LIMA — Four city council members were sworn in at the Lima City Council meeting Tuesday night, three of whom are stepping into the role for the first time.
Todd Gordon, of the 1st Ward, Carla Thompson, of the 3rd Ward, Jon Neeper, of 7th Ward, and Jamie Dixon, of the 5th Ward were sworn into office as the meeting began.
Gordon, who was re-elected, said that it was a great feeling to be back on council and looks forward to accomplishing more during his second term. During this term, his focus will be on developing better neighborhoods.
“Once we get downtown situated, I would like to see the focus change from downtown to where people are living and what they are actually looking at everyday,” he said. “Not just throughout the 1st Ward, but throughout the whole city.”
Thompson said she will focus on landlord registry that works for both citizens and for landlords, as well as helping the youth.
“There are youth programs out there, but we are not reaching enough of the youth,” she said. “We have to find a way to get to them.”
Dixon said that his excitement began on election night when he realized that he had won, but nothing compared to being sworn in.
“Being sworn in and being able to serve the people is an amazing feeling,” he said. “It’s one thing to be the councilman-elect, but to actually be apart of City Council is a whole other feeling.”
Quality of life, safety for neighborhoods, dilapidated homes and youth development are all issues that he hopes to address this term. He hopes to prevent issues like the incident that happened at Waffle House on New Year’s Day.
“We can’t go back and retrain or re-instill what the parents have already instilled in those children,” he said. “But what we can do is redirect them by acknowledging that its wrong to put your hands on a woman and vice versa.”
Neeper said that being sworn in Tuesday was surreal because he did not imagine that night approaching as quickly as it had.
“As (Council) President (John) Nixon said, its been 11 months, and then all of a sudden its a month and a half where you want to get going, and tonight was just overwhelming,” he said. “I look forward to better understanding the process as we move forward and look forward to getting to work.”
During his term, he hopes to resolve the crime and drug issue, which he believes will help attract more people to the city.
“If we get it under control I think that leads to better economic development in the city,” he said. “People won’t want to come here if those two things are out of control.”
Reach Camri Nelson at 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @CamriNews.