MANCHESTER, Ohio — The Manchester Mayor C. L. “Skip” Wagner resigned his office during village council meeting held Monday night. The resignation is effective immediately.
In September 2019, Wagner was sworn in as mayor following the resignation of former Mayor Robert Hilderbrand for health issues. Hilderbrand had two years remaining on his term. At that time, Hilderbrand had said that he believed Wagner would be an outstanding mayor, and encouraged council and village to support him.
At the time of his appointment, Wagner said he hoped to build a network that would allow the various departments to coordinate and streamline their responses to problems and issues in the village.
“I have to say this is bittersweet for me. This will be my last meeting as the mayor of the village of Manchester. I wanted to at least come tonight and give my resignation in person and say a couple things, and I do need to preside over this vote because the council president will assume my position at that point. Someone has to carry that vote, and then after which I will ask that the council accept my resignation, effective immediately at that point,” said Wagner.
Wagner asked his colleagues to indulge him as he said his piece.
“First off, I’d like to say it was pretty pressing to me that this last election, no one put their name forward to run for mayor. I never wanted to be mayor. In fact, anyone that knows me they would have known that. I never wanted to be mayor. Our former mayor, Mr. Hilderbrand, ran into some health issues, and I had to step up when it was time, it was needed, and I did so, and I have tried my best in that position to do the best for the village,” said Wagner.
Wagner said that not everyone may have agreed with that, and he understood it. In this position, said Wagner, you can’t make people happy all of the time. You have to make decisions, and unfortunately, they are going to alienate some people, he said.
“It’s been the honor of my life to serve my home town in the capacities I have. It’s been the honor of my life to meet and spend time with some of the amazing citizens that we have in this town that care so much about the future of this town. It’s been the honor of my life to have served under I believe three mayors, now, and innumerable members of council who, despite what anyone will ever say, do so without regard of self and do so for the best of the village, and there is a high cost that comes with that, and I think a lot of people don’t ever get to see that, but I know that everyone up here has worked very hard and diligently, from the things that needed to be worked on in the order they needed to be done,” said Wagner.
He reminisced about his life, and the choices he made up until that point.
“There’s a lot of folks that think the government is the answer to everything, and don’t understand that the government is pretty limited in what we can and are tasked to do. For that, I want to commend everyone up here for taking our jobs very seriously and putting the interest of the town first, even when it may not have been the popular thing, it may not have been what people were down here saying needed to be done, but everyone up here understands and surely will understand as time goes on, if you don’t have the foundations right, nothing else matters, and we’ve got the foundations right. They’re there, for three years, in the black, and I think that the town collectively, and not this council, needs to recognize the importance and how vital that has been for turning the town around, and how it will be so vital in keeping this town moving forward in the future,” said Wagner.
“It cannot go back into fiscal emergency. It cannot, and I would implore on my colleagues tonight and the public, don’t ever let this body even think about going in the red again. Don’t do it. It’s too important. It took too long to get where we’re at. And I will go on record, if you go and look at other towns’ budgets, we are doing a lot better off than some are. I know that’s shocking maybe to some here, but you can go look at it, we’re doing a lot better off right now then a lot of other towns. There is a bright future for this town, but only if we can all work together and understand what the government can do and understand that the public has a role in that as well,” said Wagner.
Wagner finished up by thanking his colleagues.
“I want to thank the council, and your advice over the years. Councilman Jolly, Councilwoman Shiveley, Councilwoman Blythe, Councilman Phipps, Councilwoman McCartney, Councilwoman Henderson, you all have played a role in my life whether you know it or not. You’ve also played a role in this village, and don’t ever forget that,” he said.
The meeting concluded on Monday night with Councilwoman Teresa Blythe being sworn in by Village Solicitor Thomas Mayes as the new mayor. Councilwoman Christine Henderson was nominated as council president for the second year in a row. Henderson declined her nomination as president, while Blythe accepted.
The village has already announced the open council seat, and the candidate deadline is Jan. 31 at noon. Candidacies can be submitted to the clerk’s office at 400 Pike Street until that time.
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