(Posted Jan. 12, 2016)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
Going into his first term as mayor, Patrick Closser is energized about London’s future.
“We’re right at the turning point of making London even better than it already is,” he said before taking the oath of office on Dec. 30.
Closser is part of a major changing of the guard in city leadership. He takes over from David Eades, who served as mayor for 24 years. His pick for safety-service director, Joe Mosier, replaces Steve Hume who held the post for 24 years. Additionally, at the end of December, a new city auditor, Nick Szabo, was appointed, and a new police chief, Glenn Nicol, was hired.
“We are losing some great people who did great things for the city, but we’re also gaining great people,” Closser said. “I have the utmost confidence in the people who are coming in and filling new roles. We will work together as a great team along with the employees we have already.”
Closser has several ideas in mind for improvements for the city, starting with the budget.
“Joe (Mosier) and I have talked. We are figuring out ways to save the citizens money right from the jump,” he said.
“I also want to open the lines of communication with businesses owners, with citizens, with employees of the city. We’re going to be able to talk to each other… about what we like, what we don’t like, ways to improve the city,” he said.
A third priority, Closser continued, is to work closely with local business owners, the Madison County Chamber of Commerce, and the county Community Improvement Corp. to bring more businesses to town, both large and small.
“More businesses will bring more jobs, which will bring more money into the city with income taxes, which helps the budget and allows for improvements,” he said.
Closser spent five years on city council, three as a councilman and two as president, before running for mayor.
When asked why he is drawn to public service, he said, “My love for the town. I was born and raised here. Like a lot of people in this town, I have a vested stake in making it the best it can be. My family, my home and my business are here.”
Closser said he has added incentive now that he is a father. He and his wife, Melissa, celebrated the birth of their first child, Maddoxx, on Dec. 8.
“You just want your kid to be raised in the best possible place you can provide for him,” he said. “That includes having a great town to grow up in and get their life experience in.”