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Xenia code enforcement officer dies


XENIA — The City of Xenia is mourning the loss of a long-time employee.

Jeff Ziegler, 40, died unexpectedly Aug. 31 after a long career in Xenia. Ziegler served the city for nearly a decade and a half, starting as an intern and then as a full-time zoning enforcement officer and, more recently, code enforcement officer.

“His work enhanced and upheld Xenia’s quality of life, safety, property values and ability to attract and retain residents and businesses,” said Brian Forschner, Xenia’s planning director. “Jeff was a caring and dedicated public servant who was tirelessly eager to help others. Jeff was a friend to many city employees and built positive relationships with many community members. This sudden loss is shocking and saddening for the Xenia community.”

As code enforcement officer, Ziegler primarily included assistance with review/inspection of permits for new development and property improvements, enforcement of zoning regulations, and enforcement of property maintenance and vacant building registration regulations for commercial buildings.

He also volunteered to help with other city functions whenever his skills or perspective were needed, according to Forschner.

“Jeff was known to go the extra mile for anyone, whether it was helping a fellow staff member or helping a resident or business owner navigate the permitting process,” he said. “In enforcing the city’s zoning and property maintenance regulations, Jeff always focused on helping people find solutions rather than simply issuing violation notices. As examples, Jeff connected vacant building owners with prospective businesses and helped low-income property owners find volunteers to help repair their buildings. Jeff simply wanted to help people, and he wanted to help Xenia thrive.”

A post on the city’s Facebook page said, “Jeff was a dedicated, kind, and hardworking man who served the community with integrity for the past 14 years. We will sorely miss our friend.”

City Manager Brent Merriman called Ziegler’s death “a tremendous loss for the City of Xenia.”

“Not only was Jeff a vital part of our operations, he was a friend to many of our employees, and he was a friend to me,” Merriman said. “He will be sorely missed and we extend our thoughts and prayers to his family and loved ones during this difficult time.”

By Scott Halasz

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Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.