Mark Kohls - Putnam Sentinel
Mark Kohls

COLUMBUS GROVE — “Just by doing the math, that puts him here for over 400 meetings,” said Columbus Grove Mayor Ken Wright at the beginning of Monday evening’s village council meeting. Council member Jim Karcher to quiped, to much laughter, “It only seems like 200.” The subject of conversation was fellow council member Mark Kohls, who was attending his final council meeting as an official member following 17 years of service to the village. “On behalf of the village, I want to thank you for your service,” said Wright.

“Thank you,” Kohls responded. “It’s been mostly interesting and a learning experience. Most people around town think you’ve got a few guys that keep the snow plowed, keep the leaves picked up and work around the streets, but don’t really have any idea what actually goes into running a village like this. It was amazing to me how much in-depth things there are, and really, the amount of money we’re responsible for…The village has been in good hands. Looking around the table, and with [incoming council member] Greg [Heckel] stepping-in, the village will continue to be in good hands. It’s been fun. It’s been interesting.”

“We just want to make sure you understood that we appreciate you,” continued Wright. “And, you are welcome to come and sit in one of those seats if you want to serve in the future.”

“I’d like to personally say thank you,” said Pete Langhals, who is now the longest-serving member of the village council. “I learned a lot from you, and I appreciate the diligence you gave to the village’s finances in particular. You made sure we kept the ship steering in the right direction.”

Although Police Chief Sean Hiler was unable to attend the council meeting due to an illness, he did pass along a message through officer Jesse Meyers, thanking Kohls for his consistent and vocal support of the police department.

Later, council member Brian Schroeder, one of the newer members of the village council, praised Kohls expertise and assistance, saying, “Mark talked about his years of service, I know I felt a little overwhelmed when I joined council…I appreciate everyone’s patience in just helping me learn about the job in order to do it better. This is especially true for Mark. Any question that I asked, even if I asked the same question multiple times, you were always good about helping me and teaching me the ropes. I appreciate your patience, experience and all of your years service.”

“You just try to think what’s best for the village and how to keep the village going strong,” reflected Kohls. “Just like at home, there’s a balance between how nice we want things and how much we can afford things. You guys have all been a pleasure to work with.”

The council then turned to the village’s business for the evening, discussing and approving payment for the final bills of the year. Bills which Kohls dutifully questioned before council’s unamious approval.