Meet Hamilton’s 2 new city council members, a pair of recent retirees

Hamilton’s two newest council members recently retired, but that doesn’t mean they plan to relax.

In fact, the two — Vice Mayor Eric Pohlman and Council Member Susan Vaughn — seem to define themselves partly through their work ethic.

“I was taught to work hard all my life by my father and my mother,” Pohlman said. “You don’t get anything unless you work hard at it, and I still believe that.”

The day after he was elected in November, he told his father, James Pohlman, he not only won but captured the most votes, making him vice mayor.

“Dad, I did it,” he said.

His father said he knew that would happen, because Eric was a hard worker.

Pohlman, who was named 2016 small business person of the year by the Greater Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, retired Jan. 1 after 40 years in the automobile service industry. He founded Eric’s Auto & Tire Service 22 years ago, and still advises similar companies.

Vaughn, meanwhile, retired in mid-2018 as director of Miami University’s Office of Ethics and Student Conflict Resolution, where she oversaw student discipline.

She told this media outlet in July she planned to treat the city council position, which pays $300 per year, as a full-time job.

“I retired a year ago. I wanted another job. I didn’t want to retire and quit,” Vaughn said after she won. “I’m looking for something where I can make a difference, and I think I found it. And I’m excited.”

Both Vaughn and Pohlman have thanked city staff for answering so many of their questions during, and since, the election campaign.

“It’s really an honor for me to serve with the people that are on city council, the newly elected, and the ones that are currently there, and the city leaders,” Vaughn said.

She’s looking forward to continuing the momentum in Hamilton and “take us to great places.”

“I certainly could have worked with any of them, but I’ve gotten to really know Eric and I’ve known Carla for years, and I think it’ll be a great, great team to continue to do what we need to do to make Hamilton the best it can be,” she said.

“There’s a lot of work to do,” Vaughn said.

As a result of his win, Pohlman had to leave the city’s Board of Zoning Appeals, which disappointed him, because he enjoyed volunteer work on the panel. On the other hand, he was pleased to be named the mayor’s alternate on the city’s planning commission.

“I can’t walk in there thinking I’m going to do everything in the world, set the world on fire,” Pohlman said. “I’ve got to collaborate with everybody, learn the system, learn what they do, learn from the experts.”

“I just hope I can hold up to what the vice mayor position is, and do everybody good,” he said.

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