Lee returns as Piqua mayor


By Eamon Baird

[email protected]

PIQUA — Kris Lee was elected to be the new mayor of the city of Piqua, along with Jim Vetter as the next vice mayor by the Piqua City Commission. Also, two new commissioners were sworn-in during the commission meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 2.

Paul Simmons took the oath of office for ward two and Frank DeBrosse in ward five. Each of the five commissioners will serve until Dec. 31, 2027, except Thomas Hohman, of ward four, who will serve until Dec. 31, 2025.

According to the city of Piqua government website, the mayor of Piqua is also known as the president of the commission; they must be one of the five commissioners and are appointed by a vote of the five commissioners to serve a two-year term. Lee previously served as mayor from 2020 to 2022.

During the commissioner’s comments section, Lee addressed the residents of Piqua and other commissioners.

“I’d like to thank my fellow commissioners for electing me to this position of mayor again,” Lee said. “This job is nothing unless the citizens have a say as to what goes on.”

Lee also talked about the organization, a citizen-run committee called Piqua Focus, where ideas can come from the residents of Piqua.

“If we don’t listen to what you guys are saying, then we aren’t doing our job,” Lee added.

DeBrosse and Simmons addressed residents during their first meeting as new commissioners.

“As a lifelong resident of the city of Piqua, it is an honor and a privilege to sit up here and to not only represent you all but to work for you all,” DeBrosse said.

“Thank you for placing your trust in me. I hope to do well by you in the coming four years. If I don’t, come find me and let me know.” Simmons said.

The commissioners unanimously approved the following resolutions:

• To show appreciation for the public service of Brent E. Pohlschneider, who retired after 31 years with the Piqua Fire Department.

• For the city manager to enter into an agreement for liability and property coverage for Piqua’s hydraulic canal and lakes through Associated Electric & Gas Insurance Service Ltd. for $127,226.

• To Purchase special liability insurance for Piqua’s combustion turbines through Chubb Insurance for $145,000.

• To vacate a public easement from Lakewood Place to Echo Lake because the easement is currently un-utilized and does not serve the public interest to remain.

• To redo the boundary of a right-of-way of two lots on Homer Drive to construct and improve the roadway.

• To redo the boundary of a right-of-way on Scarborough Road.

During the public comment section of the meeting, Piqua residents wished good luck to the new regime of commissioners.

“I’d like to thank all the incoming commissioners for your willingness to help our community. With the beginning of a new year, I am hopeful for a better chapter with positive changes in our community,” Debbie Stein said. “With honest answers and integrity from our commissioners, we are hopeful there will be a positive change.”

Several residents also expressed annoyance with trash not being picked up at residences and the high cost of the electric demand meter on small businesses in Piqua.

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