Reactions to David Berger’s retirement announcement


“Mayor Berger has always been a great support to me personally and to our entire school district. From supporting our school levies, to visiting classrooms, speaking at our annual Academic Signing and attending athletic and other events, there has never been any doubt that he is one of our biggest cheerleaders.

The mayor worked to bring important programs and initiatives to our schools and youth, including the William A. Fowler Science Series and the Youth Commission. He has been very hands on with both and I appreciate that.

He has always made sure the school district is involved in important conversations happening in the city, and I truly believe not only the city of Lima, but also the Lima City Schools, are better because of Dave Berger’s leadership.”

— Jill Ackerman, Lima schools superintendent

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“I’ll say this: The mayor and I haven’t always agreed on everything. One thing no one can take away from Dave Berger as the mayor of the City of Lima is this: He redefined the work ethic of the mayor.

Dave is a hard-working man and puts in a lot of hours to get things done. A lot of those hours, lesser men might say, ‘to heck with it, I’m not going to invest more time in this issue.’ Dave always fought through and tried to find some outcome that had maximum benefit for the community.”

— John Nixon, Lima council president

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“Husky Energy acquired the Lima Refinery in 2007. We have always understood the refinery’s historic importance to Lima and our role as caretakers of one of the city’s oldest businesses. Mayor David Berger’s legacy is intertwined with the refinery. We are grateful for the gutsy leadership that helped keep the refinery open and operating and appreciate his dedication to making Lima a great place to call home.”

— Claudio Ingaramo, vice president, U.S. refining and manager of Husky Lima Refinery

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“Being a mayor of a city is a difficult job, and Dave worked tirelessly to make Lima a better place. I have always appreciated the open communication we have had in working on common problems, as well as the cordial relationship we developed. Libby and I wish Dave and Linda well as they begin a new chapter in their lives following retirement.

Bob Cupp, Ohio Speaker of the House

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“I wish him the best in his retirement.

He’s tried to do what he thinks is the best for the city. We each have our jobs to do. It’s never been personal but the facts of the job that needs to be done.”

— Greg Sneary, Allen County commissioner

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When I sat on the Automotive Task Force with Dave in the early days I got to witness his work ethic and commitment to the City of Lima. From the way that he facilitated the meetings to his futuristic visions for our city, I was always convinced that he was the right person for the job. A well deserved retirement, and whoever the next mayor is should lean on him for guidance.

— Kevin Bourke, UAW Local 1219

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“He was adamant about the refinery staying open and not shuttered, and we saw the same thing with the tank plant. I know that will be part of his legacy. What you’re starting to see downtown, what I consider the renaissance of what’s happening downtown, he had a big hand in that. He found ways to be creative to get things torn down.”

— Peggy Ehora, external affairs manager for Dominion Energy and 4th Ward councilor

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“Mayor Berger has been at the forefront of many community and economic development projects for the Lima region during his eight terms. More recently I have worked with the mayor collaboratively since I joined Allen Economic Development Group five years ago and he has been a voice of experience on our board of directors at AEDG.

We are now witnessing his efforts to bring Rhodes State to downtown Lima, which will undoubtedly spur business development in the direct area. The AEDG team continues to work in partnership with his team in downtown development that will be evident for years to come. I also applaud his diligence in getting the Bellefontaine Avenue underpass completed. Task Force Lima has been another project that we have witnessed the mayor fighting to maintain good jobs in the community.

The mayor has been at the helm during tremendous change in Lima over the last 30 years. We congratulate him for his tenacity and commitment to service to the community and look forward to working with him throughout the remainder of his term.”

— Dave Stratton, president/CEO of Allen Economic Development Group

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“One a positive side, Dave Berger is good at bricks and mortar. You can look at what’s been done in Town Square and that area, and it’s much better there. When it comes to quality of life, though, the housing has deteriorated so badly over the past 30 years.”

— Dan Beck, retired Allen County sheriff and former mayoral candidate

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The city of Lima and the region are better today because of Mayor Berger’s leadership over three decades. With the huge industrial decline in the ’80s and ’90s which resulted in the contraction of population and tax base, we couldn’t have had a better, more intelligent administration guiding the change and realigning our community for the success that we will continue to enjoy in the years ahead. I could only imagine what things would be like if we had a new mayor and administration every four years the past 30 years. Thank you, Dave Berger.

— John Heaphy, Good Foods Restaurants

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“I have been a long time supporter of Dave Berger for the same reasons that the people of Lima kept him in office over the last three decades. I appreciate how he fought to save jobs, how he kept Lima financially afloat during economic downturns and how he was always shining a positive light on our community in the face of those who attempt to denigrate us. He is a man of principles and character who was not afraid to lead, something we desperately need more of in this country.”

— Bob Seggerson, retired Lima Central Catholic coach

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“I wish Mayor Berger well as he moves into the next phase of his life. In the time that I have known him, both in my role as publisher of The Lima News and now with the Greater Lima Region, I have found him to be a passionate advocate for economic growth and the betterment of Lima. GLR has worked closely with Dave on various community development initiatives, and his involvement has been critical to the success of those projects. We look forward to continuing that collaboration through the remainder of his time in office.”

— Doug Olsson, president/CEO of Greater Lima Region Inc.

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