In the photo above, newly elected Councilwoman Kathy Baliey takes the oath of office administered by Solicitor Joe Braun. Bailey will serve as Loveland’s Mayor for the next two years.

Mihaela Manova

by Mihaela Manova

Loveland, Ohio – As 2019 ends, and 2020 resolutions arise, the Loveland City Hall renews its politicians. On a cold night on December 2nd, residents entered Loveland City Hall to witness the introduction and induction of their council members, and in turn, filled the hall to capacity. Rows of chairs were perfectly lined up and filled with family and active residents, time was passing and excitement fueled the room.

The room was spacious enough to fill a crowd of a hundred, and it soon did.

Clerk of Council Misty Brents (on far left) chaired the start of the meeting. Brents, City Manager Dave Kennedy, and Councilmember Tim Butler waiting for the meeting to begin.

Mixed feelings of anxiety and happiness permeated the room as council members lined up in their respective seats. On the far left side sat the Clerk of Council Misty Brents, followed by an empty seat that in moments would be occupied by Andrew Bateman. Councilmembers Neal Oury, City Manager David Kennedy, a re-elected Kathy Bailey, Rob Weisgerber, Tim Butler, a re-elected Kent Blair, Ted Phelps, and Solicitor, Joseph Braun filled the remainder of the high-backed, upholstered chairs.

Throughout the audience, one can see campaign supporters and family members awaiting their loved ones to be inaugurated as others were standing quietly in the back admiring the process. As 7 PM passed and people sat in their seats, the room became quiet and then erupted in applause as the anticipated new council member, Andrew Bateman came through the doors with a smile. The clerk called the roll and meeting to order and led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance. 

Loveland Police and Loveland/Symmes Fire Department Chaplin, Pastor Bill Hounshell followed with an Invocation as the council inductions soon followed.

Kathy Bailey was sworn into office by Hamilton County Judge Brad Greenberg, a former Loveland Mayor.

Kathy Bailey was first to hit the podium with support as her family sat in the front row. Judge Brad Greenberg swore in Bailey as a council member for which she presented a speech in front of the audience. Bailey has been Loveland’s Mayor for the past four years and was re-elected to serve on Council on November 5 for another four-year term.

“Four years ago, I didn’t necessarily know what I was getting into, or why, but I certainly know now. I ran again because I have come to love this city, the entire community, our residence, our community partners, (and) our business owners of this city,” Bailey said after taking her oath.

Watch the LOVELAND MAGAZINE VIDEO below for the newly elected members’ speeches.

Kent Blair received a congratulatory handshake from Police Chief Sean Rahe after taking his oath of office.

Up next, Kent Blair was sworn in by Patricia Melson and Andrew Bateman was sworn in by Marla Simiele. Blair said, “The city of Loveland is a lot more than just a collection of buildings and a bunch of people who live in a certain place and work and go to the school in town, it’s an idea. And, I love the idea that is Loveland.”

After taking the oath, Bateman expressed what he stands for and what he sees in Loveland’s future. “The City is really a special place and it’s because of the people that care about it. So, ‘us’ in government need to care about them no matter where they’re from, what they do, why they’re here. We’re all neighbors and nothing can be more needed in our society today than a return to neighborliness.” 

First-time Councilmember Andy Bateman received an ovation when he entered the Council Chamber a few minutes late. He then laughed lightheartedly and pointed to the empty seat on the dais he was directed to occupy. As if saying, “For me?”

After Bateman’s speech, the anticipated nominations for Mayor for the next two years were opened by Clerk Misty Brents. Blair nominated Bailey and no other nominations were made. After she received all seven votes, a round of applause proceeded her to the podium to take the oath as Mayor administered by Solicitor Braun.

After a round of handshakes with each council member, Bailey returned to the center seat at the dais to run the remainder of the meeting.

Bailey then asked for nominations for Vice Mayor.

Former City Solicitor Susan Allspach (nee Gertz) administered the oath of office to Rob Weisger after he was chosen to continue as Vice-Mayor for another two years.

Rob Weisgerber was nominated by Neal Oury and Tim Butler nominated himself. The roll was called and with five votes against two, Rob Weisgerber became reelected as Vice Mayor. In his speech, he said, “The commitment to the community at large has been a passion of mine. I have no interest in being at other levels, it’s near and dear to my heart to be with the residents in a community that I share.”

The evening ended as Pastor Bill closed the ceremony with another prayer and the council meeting was adjourned. The once anxious room became one of congratulations and handshakes, as we will now witness the changes that the council has in store.

After the meeting came to a close I interviewed Mayor Baily and Councilmembers Blair and Bateman.

The photos in this slide show are © Mihaela Manova 2019/Loveland Magazine (Photos can be purchased lovelandmagazine@cinci.rr.com)

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