Salem meeting takes an emotional turn

SALEM – City Council President Mickey Cope Weaver publicly thanked Columbiana County Republican Party Chairman David Johnson for asking her to run four years ago, but said there comes a time to walk away from the drama and those who create it.

“You surround yourself with people who make you laugh. You try to forget the ugliness of politics and focus on the good. You love the people who treat you right and you pray for the ones who don’t,” she said.

Weaver made the comments during the Pleasure of Council, the time at the end of the meeting when council members say whatever’s on their mind. She described her speech as her taking the high road.

She will be ending her term at the end of December. She chose not to seek re-election, saying if she ran for anything, it would be as an independent. She ended up running an unsuccessful bid for Perry Township trustee, a path that Councilman Jeff Cushman called challenging and a path that took guts. He urged her to stay involved.

Weaver broke down near the end of her presentation, saying, “Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is part of life. Getting up is living.”

Cushman and Councilman Brian Whitehill were both re-elected Tuesday and Councilman K. Bret Apple ran unopposed for the president’s chair. All three thanked family members, supporters and the voters and recognized those who ran and didn’t get what they were seeking. Apple said he has big shoes to fill, giving a nod to Weaver, who thanked all of her supporters.

All the council members, Law Director Brooke Zellers and Mayor John Berlin recognized all the candidates, both successful and unsuccessful, for their efforts. Councilman Dave Nestic, who also lost in the race for Perry Township trustee, said the results told him the city has some work to do to try to work with the township.

“We’re all one big community, Salem and Perry Township together. We need to keep all that in mind,” he said.