MOUNT VERNON, Ohio (WCMH) — For the past 24 years, the city of Mount Vernon has had one mayor. At the end of 2019, Mayor Dick Mavis is will retire after nearly a lifetime of public service.
“This is going to be the first time since I was in, maybe, middle school that when Monday morning comes, I won’t have anywhere particular to go,” reflected Mavis.
“I’ve had several people come up and say, ‘You’ve been Mayor as long as I’ve been alive,'” Mavis continued.
Mavis admits that’s probably true. He’s practically spent his entire life in public service. His first job in elected office was as a County Commissioner.
“I taught school for 10 years, and the last 7 years here in Mt Vernon. My father was County Commissioner for two terms and then decided not to run again. Two years later, the Mavis name appeared on the ballot and I think my success in that very first term probably was because they thought they were voting for my dad,” quipped Mavis.
Mavis spent 20 years as a Knox County commissioner and the last 24 as mayor of Mount Vernon.
“How quickly 24 years went, it went by so quickly. I know part of that is just the people you work with, the success you’ve had at projects,” Mavis said.
Mavis, 77, is proud of the downtown revitalization from millions of dollars of private money and a historic tax credit, all accomplished in a conservative county.
“How did a Democrat get elected so many times, and I think at the local level, I think people have a tendency to look at the person, look at who he is and what he’s been doing and how he looks at the future of the community,” pondered Mavis.
Mavis will attend his last city council meeting as an elected official Monday.
Mavis plans to keep busy with the Knox County foundation and spend time with his family.
His last day in office is Dec. 31.