April 3, 2003
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Mary Alexander appointed to fill vacancy on Council

Seeking someone new to Village government circles, Village Council Monday agreed to appoint Mary Alexander to fill a vacant seat on Council, which was caused when Hazel Latson resigned last month.

Alexander will fill the remainder of Latson’s term, which expires after the November election. Latson resigned from Council because she was moving outside of town.

Council unanimously agreed to appoint Alexander at a March 31 special meeting, which also featured a two-hour discussion on various issues with the Miami Township trustees. Alexander will officially join Council at its next meeting, April 7, when she will be sworn in. She will join Council president Tony Arnett, Joan Horn, George Pitstick and Denise Swinger.

Alexander was selected over three other local residents who said they were willing to serve on Council and who had previous experience with the local government, Bruce Rickenbach, Ilse Tebbetts and Chris Zurbuchen.

After the meeting, Horn said that Alexander was a “fine candidate” who would provide a fresh perspective.

“We’re happy to have new blood and someone who has been in the community for so long,” Horn said. Alexander, who has lived in town for 40 years, will bring a “historical perspective” to Council, Horn said.

In an interview Tuesday morning, Alexander said that while local residents know her, “I think I will be a new face on Council,” which, she said, would be helpful. Citing controversial issues that the community has struggled over in recent years — which saw “so many people bombarding the Village Council on one side or another” — Alexander said, “Any person who would be new and willing to contribute to the community would be welcome.”

Alexander said that she decided to apply for the Council vacancy as a way to contribute to the community. “I’ve lived in Yellow Springs since 1963 and I felt it was time to take an active role in the Village government, or at least try to,” she said.

Alexander said that she had not thought about running for Council when the vacancy opened up, but thought it would be a good opportunity for her. “I just thought it was time that I put my foot in the water and see what happens,” she said.

Applying for the vacancy was an easy decision to make, Alexander said, noting that she did lose some sleep Monday night after she learned of her appointment.

At this point, Alexander implied that she does not yet have specific goals she would like to accomplish as a Council member. Instead, she said that she wants to get familiar with the issues that Council is currently addressing. “I’d rather see what they’re doing and maybe when I get my feet wet,” Alexander said, she would suggest certain issues or proposals Council should address.

The new Council member said that she did not know whether she would run for election in November, saying that she would “see how this goes” first.

For 10 years she worked as the office manager at Klein Associates, and has also worked at the Yellow Springs Library and for the Yellow Springs school district as assistant to the treasurer. For several years Alexander owned a home-based business, MJ’s Typing Service.

In 1996, she graduated with a BA in business management from Antioch University McGregor, which, she said, gave her the confidence to join the Village Council. “If you finish the McGregor School you can finish anything,” she said.

Currently Alexander volunteers as a third-grade reading partner at Mills Lawn School and at the Senior Center. She is also a student in the first Yellow Springs Leadership Institute program, which provides leadership training for people interested in civic service and community service.

Alexander and her husband, William, who is retired from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, have been married for 42 years. They have four children, who graduated from Yellow Springs High School.

—Robert Mihalek