MOUNT GILEAD — Mike Porter devoted a lot of time to the village over the past 12 years. Now he plans to relax and be a doting grandfather.
“A little bit of relaxation and a lot less evening meetings,” he said as village officials, friends and neighbors visited during an open house Jan. 21 at village hall.
Porter, who lost his re-election bid last November after having served three terms, was recognized prior to village council’s meeting that evening.
“You don’t have near as many headaches to worry about,” he said. “We’ve taken a couple trips up to Michigan since I retired. You can enjoy the family a little bit more.”
The newest member of that family is two-month-old granddaughter Cora.
“I’m sure we are going to watch her some. I’m not ready to be a full-time nanny, but we’ll do day care for her. We have 4 other grandsons from age 15 on down to the newborn one.”
Porter is proud of some accomplishments, including “weathering the financial storm that hit with the Great Recession we had right after I took office.”
“We had a very strong council that was adamant about not cutting services,” he said.
He said he’s leaving the village with about $400,000 more in the general fund and a little more than a million dollars overall than when he began his first term.
He also pointed to the storm sewer and water projects as major tasks completed during his tenure.
“We got federal grants and, in some cases, loans. We paid off the water plant and paid the sewer plant down to a little over half. We are sitting in decent financial shape, but there are still a lot of things that need to be done. If they continue to move forward frugally there shouldn’t be any issues.”
Veteran council member Kay Hines says she’ll miss working with Porter.
“Mike has been a very dedicated individual to the village and has made some improvements. We wish Mike the very best in whatever he does,” she said.
With a new fire chief and village administrator coming on board last year, Porter exits amid a changing of the village guard.
“It’s a little bittersweet. I plan on keeping my sales job about another year and a half until my wife retires. Then we will do more traveling,” he said.
Another council member, Donna Carver, mentioned one project in particular that Porter has spearheaded.
“Mike has a huge heart. When he took the office one of the first things he said was he wanted to do something for the community. So that’s when he started Mayor Mike’s Food Drive. I always thought that was a fantastic thing for him to do,” she said.
“He did a lot for the village.”