding its demands, Taylor said he had some idea of what to expect going into it, but the demands continued to pile up. Furthermore, he said those demands will only continue to rise with the expected growth that will continue to come to Ostrander.
“It was a surprise,” Taylor said of the rigors. “Larry (Crile) was retired. I kind of knew what it all entailed, but I think it’s a lot easier for someone who is retired, and I have a full-time job on top of it. I’m also really involved with the Buckeye Valley Boosters, and I run the fair booth also …. Add all of that stuff up together and I was being spread pretty thin.”
Taylor’s time in local government over the past 10 years has given him a hand in a lot of growth that continues to come to the village. While he will no longer play a part in that development, Taylor said the village is in “very, very capable hands” with Chris Greasamar, who has filled the vacant position as Ostrander mayor.
“He’s aware of everything that is going on, and I wouldn’t be resigning if I wasn’t confident that he’s fully capable of handling this,” Taylor said.
An election will be held in 2021 to formally elect a new mayor to the position. When asked if he was out of local government for good, Taylor laughed before saying, “I need a break for now. I’ll just leave it at that.”
Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDavis56.