Willman named mayor


GREENVILLE — A group of Treaty City Republicans has chosen a new mayor for the City of Greenville.

Greenville City Councilman Steve Willman was chosen by Greenville Republican precinct chairs Thursday evening to fill the unexpired term of former Mayor Mike Bowers, who left the mayorship August 31 to take the job of Economic Development Director with the Community Improvement Corporation of Darke County.

Bowers was reelected mayor in November 2015 and began his third four-year term this past January. In the interim period between Bowers’ departure and the swearing in of Willman, Greenville Council President John Burkett has served as the city’s acting mayor.

Willman was first elected to Greenville City Council in November. He is a 1971 Greenville High School graduate and a longtime board member of the Greenville High School Alumni Association.

Married for almost 45 years to (Greenville City Auditor) Roxanne Willman, the couple has three children — Molly, Matt and Mark — and six grandchildren.

Willman worked at Corning in Greenville until its closure in 2002. From there he worked at Faurecia Equipment in Troy, Ohio, before taking a part-time position at Club 7 Sports in Greenville.

A registered Republican, Willman has been a member of the Darke County GOP’s Central Committee for about six years.

Willman is a member of the Elks, a longtime member of the Darke County United Way board of directors, and is president of the Greenville Boys & Girls Club. He also previously served on the Greenville Board of Education.

In addition to Willman, six other candidates submitted their names in hopes of being selected as mayor, including Greenville City Council members Doug Schmidt and Tracy Tryon; John Hensley, chairman of the City of Greenville Civil Service Commission; JoEllen Melling, president of the Darke County Republican Women’s Club; Kathy Beam owner of the Flower Patch; and Dr. Steve Gruber, education professor at Cedarville University.

Dave Kaiser, chairman of the Darke County Republican Central Committee said, “This was a very tough decision for the precinct chairs as all of the candidates were very qualified.”

Willman will take his position as mayor as soon as a swearing-in ceremony is scheduled.

The precinct chairs also selected Cindy Austen as the City of Greenville’s new treasurer, replacing former Treasurer Barbara Fee, who resigned from the position July 29. Austen will fill the remainder of Fee’s term, which runs to the end of 2017. Esther Schmidt had also received consideration.

Though the Darke County Republican Party Central Committee vetted the candidates and submitted its recommendations, the mayor and treasurer were chosen by 10 Republican precinct chairs living within Greenville’s city limits.

Austen named treasurer

By Erik Martin

[email protected]

The writer may be reached at 937-569-4314. Join the conversation and get updates on Facebook search Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com

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