Does it matter to the Kenyon community who wins Tuesday’s hotly contested mayoral race in Mount Vernon? The answer is implicit in President Sean Decatur’s bold community engagement initiative that physically and programmatically extends Kenyon’s reach to Mount Vernon. And since Mount Vernon’s state-of-the-art water treatment plant sources every tap on campus, the reelection of progressive mayor Richard Mavis should be a matter of great concern.
Mayor Mavis is responsible for modernizing that water treatment plant, building a state-of-the-art central fire station, attracting new industry and jobs to the community, cleaning up an industrial brownfield for future use as a solar energy farm and providing City Hall leadership for a downtown renaissance. He is also credited with having built political support for the construction of the Kokosing Gap Trail. Those who are familiar with Mount Vernon’s new Ariel-Foundation Park, a stellar example of adaptive reuse, need to know it exists because of the mayor’s foresight 15 years ago to purchase an abandoned quarry adjacent to downtown.
It is significant that Mayor Mavis has accomplished all of this and more while managing a 160-employee, $40 million budget and not raising the city’s income-tax rate.
The increasing number of Kenyon faculty and staff who live and vote in Mount Vernon have the opportunity to reelect an enlightened public servant as their mayor. As a member of Mount Vernon City Council, and a proud Kenyon alumnus who values the mayor’s role in building bridges with the Kenyon community, I strongly urge a vote for Mayor Richard Mavis.
Sam Barone ’72