PIQUA — There were only good words to be said and heartfelt hugs to be given at the farewell reception for Mayor Lucy Fess. With more than two decades of service to the city, community members and officials gathered Tuesday evening to thank her and say goodbye.
“I’m just proud of her for what she’s accomplished,” Fess’s husband Bob Fess said.
Bob Fess said that Lucy Fess’s retirement will give them “a little more freedom” to travel to Florida in the winter like they like. While it has not interfered too much with seeing their family, they will also have more freedom in that as well.
“She’s done a nice job,” community member Ed Purk said. “She’s been devoted to Piqua all her life.” Purk has been a longtime family friend of Fess.
“She’s absolutely dedicated to the city and loves Piqua,” Piqua City Manager Gary Huff said.
Huff added that he saw Fess’s love for Piqua during his initial interview with her for the position of city manager, and her enthusiasm helped him decide to come to Piqua next in his career.
“She’s always been wonderful,” executive director Jennifer Welker at WOTVC said, commending Fess for being “an avid supporter of access television.”
“She’s had a very fine career,” Miami County Commissioner Bud O’Brien said. “She’ll be missed.”
“Lucy (Fess) has had a tremendous run,” Miami County Commissioner Jack Evans said, stating that she has been a good leader for Piqua.
“She had done a fabulous job for our city,” the Rev. Kazy Hinds, Fess’s successor, said. Hinds will be taking over Fess’s role as commissioner and mayor in January, and Hinds stated that she will have some “big shoes” to fill.
“I’m honored to follow in her footsteps,” Hinds said.
“It’s just kind of overwhelming,” Fess said about all of the appreciation and support she was receiving during her reception. “I love all these people … It’s been a great ride.”
Fess added that it was due to all of the people in attendance at her reception who helped make her tenure in Piqua good one.
The reception was held before Fess’s final Piqua City Commission meeting Tuesday evening.
NOTE: The coverage of the Tuesday, Dec. 15, Piqua City Commission meeting will be in the Thursday edition of the Piqua Daily Call.
Reach reporter Sam Wildow at (937) 451-3336 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall