Kachen Kimmell, chair of the Village’s Planning and Zoning Commission, was elected Gambier’s new mayor on Tuesday.
“I’m very excited to be the mayor-elect,” Kimmell said. “I have really wanted this job for a while, which is why I poured a lot into the campaign.”
Kimmell ran against fellow Council members Liz Forman ’73, a former College administrator, and Betsy Heer, owner of the Gambier House Bed and Breakfast.
Kimmell received 203 votes (53 percent), Forman 127 votes (33 percent) and Heer 53 votes (14 percent).
Kimmell attributed her success to her performance at the mayoral debate in mid-October sponsored by the Center for the Study of American Democracy. She also went door-to-door to talk to Gambier residents and students in the New Apartments and Morgan Apartments.
“I felt like some people who didn’t know me before got to know me and that was really important,” Kimmell said.
Once mayor, Kimmell said she will prioritize implementing a strategic planning process, something the Village has never had before, according to Kimmell. The plan will cover “every aspect of the Village,” she said, but the particulars are still unknown.
Kimmell also listed as priorities coordinating next summer’s construction plans for downtown Gambier with the College and ensuring emergency medical services provided by the College Township Fire Department meet the needs of community members.
Heer thanked her supporters for their belief in her and her message.
“The mayoral campaign has been an extraordinary experience,” Heer wrote in a emailed statement to the Collegian. “I congratulate the mayor-elect. I will continue to bring my perspective and ideas to the council table for the next two years and look forward to working with her to make Gambier the best it can be.”
Forman did not immediately respond to multiple requests for comment.
Kirk Emmert, the outgoing mayor, and Juan Pastor were elected to two Village Council seats in an uncontested race. Current council member Tom Stamp did not seek reelection.
In Mount Vernon, Democratic mayor Richard Mavis, who has been the city’s mayor for almost 20 years, won reelection with 2,176 votes (52 percent). He faced Republican challenger Matt Starr, who earned 2,017 votes (48 percent).
Issue 3, a constitutional amendment that would have legalized recreational and medical marijuana in Ohio and stipulates a certain number of producers, did not pass; sixty-four percent of Ohioans voted against the measure. Issue 2, an anti-monopoly amendment, was approved with only 52 percent of the vote. Issue 1, which creates a more bipartisan process for drawing legislative districts in Ohio, passed with 71 percent of the vote.