Exiting Fairfield mayor, council members honored for their years of service

Before the four new members of Fairfield City Council take their oaths of office, the current council honored on Monday the four leaving the dais at year’s end.

Mayor Steve Miller honored Councilmembers Mark Scharringhausen, Chad Oberson and Bill Woeste for their years of service.

“As we always do, this is the last meeting of the year and there’s a few of us that won’t be back next year,” Miller said.

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Scharringhausen did not seek election for the term he was appointed to on March 9, 2020 ― filling the unexpired term for the late Councilmember Ron D’Epifanio ― and Oberson and Woeste faced term limits and must step down for a least two years before they would consider seeking another term on City Council.

Scharringhausen had previously served 16 collective years on City Council before his 2020 appointment, serving first from December 1987 to November 1995 and then from January 1998 to December 2005.

Miller called Scharringhausen, Oberson, and Woeste each “a true public servant.”

Scharringhausen served on the Fairfield Forward Comprehensive Plan steering committee before his 2020 council appointment. During his third stint on council, he served as the council’s public safety committee chair and an advocate for the city’s police and fire departments.

Miller proclaimed Dec. 15, 2021, as “Councilman Mark Scharringhausen Day” in the city of Fairfield.

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Oberson served two consecutive terms, beginning in January 2014, and Miller said he “is willing and ready to serve the citizens of Fairfield, Ohio in any way he can.” During his time he was council’s public works committee chair, a member of the city’s design review committee member, supported countless public works improvements across the city.

Miller proclaimed Dec. 16, 2021, as “Councilman Chad Oberson Day” in the city of Fairfield.

Woeste, who served as vice mayor, served the city for two consecutive terms beginning in January 2014, was council’s development services committee chair. Among other boards and committees, Woeste was also council’s representative on planning commission, an OKI board of director member, a Fairfield Forward Comprehensive Plan steering committee member, and led the Fairfield Opioid Task Force.

Miller proclaimed Dec. 17, 2021, as “Councilman Bill Woeste Day” in the city of Fairfield.

The mayor also pointed out Woeste’s perfect attendance record, something Miller can’t recall ever happening.

“I don’t know if anyone else has ever done that,” Miller said. “That’s amazing. It’s almost impossible to make every one of these meetings.”

Then Woeste turned the tables on Miller and did something “I don’t know has ever been done in the city of Fairfield.”

“I can’t ever remember anyone telling me that the City Council has ever had a proclamation for the mayor of the city,” said Woeste. “And no one is more deserving of a proclamation than you are.”

Miller was first served the city from January 1998 to December 2007 as the 4th Ward council member, and during that time served as acting mayor from May 2005 to December 2006. He was elected as mayor in 2014 and served two additional terms.

“Mayor Miller has supported the Fairfield community in numerous ways during his tenure,” Woeste said. “He has been an unwavering advocate for local businesses.”

Among his accomplishments, Woeste pointed out his support for the FurField Dog Park, the creation of the Fairfield Farmer’s Market, and the city’s first modern roundabout, along with various projects that improved the city. He also has been a fierce local business advocate, including starting the Fairfield Business Spotlight (initially called the Mayor’s Tour) highlighting some of the city’s small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Woeste, on behalf of the City Council, proclaimed Dec. 14, 2021, as “Mayor Steve Miller Day” in the city of Fairfield.

After the fanfare of proclamations, Councilmember Terry Senger told the mayor and exiting council members, “It’s really been a pleasure serving with each and every one of you four.”

“When you run for council and you run for mayor, I really believe that everyone wants to serve, to do the best for the community, and what they see is the best thing to do, and I think we’re a good example of that.”

On Dec. 27, mayor-elect Mitch Rhodus and councilmembers-elect Gwen Bril, Matt Davidson, and Tim Meyers will take their oaths of office at noon inside the theater at the Fairfield Community Arts Center.

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