Klink, Von Stein praised as they leave Hamilton council

Kathleen Klink is a Hamilton City Council member. She previously was superintendent of the Lakota Local School District. GREG LYNCH / STAFF
Kathleen Klink is a Hamilton City Council member. She previously was superintendent of the Lakota Local School District. GREG LYNCH / STAFF

City Council members Kathleen Klink and Matt Von Stein were praised for their service Wednesday at their final meeting, unless an emergency matter requires another gathering.

“We couldn’t let this go by without doing something special here, at a meeting,” Mayor Pat Moeller said, before presenting Von Stein with a pen engraved with the years, 2016-2019, that he served.

Klink, who served 10 years on council after 47 years in education, was presented a key to the city.

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“Kathy, you brought to the table analysis, your career and life experience, and those words, ‘sense of place,’” Moeller told her. “I mean, you helped us understand what that meant.”

Moeller said her work to develop more of a strong and positive sense of place in Hamilton led to the 17Strong effort, which is helping strengthen the city’s 17 neighborhoods.

“You may have thought when you retired from education, you retired from teaching,” Moeller told her. “But no, you taught this council, and the prior one, what this is all about (the building of neighborhoods).”

City Manager Joshua Smith praised Klink for giving her time, money and talents to improve the city. Among other things, she walked all the city’s neighborhoods, engaging people in the 17Strong effort, he said.

Lindenwald-neighborhood resident Frank Downie said of Klink, “She’s small in stature, but she’s big in heart and she’s big in commitment.”

“I need to reinvent myself,” Klink said. “And I don’t know what I’m going to be, but I’m not leaving town, and I will see each and every one of you, day in and day out, because you are that important to me. And this, this is like unbelievable,” she said of the key. “I will treasure this forever, so thank you very much.”

Likewise, “I’m still going to be involved,” Von Stein said.

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“And of course, you can find me serving beer at the (RiversEdge) concerts,” Klink quipped later, as a photo of her doing just that, as a volunteer, was shown on screens in the council chambers.

Von Stein praised the two new members who won the November election, Susan Vaughn and Eric Pohlman, as sharp people who care about Hamilton, so the city is in good hands, he said.

ONE INCOMING COUNCIL MEMBER: Businessman Eric Pohlman running for Hamilton Council

THE OTHER NEW COUNCIL MEMBER: Susan Vaughn, former Miami University official, running for council