XENIA — Sarah Mays has a plan for her second year as Xenia mayor.
It’s all about relationships.
“If were going to move forward as a community, we need to work as a team with our county and our surrounding communities,” Mays said. “We have to have those partnerships to succeed. We have to.”
That’s why she has met with and will continue to meet with City Manager Brent Merriman, County Administrator Brandon Huddleson and County Commissioner Tom Koogler every couple months. Mays has also visited with Xenia Township Trustee Susan Spradlin as well.
“I’ve worked hard to build some bridges with the commissioners,” Mays said. “I want to build on relationships. That’s how I view the rest of council. We don’t all see eye-to-eye, but it’s incredibly important that we work as a team and keep the lines of communication open. I’m interested in all of us working together for the sake of the community. We can talk about development until we’re blue in the face. If we aren’t all on the same page, we aren’t going to develop. I feel like it’s my responsibility to set that tone.”
While looking ahead, Mays also took a look back at her first year as mayor — a year in which she took over for Marsha Bayless who was a well-liked, and well-respected council member.
“The first few months, I did feel that pressure,” Mays said. “She has such an incredible reputation.”
But making the transition from council member to mayor was fairly easy for Mays even though she was following the popular Bayless.
“I thoroughly enjoyed people, representing the city,” Mays said. “I have enjoyed the different events I’ve been privileged to attend and represent Xenia. You go to ribbon cuttings and you meet people and you meet business owners. At the store, someone approached me the other day at Walmart, they said ‘you’re the mayor, right?’ It was a nice conversation. It’s given me a different avenue to use my voice.”
She and husband, Adam, have also found ways to include children, Freddy and Layla, in some of the events.
“My kids like to bring their own scissors now to ribbon cuttings,” Mays said. “People have been extremely gracious with my family. My kids are rock starts at times. That’s a huge privilege. My kids have responded to it better than I expected. It’s been really educational for them. I would say they know a lot more about city government than any other child their age. I will say I am very protective of my family, but I have enjoyed being able to include them in as many ways as I can.”
Mays also wants to include citizens as often as she can.
“If people have some specific questions or concerns, please talk to me,” she said. “Talk to any of us. I have met with everybody who has requested to meet with me.”
Mays won’t make any promises.
“(But) I am open to conversation,” she said.
After all, Mays wants what all citizens want.
“How do we keep building for a better future,” she said.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.