By: Bri Hallman
The City of Findlay is sending off one of their own after serving the people of Hancock County for the past seven years.
Republican governor-elect Mike DeWine chose Mayor Lydia Mihalik to head the Development Services Agency as a result of what she has done during her terms as mayor.
While she looks forward to the position, she said, “It was a very difficult decision because I really enjoy what I do here.”
The first female mayor in Findlay’s history and has served numerous community programs like the Hancock County Red Cross and the Hancock County Agency on Aging. DeWine’s decision to appoint Mihalik is unique because his other appointees have been members of his current staff.
Mayor Lydia Mihalik, a 2002 UF political science graduate and All-Conference GLIAC basketball player, is someone who embodies the University of Findlay’s mission: “Meaningful lives. Productive careers.” She was awarded the Old Main Award in 2010 by the University of Findlay for “demonstrating distinctive achievements in a chosen career, civic involvement and/or service to the University.”
DeWine has emphasized the need for representation of Ohio’s local government system. He has been guided by the Ohio Mayors Alliance who stressed the importance of local and state government cooperation.
“I think my experience relative to community and economic development over my career, certainly the success that we’ve been able to pull together specifically in Findlay, should relate very well to what the state of Ohio could potentially do,” Mihalik said.
When elected as mayor in 2011, she walked into a government that was $7 million in debt. She left her office the second week of the new year and left enough cash reserves to off-set future deficits. She leaves behind a legacy in the beautification of downtown Findlay, a new Dorney Plaza, the installation of the Miracle League inclusive baseball field, and most notably, the beginning of construction to help reduce flood levels.
Regarding flood mitigation, “We have substantive conversations happening with all stakeholders, which I’m very happy about,” said Mihalik. “It’s not an ‘us versus them’ mentality anymore.”
Mihalik resigned Sunday, Jan. 13, and the acting mayor Ron Monday began the day after. Mihalik left him with simple advice for the next year.
“Trust your gut and do big things.”