Robertson, McCord vie for mayor’s seat

By Aimee Hancock - Miami Valley Sunday News

COVINGTON — Covington Mayor Ed McCord is running contested in this year’s mayoral race for the first time since 2011, running for re-election against former councilwoman Joyce Robertson.

McCord was voted into office in 2010 to complete the unexpired term of the late Gary Bell. In 2011, McCord ran for re-election against Kay McKinney, ultimately winning, and in 2015, he ran unopposed.

Born in Portsmouth and raised in Ashville, McCord graduated from Teays Valley High School and received a Bachelor’s Degree in education from Ohio University. He later earned a Master’s Degree from Wright State University.

McCord first moved to Covington in 1975, accepting a teaching position with the Covington Exempted Village School District. He worked as a teacher, coach, and administrator with the district until 1985 when he left the village to pursue a career as a school administrator.

From 1985 to 2002, McCord was principal of Ayersville High School in Defiance; Madison Plains High School in London; and Hilliard Heritage Middle School in Hilliard. In 2002, he returned to Covington, working as the Piqua Junior High School principal until 2009.

From 2009 to 2013, McCord said he worked for Virtual Community School of Ohio in Reynoldsburg, serving as a “director over satellite schools.” For a brief period in 2013, McCord said he worked for Education Innovations International, an LLC created in 2012 by his brother, James McCord, for the purpose of creating and managing a string of charter schools within the Dayton and Columbus areas.

While working for EII, McCord said he was responsible for “setting up” the charter schools, known as Olympus Schools, and for hiring staff members. Scheduled to open in August 2013, the schools were closed by October of that year amid financial issues.

Since 2013, McCord has held no other occupation aside from mayor of Covington. He said he is seeking re-election because of his appreciation for the village.

“I have great pride in the village of Covington and its small town values and traditions. It is a wonderful place to live and raise a family,” he said. “I am seeking re-election to continue to move the village forward and in a positive direction, while maintaining our small town values.”

McCord said his goals for office, if re-elected, include providing a safe community for citizens and implementing “sound fiscal accountability,” as well as seeing through several projects, including phase two and three of the comprehensive park plan, and continuation of the sidewalk replacement program.

Currently, the greatest need in the village, McCord said, is to complete the High Street reconstruction project, as well as to implement the Downtown Redevelopment District.

“We are not only seeking to attract new businesses, but to grow and expand the businesses we already have within our village,” he said.

McCord lives in Covington with his wife of 36 years, Lisa. He has three children and eight grandchildren.

Mayoral candidate Joyce Abshire Robertson was born and raised in Covington, graduating from Covington High School in 1969. Robertson earned an Associate’s Degree in history and science from Edison State Community College, as well as an Associate’s Degree in business/public administration from Northern Virginia Community College.

From February 1970 to March 3, 1983, Robertson said she was employed by the Central Intelligence Agency in multiple capacities before ending her career to be a full-time mom.

While her children were young, Robertson ran an at-home secretarial service. She later worked for Fairfax County Schools. Other career ventures include work as a paralegal and within Miami County’s tax department.

In April of 2007, Robertson began working at Upper Valley Career Center (then named the JVS). She worked in various roles here, including as a teacher, substitute secretary, BCI/FBI coordinator, and records retention specialist.

Robertson retired from the JVS in 2011 and worked seasonally for the Miami County Board of Elections.

Beginning in January of 2010, Robertson served on the Covington Village Council. During election season 2017, issues with ballot petitions left the council responsible for appointing candidates to the open seats during its first regular meeting of 2018. Robertson was not re-appointed.

If elected to mayor, Robertson said her first priority is to get council members “more involved” with citizens.

“I want (members) out there talking with the people they were elected by — the people they are supposed to represent,” she said. “I will ask each of the six council members to report at each meeting the concerns of people in our community, (like) the business managers and citizens they have interacted with since the prior meeting. And I, as mayor, will do the same.”

Robertson said she would also meet “one-on-one” with each village employee and put a focus on dialing back the village’s spending.

“I want (employees) to feel free to express themselves completely, without reservation, and without fear of backlash,” she said. “And, I want to reign in spending; I want to review all contracts to see where we can tighten our belts so we are not having to raise rates, fees, and taxes.”

Other village issues Robertson said she would focus on include utility costs and debt.

“I want to encourage frugal use of village resources and minimize debt as much as possible,” she said. “I don’t like spending more than needed and have been able to live completely debt-free since March 1, 2004.”

Robertson lives in Covington with her husband of 47 years, Dwayne. She has three children and three grandchildren.

By Aimee Hancock

Miami Valley Sunday News

Reach the writer at © 2019 Miami Valley Sunday News, all rights reserved.

Reach the writer at © 2019 Miami Valley Sunday News, all rights reserved.