Council Member Rob Wile participated in his final meeting in that position earlier this month, after eight years in office.
He was praised by colleagues and City Manager Joshua Smith as a savvy, thoughtful leader who helped chart the city’s successful development course during that time.
“Rob Wile is, first and foremost, an incredible visionary,” Smith said recently. “Second of all, he has a very quiet, but steely resolve about him, and there have been a few times where I was willing to capitulate on something and he insisted that we stand firm, and I think in every instance, he was right and I was wrong. And he’s going to be missed, because he forces people to see the big picture.”
Wile did not seek re-election. Michael Ryan was elected in November to fill his seat.
“I cannot be, possibly, any more proud of playing a small part in really changing the trajectory of the city,” Wile said in an interview. “I’m going to miss it a lot. I can tell you that. But I think we’ve got things moving in the right direction, and Joshua’s built an amazing team.”
As he looks back in his two four-year terms, he’s most proud to have been part of a successful city team, he said. That includes, Wile added, being:
- “Part of the team that chose Kathleen Klink to fill a vacancy on council. She has been tremendous.”
- “Part of the team that recruited Joshua to come here.”
- One of the city leaders, led by Mayor Pat Moeller, who decided, “we needed to have, foundationally, the answer to the question of where we’re going and why.”
“I think those three moves — Kathleen, Joshua, and insisting that we have a plan — everything else cascades from that,” Wile said. “Projects are wonderful. There’s huge opportunities in front of the city for things in the next six months, six years, 20 years, but having those places in place — strong teamwork on council, and Joshua’s amazing. I mean that. I don’t know how he does all that he does.”
Wile will continue to work in his day job. He’s a partner at United Heartland Insurance Agency, which has offices in Hamilton and Blue Ash. He also plans to reconnect with family and friends and travel more. He and others at the city expect him to remain very involved in the community, including with city panels.
Vice Mayor Carla Fiehrer credited Wile for being an important force behind the hiring of Smith, perhaps the person who most recognized the energy Smith could bring to the job.
Moeller thanked Wile for his leadership with various projects and his attention to detail.
During Wile’s final meeting, he showed his zany side by giving silly gifts to colleagues — including a T-shirt for Klink, a walking enthusiast, that asked the question, “Would a Fly Without Wings be Called a Walk?”
During the meeting, he also asked Fire Chief Steve Dawson, a fellow 1973 Taft High School graduate “Will you sign my yearbook?” as he produced a yearbook for the signature.
Smith, who has been involved in city governments for 18 years, said, “It’s often easy to do a short-term thing that the public wants, versus have the resolve to say, ‘No, this might feel good in the short-term, but in the long-term, this is not the right thing to do.’ And because he has forced us at time to look longer-term, Hamilton residents and businesses for generations will benefit from that.”