Pickerington Mayor Lee Gray is happy to take back the reigns of the city from former Mayor Mitch OBrien and looks forward to a smooth transition in 2012.
Gray ran unopposed for mayor in November.
“It is exciting, Gray said.There is just a good group of people here. Im fortunate to be coming into a well-run city with lots of good people. Former Mayor OBrien did a good job and current city manager Bill Vance and the current city council are doing a good job.
Gray served as mayor of Pickerington from 1992 to 1999 and was a member of city council four years prior to taking office as mayor. Once his children started attending school he developed an interest in school issues, which led him to run for school board, a position he held the last four years.
“They are all in school now and that is helpful, Gray said.I continued to be involved having been on school board the last four years.
Gray said he enjoyed serving Pickerington as mayor. He has been a resident of Pickerington since he was in the third grade and says the city is a great place to live. He decided to run for mayor when OBrien announced he would not be running.
“He came to me and told me he was not running and asked if I would consider (running), he said.It is an important office and we need someone here who cares about the community, who better than someone who has roots here.
Gray said he plans to take on his new position one step at a time.
“It has been a number of years since I was here, he said.Im trying to take it slow and keep my eyes and ears open, listen and learn and continue to utilize the great people that we have.
Gray doesnt see any major legislation on the immediate horizon. The first council meeting of the year was Jan. 3 and the agenda was light.
“We are starting off with very little on the plate, he said.There are a lot of things in the works. Today (Jan. 3) is my first day. I have a lot to read up on. I need to listen to the people and find out what is going on, work with people to continue the positive atmosphere that is here now.
Gray was hesitant to discuss his long-term plans for the city because he didnt want to imply the former administration or current council isnt doing a good job.
“They have been doing a great job, he said.I would like to continue on that success. Part of that will be to continue to be customer-friendly and make sure we take care of our customers who are our residents.
Economic development will be addressed in 2012, although Gray declined to discuss the citys present needs. He said Pickerington will continue to provide a positive environment for its businesses.
“We will work to find the correct fit for our community, he said.
Pickerington residents should also expect to see some infrastructure improvements on the horizon. He said Pickerington City Council has set aside additional funds in 2012 for vital roadwork and will continue to partner with other government entities to pool resources.
“We are going to continue to work on regionalism and work with other government entities when we can to save money and serve our residents, Gray said.