Three mayors with a combined 78 years of service – 50 years as mayor – to their communities are stepping down at the end of the year.
Hebron Mayor Clifford L. Mason is the dean of area mayors with 20 years of service. His Hebron service began in 1980 as a volunteer firefighter. He became a village council member in 1989 and moved up to mayor in 1995.
Baltimore Mayor Bobby Kalish has served Baltimore for 34 years. He served as a village council member from 1982 to 1999, starting a 16-year run as mayor in 2000. He also served as president of the Ohio Mayors’ Association during his tenure as Baltimore mayor.
Millersport Mayor Dean Severance has served Millersport for 18 years – four as a village council member and 14 as mayor.
Each has left an indelible mark on their communities. Services to residents have dramatically increased during their tenures. All three mayors have deep roots in their communities.
Kalish is Mr. Baltimore, tirelessly promoting the village both publicly and privately. You could find him at just about any event from Liberty Union-Thurston tournament games to parades and festivals. He turned the State of the Village address into an annual event featuring village and school district officials. Kalish also organized Job Fairs to help area residents find work.
The Village of Hebron is a model for small towns nationwide thanks to Mason’s strong leadership and his collaborative relationship with village council members and employees. Thanks to its reputation for outstanding services and business-friendly attitude, Hebron’s population more than triples during the workday.
Severance was a steady hand at the helm as Millersport faced tightening finances and a slowly declining population. He helped keep the village’s aging pool in operation and strongly supports the Community Watch program as mayor and active volunteer.
Serving as a small town mayor can be very challenging. Most residents aren’t shy about expressing their opinions whether it is after church, at the grocery store or gas station, or local game or event. Many small town residents resist change and are willing to set “the mayor” straight in no uncertain terms. In spite of these challenges, all three were seeking another term.
We have enjoyed working with Bobby Kalish, Clifford Mason and Dean Severance. All three have answered our questions openly and honestly, and helped us understand their hometowns. They understand Ohio’s Sunshine Laws and act accordingly. Sadly, that’s not the case everywhere.
Thank you gentlemen for your service. We’re sure all of you will continue to serve and support your communities.