The period in America just after the War of 1812 often is referred to as the Era of Good Feelings, a time when many felt a sense of common purpose and unity.

The period in America just after the War of 1812 often is referred to as the Era of Good Feelings, a time when many felt a sense of common purpose and unity.

As three longtime Grandview Heights City Council members prepared to leave office next week, they all expressed pride in being part of a team that worked well together to guide the city through difficult economic times.

"We've been fortunate to have such a good group of people, not only on council but in the administration and staff as well," said council President Steve Reynolds, who served a decade on council.

Reynolds, P'Elizabeth Koelker and Susan Jagers each decided not to run for re-election in November. Their terms officially expire Dec. 31; they'll be replaced the next day by Chris Smith, Greta Kearns and Steve Papineau, who won election in an unopposed race along with incumbent Anthony Panzera.

"The good working relationship we all have with each other has definitely made a difference," Reynolds said. "We've had our differences and haven't always been on the same page. But the discussions have always been respectful, and once a vote is taken, we've always been able to move on."

Grandview's economic outlook, and even its existence, were at risk with the loss of Big Bear and other major businesses and the economic downturn, he said.

"The upgrade of the city's credit rating to AAA (announced at the last council meeting of the year) couldn't have come at a better time to sum up what we've been able to accomplish in this city," Reynolds said.

"It reflects a 180-degree turn from a time when we were on bankruptcy's doorstep. It's an accomplishment the members of council and the administration should truly be proud of."

Koelker said she is gratified to have been able to work with a council, administrators and city staff striving "to do the right thing for the right reasons."

One of the most satisfying aspects of her time on council was working on the agreements that led to the Grandview Yard development, she said.

"We spent a lot of time and effort on that, but I'm really proud that we have created an opportunity for the future of the city and school district to be assured," said Koelker, who has served on council since September 2004.

The project's developer, Nationwide Realty Investors, was sensitive to the city's desire that the Yard not take away from what makes Grandview special, she said.

"It wasn't just about the money for us, but about the physical form of the project as well," Koelker said.

"I've learned so much about how our city operates since I've been on council," Jagers said. "We have a small but mighty staff who all wear so many different hats.

"I think if everyone could serve on council, they'd come to understand how well their tax money is being spent in Grandview," she said.

Hearing the news about the city's credit rating just as she is leaving office was a nice way to end her tenure, Jagers said.

"As the mayor said (at the council meeting), the city has come such a long way from where we were at when I joined council in 2006," she said. "It feels good to leave office knowing the city is in such a good position."

The spirit of collaboration between council and the administration helped to spur the city's recovery, not only because of the decisions made, but in the cooperative way they were made, Reynolds said.

"Even if we were able to be somewhat effective, if the public had seen contention and unproductive dialogue back and forth between the council and the mayor, I don't think they would have been able to buy in to the long-term fixes" including passing a permanent income-tax increase, he said.

It also would have been more difficult to convince NRI that Grandview was a community in which they wanted to make a long-term investment, Reynolds said.