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Columbiana mayor plans retirement

COLUMBIANA — With the election approaching, Mayor Bryan Blakeman didn’t want to make any political comments at Tuesday’s city council meeting. However, he did take time at the end of the meeting to share with council that he would be stepping down from his position as mayor at the end of the year.

Blakeman said the decision was made regardless of the results of the election, where he is running for county treasurer against Linda Bolon.

An emotional Blakeman reflected on council’s accomplishments during his term and thanked all of the sitting councilmen for their friendships.

“In the past eight years, we’ve accomplished the DORA, CRA, received Nicest Place in America and more,” Blakeman said. “One of the biggest accomplishments is how we’ve all worked together and how things have changed since we started.”

Because next year is an election year for the mayor’s seat, Blakeman said knowing that there is even a chance he couldn’t fulfill it for that whole year, his intention is to step down before the end of December. Blakeman will remain mayor for four more council meetings until Council President Rick Noel will take over the mayor’s seat.

Blakeman also wanted to let council know why he is making the decision to step down.

“I believe in term limits, and I have from day one,” Blakeman said. “It’s why I served one term on council. If a president can affect a country in eight years, no one needs to be in this position for more than that.”

Councilman Dan Dattilio thanked Blakeman for his service to the city and said he has learned a lot from him.

“I’ll just say thank you for your service,” Dattilio said. “We’ve butted heads a few times, but I’ve learned a lot from you. So, I want to tell you have much I appreciate what you’ve taught me over the past couple of years.”

Blakeman said he will be making more formal statements as time goes on, but he wanted to give council some time to prepare for the changes that need to be made.

Council will meet during its next regularly scheduled council meeting at 7 p.m. Nov. 3.

slendak@mojonews.com

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