Fairfield City Council member Debbie Pennington takes on a familiar role as she enters her final year on Council before term limits set in: Vice Mayor.
Pennington ran unopposed in her two elections in 2011 and 2015 for the Third Ward City Council seat, which represents those residents and businesses south of Nilles Road, to the east of Ohio 127 and to the west of South Gilmore Road
This is the second time the Third Ward council member takes on the role of being Mayor Steve Miller’s vice mayor.
“It is an honor and a privilege, and a big responsibility that I don’t take lightly to represent the city of Fairfield,” said the 65-year-old Fairfield Realtor. “I do my best to stay well-informed, and to be a good listener so that I may make the right choice for the betterment of our community.”
Pennington looks forward to this year with new businesses opening, the further development of the city’s parks — namely Marsh and Harbin parks — and a new dog park.
While she doesn’t have a singular issue she pushes, she does want to make sure the quality of life is high enough where people and businesses want to move to the city.
“We have so much to offer here in Fairfield,” she said. “I want to give that Realtor’s aspect to keep people here.”
Miller chose Pennington to be vice mayor because “she did an excellent job” when she held the title in 2015, and believes she’ll do “an excellent job” again as she serves her last year on council before having to sit out for at least two years.
Miller said Pennington will run some of the meetings he can’t attend, as well as be the face of the city at some events.
“A lot of times I have to be at two or three different places at the same time, so that’s where I’ll rely on Debbie to represent the city,” Miller said.
Pennington said she hopes the lessons she learned as a Girl Scout have shone through.
“I was always taught that you leave it a little better than when you got there,” she said. “The only thing I want, that I like to see from helping others is a smile. That’s my reward.”
Pennington hasn’t ruled out a return to City Council after she sits out until at least the 2021 election, but will serve the city even if it’s not on City Council.
“I’m always going to be serving somewhere,” she said. “You just never know what tomorrow’s going to bring. I go where I’m needed.”