With Tuesday’s Hillsboro City Council meeting likely to be their last, at least in their current positions, Mayor Drew Hastings and Safety and Service Director Dick Donley both left council a few thoughts on their time in office during their monthly reports.
Hastings will wrap up his second four-year term as mayor at the year’s conclusion after deciding not to run for a third term. He will be replaced by current city councilman Justin Harsha.
Donley, a longtime member of council, has been serving as interim safety and service director since August. His successor has not officially been named.
Following are each of their thoughts on their time in office:
”The last eight years have gone by quickly. I have not been a warm and fuzzy mayor, a mayor that valued friendship over duty. A week before my election in 2011, I said in a newspaper interview, ‘I am not running to make friends or win a popularity contest.’ I meant that. I ran because there was a job to be done. This city was in a bad way.
“I’m immensely proud of what we’ve accomplished – an $800,000 deficit in 2012 was turned into a million dollar surplus by 2013. We revived dormant commissions that have been instrumental in the planning, look, and future of Hillsboro. Huge amounts of infrastructure work that has transformed the look of this city. When I took office, we had a big litter problem here. Trash blew down the street, and bags of garbage were often left untended. Old furniture was dumped in alleys. For the most part, we no longer have that problem, because we started code enforcement, formed a task force for cleanup and people started taking a little more pride once more in their community.
“In fact, this Gross Fiebel ordinance tonight is a part of that pride. The city’s biggest eyesore for 40 years, council members will vote to finally have it cleaned up.
“All this was accomplished by a lot of people. I want to thank my administrative staff – my former assistant Deb Sansone, my current assistant Kim Newman, admin I, and both Paulette Goerler, admin II, and Lauren Walker, admin receptionist, who keep this city running on a day-to-day basis.
“I thank our city departments who have all done their parts.
“Our police department has made big improvements over eight years and I thank Chief Eric Daniels for a professional department that we can now be proud of.
“I specifically want to thank Shawn Adkins for all his work overseeing and coordinating an ambitious schedule of improvements over the last eight years. Thank you Shawn.
“And Dick Donley, our safety service director. Dick stepped up to help this city on short notice and in the middle of a chaotic time. I wish I’d had you with me sooner. Thank you, Dick.
“Thank you to all our commission and board members past and present for their service. And thank you to city council members both past and present.
“I especially want to thank the citizens of Hillsboro who stuck by both me and this city through some dark times.
“Lastly, I thank my wife Taryn. She has lived with me through most of my time in office, had to endure more than probably any mayor’s wife in this city’s history has, and did it maintaining her graciousness at all times, which is more than can be said of me. Thanks Taryn.
“It has been an honor to serve as mayor of the City of Hillsboro, and thank you, Mr. President.”
“Good evening ladies and gentlemen of council and the general public. Since this will possibly be my last address to council since my appointment will expire at the end of December, I would like to thank the city administration, city employees of all departments, and council for the cooperation and assistance for the months I have served as the safety and service director.
“Together we have been able to abate the dangerous buildings on West Main Street and finalize an agreement with the Hillsboro City Schools regarding the approval of the Tax Increment Financing District, where the proposed hotel will be built on North West Street.
“I would also like to thank Mayor Hastings for his support in allowing me to serve the citizens of Hillsboro.
“Let me share a thought, from what I’m hearing from many citizens and myself, I would encourage council to continue its efforts to clean up the Gross Feibel site and, of course, good luck in resolving the Parker Hotel nuisance.
“Hillsboro is a beautiful city. My hope is that its citizens and property owners will support the efforts of Imagine Hillsboro and its visions to make our city even better. Where pride rings true.
“I also wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and safe and happy new year.”