Departing mayor, councilor reflect on council’s accomplishments


Photo taken from the city’s video of the council meeting

Oxford Mayor Mike Smith and Councilor Edna Southard recounted their time in office at the Nov. 15 meeting of city council. It was the last council meeting for both, as they were term-limited from running for re-election this year and their terms expire next week.

By Meagan Holloway-Ragland

Nov. 15  marked the last Oxford City Council meeting for Mayor Mike Smith and Councilor Edna Southard, whose terms end next week. 

In remarks at the meeting, Southard reflected on the accomplishments of the city that she took part in during her eight years on council. This list includes, but is not limited to, the purchase of the old Lane Library building which was converted to city offices, the renovation of the fire and police stations, creation of the Oxford Area Trails System (OATS),  improvements in general infrastructure, efforts towards climate action and environmental efforts, public health initiatives, smoke alarm standards and installing defibrillators around town, improvement in communications, an increase local historical awareness and the establishment of a sister city relationship with Differdange, Luxembourg, where Miami University has a satellite campus.

 “One of the things I learned is that we have a really good local government,” Southard said. “The people who work here are dedicated and really care a lot, and that makes a huge difference.”

Smith expressed his thanks to his fellow city council members and members of staff. 

“You’ve been a great joy to work with, it really has been my pleasure to work with all of you,” he said. Smith has also spent eight years on the city council. He and Southard both were term-limited from running again this year.  

On Tuesday, Nov. 23, the council will have an organizational meeting at 7 p.m. to swear in newly-elected council members Alex French and Amber Franklin, as well as re-elected council members Chantel Raghu and David Prytherch. 

The new council also will also be selecting the next mayor and vice mayor from among their number. Under the city charter, the mayor presides over council meetings and is the “ceremonial head” of the city. Administrative authority rests with the city manager, who is hired by council.  The vice mayor presides over meetings when the mayor is absent.

 “Although it was not a cliffhanger election, to be honest, it was exactly the right people who should’ve been elected,” said Vice Mayor Bill Snavely to councilor-elects French and Franklin at Tuesday’s meeting. “You will do wonderful things for the city.”