New Thornville mayor talks about the future
THORNVILLE – Gavin Renner is now the mayor of Thornville. He succeeds Beth Patrick who did not seek reelection.
The Beacon asked the new mayor several questions about Thornville and its future.
Question: What do you think Thornville’s major challenges will be during your tenure?
Renner: In the near term, the village is in the process of lining up a number of projects that include road and sewer improvements as well as the water tower maintenance project. The result of these programs will be maintenance of the current infrastructure as it stands today. Longer-term challenges include thinking toward the future of the community and lining up a plan and resources to make things possible. We’re always in a state of dealing with the here and now, but also laying a foundation for those who will come after us.
Question: Do you have any solutions in mind?
Renner: As far as current projects are concerned we seem to have a pretty good handle on that work. The village administrator is looking to council to approve funding and make appropriate decisions on direction. We’re looking for grants and loans where possible. In terms of the longterm outlook, I’d like to get our planning commission working on longer range planning work for the community with the goals of fostering economic growth and development.
Question: Do you have a full council yet? If so, who’s the new member?
Renner: At this time we do have an open council position. We are currently accepting resumes at the village office for residents who are interested in applying.
There are several new village officers. On council, Cathy Boykin replaced Brian Dunlap, Heidi Badders replaced Dayna Patrick, and Mary Renner replaced Ron Dittoe. Terry Lynn’s seat remains vacant. Ron Dittoe has joined Mike Harris as citizen members of the zoning and planning board with one open position. The new village solicitor is Brian Zets.
Question: Do you have a vision for Thornville and its future?
Renner: What do I think about often is the legacy that members of the community today are leaving for those who will come later. When I look to the past, I see a rich history where residents have worked hard to raise their families and live well. The future should ideally be a place where people continue to have the resources and opportunities necessary to grow and prosper. The Thornville of today is a mix of urban spaces in the downtown area with rural and agricultural areas in the surrounding village and township. It’s a great balance that attracts people who want to live in a rural township setting but still enjoy the benefits of a tight-knit community. Where we’ve probably got the most to gain is making sure that people have a reason to come into the village to live, visit and do business. Providing opportunities that encourage local business and homeownership are key. Reaching out to our neighbors in the township is also key.
Question: Are there any major projects you’d like to tackle during the next four years?
Renner: From a project standpoint, I can’t completely tackle projects without the support of council, the village staff, and members of the community. Obviously, the funding and logistics all need to come together to be successful. Some projects I’ve been thinking about are ways to encourage local business with the longer-term goal of revitalizing the downtown area of the village. Additionally, I’d like us to work on longer-term economic planning and community planning through our planning board.