PIQUA — In an effort to recognize Mayor Lucy Fess’s contributions to and presence in the Piqua community, a Farewell Reception will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 15, from 5-7 p.m. before the regular city of Piqua Commission meeting.
Fess is being honored and thanked for her many years of service to the city of Piqua as mayor and city commissioner, which began in January 1992. Fess first took office as commissioner and mayor from 1992 to 1996.
After 1996, Fess took a break from serving in office to work as the economic development director in Piqua for six years. She was then elected as a commissioner again in 2008, then mayor in 2010.
Prior to serving the community as commissioner and mayor, she was a frequent volunteer for the schools and the hospital.
Becky Cool, who has worked as the clerk of commission since 1989, has been friends with Fess for 40 years.
“I’ve worked with her a long time,” Cool said. “She’s very personable. She’s a great spokesperson for the city of Piqua.”
Cool said that Fess has done many things for Piqua, and Cool has enjoyed working with her in addition to being a close friend and neighbor.
“I enjoyed working with her,” Cool said. “We got really close when she became a mayor and commissioner.”
Cool added, “I’m going to miss her, but I know Kazy [Hinds] is going to do a wonderful job.”
Kathryn “Kazy” Hinds will be taking office as a commissioner and mayor in January 2016. Cool said that she has faith that Hinds will continue “bringing life back to Piqua.”
“It’s going to be different; [Fess has] been here for a long time,” Cool said. “She took a break in between … We were all happy that she came back.”
Cool remembered when the commission agendas had to be hand-typed before the time of computers.
“I had to deliver them to all of the commissioners,” Cool said. “She was always pleasant.”
Cool went on, saying, “She’s a wonderful friend and a very important person in my life. I can’t say enough about her … She’s done so many things for the city. You think of Lucy and you think of the city.”
Community members are encouraged to stop by at the Farewell Reception to show their appreciation. “Stop by and wish her well,” Cool said, adding that people do not have to stay for the whole reception.
“She has been a good watchdog for the citizens,” Cool said. Cool noted that Fess has done a good job of keeping residents appraised of what’s going on and “that we’re not doing anything that the public’s not aware of.”
“She was always ready to answer questions,” Cool said. “She didn’t mind getting phone calls.”
Cool added that all of the commissioners are like that. As someone serving on the commission, “you’re working for the citizens,” she said.
According to Cool, Fess knew that. Cool explained that if a resident contacted Fess about an issue and she did not know the answer, Fess would find someone at the city who did.
“She’s a very loving and giving person, that’s for sure,” Fess said.
The reception will be held at the municipal building, located at 201 W. Water St. in Piqua.
Reach reporter Sam Wildow at (937) 451-3336 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall