By Martha Jacob –
Residents of Ripley are used to seeing Kathy Lewis around the village, as a Lieutenant with the Ripley Life Squad, and now as a Ripley Councilwoman.
Ms. Lewis was sworn in earlier this year after longtime Councilwoman Roberta Sidwell retired from her spot on council.
“I’ve been with the Ripley Life Squad for about nine years now,” Lewis said. “I also served on the squad for a couple years from 1985 to 1987. I was a home care server for while, and I’m also a CPR/First Aide instructor, and secretary for the Ohio Rural Heritage Committee, but I think maybe a lot of people know me as the ‘Bingo Caller’ at the squad every Wednesday and Saturday.”
Lewis said she had thought about running for council for a long time, saying that she loves Ripley and she wanted to become a part of making changes in her village.
“I want to make a difference in the Village of Ripley and I want to be involved in what goes on,” Lewis said, “My husband accuses me of wearing too many hats, but I feel like I’ve actually led a pretty boring life, so I am excited to be part of council.”
She continued, “I was sworn in just after Roberta left. So far I have really enjoyed seeing how the village works, and I’ve learned that nothing happens fast, and there’s no quick-fix for any issue when it comes to the village.
“One of the biggest issues the village is facing right now, is getting a grocery store to open again in the village. It’s been a real problem for residents to buy groceries. They have to drive quite a way to Maysville or Georgetown or to Eastgate to buy groceries. That’s been a real hardship on us all.”
Lewis said she is following the problem closely, and that she appreciates Mayor Tom Leonard’s efforts on the matter. She said he has diligently been negotiating with several people, and added that it is one of his priorities for the village too.
“Of course, like every village in Brown County, I am very concerned over the growing drug problem in our village,” she added. “Our police department is doing a great job and they are making a big difference. But personally I believe we need to invest in a K-Nine unit for the police department. A dog’s mere presence could make a big difference in deterring crime here.
“I look forward to the future of Ripley and getting it where we all want it to be.”