Salem council president gavels down last meeting, says goodbye with poem

SALEM – City Council President Mickey Cope Weaver banged her gavel for the last time Tuesday, ending the meeting with her own rendition of Clement C. Moore’s famous poem about a visit from St. Nick.

Starting with the line “Twas eight days before Christmas,” the rhyming story touched on each council member, administrator and city department and a few city workers by name and followed the typical council meeting format.

“I wish now to simply say may God bless you and keep you in his sight! Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night,” she said.

Weaver chose not to run for re-election to the post she’s held the past four years, instead unsuccessfully seeking a seat as a Perry Township Trustee. She said she doesn’t know for sure what she’s going to do now, but plans to stay involved in the community.

“I have so enjoyed the past four years,” she said.

Weaver praised city workers in all departments, saying she was proud of their commitment and the way they go above and beyond what’s required to provide the services to the citizens. She said they set the bar high. She also praised the administration.

Everyone from Mayor John Berlin to Law Director Brooke Zellers, all the council members and several other administrators delivered their sentiments about Weaver’s service and the service of outgoing city Treasurer Bob Tullis, who chose retirement over seeking another term.

Many thanks and testimonials were offered during Reports of City Officials and Pleasure of Council for both of them for the way they went about their duties. Service/Safety Director Ken Kenst highlighted some of Weaver’s volunteer efforts and said she’ll remain involved in the public relations program for storm water management.

Councilman K. Bret Apple, who won election to the President of Council seat unopposed, commented that after hearing all the praise heaped on Weaver, “I really do feel like I have big shoes to fill – no pressure at all.”

Apple said he’s working on his list for committee assignments and will announce them during the first meeting in January, set for 7 p.m. Jan. 7.

In another goodbye, council approved a resolution commending city resident Royal Schiller for his dedicated service to the city Planning Commission for 27 years, with three years as vice chairman and 17 years as chairman. Schiller stepped down from commission, with Berlin appointing Robert Merry to fill the unexpired term which ends in 2016. Schiller had served from June 16, 1986 to Dec. 2 this year.