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Payton elected council president-pro tem, Village hires 2 new police officers ... Aug 5, 2015

By Frank Lewis

New Boston Village Council was busy Tuesday night, hiring two new police officers and electing a president-pro tem.

Bryan Charles Jordan and Nickolas James Shepherd were sworn in by New Boston Mayor Junior Williams. The two were to begin duty on Wednesday. Shepherd is a veteran having served in Afghanistan and Iraq and Jordan worked for the Hanging Rock Police Department prior to coming to the village.

Village Councilman Mike Payton was elected president pro tem, replacing Williams who was recently sworn in as mayor to succeed the late Jim Warren.

“I told somebody the other day, it’s kind of neat to get elected to something by your peers,” Payton said.

Payton expressed his gratitude for the confidence shown in his election.

“I am appreciative to all of the council members that supported me and to the community for electing me over the years,” Payton said. “I’ll try not to let them down.”

This is Payton’s eighth year on village council.

“It has flown by,” Payton said. “January, if I get elected again, it will be my third term. The village has treated me pretty good up here and we all work together. That’s the key, really. Mayor Jim and I worked together and I think Junior and I work well together. I really do. I actually have probably known Junior longer than I knew Jim Warren. We used to coach Little League together.”

For all intents and purposes, barring anything out of the ordinary occurring, Payton will be re-elected to a third term in November with that term to begin in January 2016. Payton is one of four people whose names will be on the ballot with four Council positions to be filled. The president pro tem serves in the absence of the mayor by presiding over council and is next in line for that position should the situation ever arise in which that position would become vacant.

Payton’s election rounds out the reorganization of council brought on by Warren’s death following an extended illness.

“Junior is going to do a nice job,” Payton said. “He’s getting settled in now and it’s a different atmosphere but I think he’s doing fine. I’m looking forward to helping him.”

Williams himself has been elected to office four times.

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.

Williams sworn-in as New Boston mayor ... Jul 6, 2015

With his wife of 36 years, Laura, at his side, William “Junior” Williams was sworn in as the village of New Boston’s 20th mayor Monday morning by Village Councilman Dan Fetty. Williams had been serving as acting mayor since Mayor Jim Warren became ill several months ago. Warren died last week leaving the need for an official ceremony.

“I’m excited in one way and sad in another,” Williams told the Daily Times. “It’s not the way that a person wanted to take this office. Jim and I were going to talk in the fall and see what we were going to do.”

Williams said, aside from the circumstances of his taking the oath of office, he is excited for the people of New Boston because they are putting the finishing touches on a year-long project that began with a new sewer project and has now evolved into repairs and paving of U.S. 52 (Rhodes Avenue) area of New Boston.

“We finished the sewer project – phase one and phase two,” Williams said. “It’s a $4 million project. We received $2 million in principle forgiveness loans and we ended up having to pay approximately $1.6 million at this point. There’s also a phase three that is going to be done with Glenwood Avenue and we also have the street project the state of Ohio has going on right now. It’s supposed to be finished some time in mid September. Those are things that are challenges to businesses and the public and that has brought some traffic problems but we hope to have them cleared up real soon.”

The Williamses have three children – Dustin, Amanda and Aaron. They also have seven grandchildren. Williams is employed as a superintendent for Tri-America Contractors, Inc. He has been the President Pro Tem of the New Boston Village Council budget director and Finance Committee Chairman for the last eight years.

“They (village council) are great guys,” Williams said. “We have some experienced councilmen and we have experienced employees, great employees and they’ll be fine. They’ll be fine. They’ve been great to work with. I’m sure they’re going to give me all the help I need.

Williams has also been certified by the state of Ohio to conduct Mayor’s Court for the last four years. Williams will return power to the Democratic Party after Warren, a Republican, had broken a 50 year Democratic hold on that post some 21 years ago when he was first elected.

Council will most likely announce at Tuesday night’s regular meeting that they are accepting applications for candidates to fill Williams’ unexpired term. According to the Scioto County Board of Elections, with four seats open, there are four candidates for New Boston Council on the November ballot. Running for election is Johnnie Steele, and incumbent councilmen Dan Fetty, Jon Mills, and Mike Payton. Vonald Patrick had also filed to run for village council but withdrew his name when he was named earlier this year to fill the unexpired term of Councilman Terry Salyers, who resigned his seat and then passed away. With four openings and an equal four candidates, council could simply choose to appoint Steele to finish Williams’ unexpired term, with the expectation that he will take the seat after the election — barring any write-in opposition.

The Scioto County Board of Elections said anyone wishing to be a write-in candidate for either a council position or mayor has until 4 p.m. Aug. 24 to file. If there is no write-in candidate for mayor, Williams will begin his first full-term in January of 2016.

By Frank Lewis

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.

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Area says goodbye to “Mr. Mayor” ... Jul 2, 2015


When well-known political figures pass away, those memorializing them usually talk about their political career. That was not the case at the funeral for long time educator and New Boston Mayor Jim Warren who died Saturday after an extended illness.

“When you have a career in education and in politics not everyone is going to agree with you,” Pastor Gary Heimbach of Cedar Street Church of Christ in Christian Union who delivered the sermon said. “But Jim truly loved others more than he loved himself.”

That was the central theme at the celebration of life held Thursday morning at New Boston Glenwood High School.

“Only heaven will reveal the lives he touched,” Heimbach said. “Quietly, without fanfare, without attracting attention to himself, he made a difference. “

Rodney Barnett, Co-chairman of the Scioto County Republican Party, who delivered the eulogy, talked of the similarities of their lives having both been in the education field for over 30 years.

“He was a great communicator, perhaps with a different style, a different approach, a different demeanor than some,” Barnett told those in attendance. “but was very productive, very much respected and I can attest to the fact I seldom, if ever, heard a disparaging word directed at Mayor Jim Warren.”

Just before the start of the service Barnett said the death of Warren would leave a hole in the Scioto County community.

“His impact will be felt for a long time,” Barnett said. “and, as I will stress in my eulogy, that I hope that our many friends and family members will reach out and honor the request of the Warren family to consider making a donation, be it small or great, to the establishment of the Jim Warren Memorial Park or to continue with the breakfast that he has established or to the church that he so deeply loved (Cedar Street Church). The impact will be felt for a long time.”

Village Councilman Mike Payton worked with Warren in the operation of the village government, said the New Boston Community Building even felt different to him.

“I had not been in the city building until yesterday (Wednesday) since he passed away,” Payton said. “It was just a strange feeling. There was something missing. Without getting religious, it was like a spirit thing.”

Hundreds of people from ordinary everyday citizens to national political figures packed the gym, each reminiscing about the man who had been the face of New Boston for nearly 21 years, seeing it through the process of transitioning from industrial to retail status.

“This job allows me to meet so many people who care about their community and put others ahead of themselves,” U.S. Representative Brad Wenstrup told the Daily Times. “I came here for Jim Warren and for his family and for the community. He’s the perfect example of what so much of America is made up of – people that care about the community and the people they live with and wanting to make it better.”

By Frank Lewis
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.

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June 23, 2015 ... Jun 23, 2015

Wreath Presented for Veterans Memorial ... Jun 9, 2015

A special thanks to Minford American Legion Post 622 and Bill Hutchinson for presenting the Village of New Boston with this beautiful wreath for our Veterans Memorial. Village Administrator Steve Hamilton is pictured with Mr. Hutchinson.

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Veterans Honored at Heritage Square ... Jun 6, 2015

June 6 marked 71st anniversary of the D-Day Invasion. A
ceremony was held for all veterans residing at Heritage Square
that afternoon. A plaque and appreciation medals were
presented to these great heroes living in our village.

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