GREENVILLE — For the first time since January 2008, Greenville will have a new mayor.
Steve Willman took the oath of office at Greenville’s Municipal Building Tuesday evening, becoming the Treaty City’s new mayor.
With family and friends looking on, Willman was sworn in by Darke County Probate Court Judge Jason Aslinger.
Willman, 64, was chosen by Greenville’s Republican Party precinct chairs to fill the remaining term of outgoing Mayor Mike Bowers, who left August 31 to become Economic Development Director for the Community Improvement Corporation of Darke County. In the interim, from September 1 to 13, Greenville Council President John Burkett served as the city’s acting mayor.
Bowers was reelected to a third four-year term as mayor in November. Willman will serve the remainder of Bowers’ term through 2019.
“I’m kind of in shock,” Willman said, but also adding he is excited to have been chosen. “I’m certainly happy about it, no doubt.”
A 1971 graduate of Greenville High School, Willman has long been active in the community, as a member of the Elks, the Darke County United Way board of directors, and as president of the Greenville Boys & Girls Club. He has also held public office as a past member of the Greenville Board of Education, and until being selected as mayor, was a member of Greenville City Council since January of this year.
He is married to Greenville City Auditor Roxanne Willman. The couple has three children and six grandchildren.
When asked about his plans, Willman said he has no “big changes” in mind as he takes the mayorship.
“I’m not going to come in and change anything day one,” he said. “I’m still settling in.”
He does plan to quickly introduce himself to the citizens of Greenville and find out what’s on their minds.
“I want to get around to all the city employees first,” he said. “Then, I plan to stop in and see the businesses downtown and in the community. Stop in and let them know I’m here and create more communication between them and the city.”
Willman expressed his thanks to the Darke County Republican Party Central Committee, and in particular, Darryl Mehaffie.
“They do a lot of work, work that people don’t even realize,” he said. “And Darryl’s been very helpful.”
Local Republicans will have more work to do after choosing Willman for mayor, as well as Cindy Austen (who replaces Barbara Fee as city treasurer).
Dave Keiser, chairman of the Central Committee said local GOP leaders are preparing to fill Willman’s seat on city council, and the process will duplicate how Willman and Austen were selected.
“We will be taking names until September 23,” Keiser said. “We will then get a screening committee together. Then it will go before the precinct chairs to vote on. All of this will have to be done within 45 days from September 9.”