“So how do you like Delaware?”
It’s a question I’ve been asked a lot over the past couple of months as I make my way around town.
Working in so many different communities over the years I always am fascinated when I first arrive. I’m no stranger to this city as I’ve visited here many times over the past 25 years, shopping, dining, going to the Little Brown Jug.
Yet working here every day is different. And it’s good.
I’m impressed with so many things, starting with the vibrant downtown. So many cool shops and places to eat. I know of no other city this size that has Thai/sushi, Cajun, Italian and Mexican restaurants all within a few blocks. It helps that I like all those foods — and most others.
The craft beer shops here also are intriguing even though I’m new to that game. Antique and other specialty shops also make this a destination for central Ohioans, as evidenced by the First Friday and Farmers Market events.
But beyond the eateries and other stores, there’s a real sense of pride in this community. It’s palpable to an outsider.
Meeting a variety of community leaders and regular folks reinforces my belief that those who live and work here really care about Delaware. That’s refreshing.
My first job was in Coshocton, Ohio, in 1980, working as a sports/feature writer. I felt the same way when I moved there. That city, much like this one, has a real sense of place.
Delaware city and county are unique. I’m amazed at the diversity that exists here both in terms of people and jobs.
Farmers. Health care. Factory workers. Educators. That makes a great mix of people and career and adds up to a truly rich experience as Delaware County literally has everything.
Equally diverse is the county’s landscape, from rolling farmlands near Sunbury and Ostrander to retail shopping outlets in Powell and Lewis Center. Rural and urban living options add to the county’s appeal.
The growth in this county is unparalleled in Ohio and probably nationally as well. People from other communities in central Ohio look here with envy.
The newspaper plays a key role here as well, something that was very attractive to my accepting the job as editor of The Gazette back in August. Residents here value the paper and its role in providing accurate information, local news and sports and advertising messages that help local businesses succeed.
At a time when newspapers nationally and even regionally are struggling, we are doing well. Our web site is just beginning to be utilized fully and our print products remain strong.
We also relish our role as a community leader, a voice for Delaware and a champion of the First Amendment. We wear several hats but most importantly, at least to me, is we are a credible news source. And we’ll continue to work hard to maintain that credibility.
The strong relationship with the newspaper is reflected by the number of regular contributors and the stories our staff writes about people and issues here. People want to be featured in the paper and that’s a good sign.
I’m still learning about this community. But I definitely like what I see. So the answer to the question posed to me is a simple one:
“I love it.”
Anthony Conchel is editor of The Gazette. He can be reached at 740-413-0900 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.