MIDDLEPORT — Middleport Council honored outgoing Mayor Sandy Iannarelli during their regularly scheduled meeting Monday evening.
“This is my last meeting as mayor, but I’m not going away,” Iannarelli said. “I care about Middleport and I’m proud of the four years I have served as mayor.”
Iannarelli said Middleport had made great strides in moving forward with economic development, and that she is optimist the village will continue to improve with the opening of the Meigs Senior Center (The Blakeslee Center) and formation of the Middleport Business Association.
“In the last four years our uptown has been improved, we’ve planted flowers, kept the streets swept, grass mowed, and all this work was done by people who care about Middleport; some of them are village employees, other volunteer their time to improve their community.”
“Everything we have accomplished was done by working together, it takes someone whose heart is in it. I won’t be here as your mayor, but those who did the work will be.”
She said to remember that what council does is important, that volunteers are important, and that Middleport staff are important, “Everything each of them do is important. I want to thank council, staff, and volunteers. I appreciate each and every one of your. I am proud of the past four years, I’m proud of Middleport, I gave it my all.”
Council member Emerson Heighton thanked Iannarelli for all she had done to improve Middleport’s infrastructure, “She has contacts in the county and state, she can get things started with a phone call. Sandy, we appreciate all you have done.”
“I wouldn’t be here if you hadn’t given me a push,” said council member Ben Reed.
“I wouldn’t have written the letter asking to join council if you and Susie hadn’t encouraged me. It has been an honor and a joy to serve with you.”
Reed said the impact the community has on him is important, and he looked forward to the challenges ahead.
Council President Brian Conde spoke next, saying to Iannarelli, “It has been a pleasure working with you, the way you go about everything with a zeal, you just don’t see the kind of energy and effort you have very often. I appreciate your efforts, and it has been an honor and privilege to serve with you on council.
Council also received a surprise resignation from council member Susie French effective Dec. 31. French sited a family member’s medical issues as the reason for her departure.
French had also thanked Iannarelli for her accomplishments and said she would miss working with both she and council members, but that it was best she focus on family at this time.
In other business, end of the year reports were presented to Council.
Discussion of whether to lease or sell property beside the old Middleport High School to Meigs County Council on Aging led to a motion to lease the property to the organization for five years with the option to buy at one dollar per year. The motion carried unanimously.
The Council on Aging has repurposed the former high school building and requested use of the land for additional parking and access to the facility.
Iannarelli wished incoming mayor Fred Hoffman the best. Hoffman in turn thanked Iannarelli for her service, not only the past four years, but in her previous terms of office.
The second meeting in December has been cancelled. The next regular meeting of Middleport Council will take place in January.
Lorna Hart is a freelance writer for The Daily Sentinel.