Licking County News

Voters choose Compton as mayor


Mike Compton still was elated the day after unofficial results from the Licking County Board of Elections showed he received 1,465 votes, 52.75 percent of the votes cast, in the race for Pataskala mayor.

"I'm still kind of slap-happy," Compton said Nov. 6, after being up most of election night and the following morning.

Compton, a first-term Pataskala City Council member, said he knew the election would be close, but he was surprised when he received 50 percent of vote from the downtown precincts where incumbent Mayor Steve Butcher has had a strong following.

Butcher is finishing his second term as mayor.

"Steve has worked his butt off," Compton said. "He has been good PR and he personally does a lot for the city, for its theater, veterans, the pool, parks and the trail system. He's really done a lot."

Butcher received 1,219 votes, 43.9 percent of the votes cast.

Butcher said he supported Compton's campaign and is pleased with all he's been able to accomplish in the last eight years.

"I'm thrilled with what we've accomplished in the last eight years and I'm leaving the city in better shape than it was when I came in," Butcher said.

Terry Beekman, the third candidate in the race, received 93 votes, a little more than 3 percent of the votes cast.

Compton said he doesn't have any immediate goals when taking office in January, other than continuing the search for a new city administrator.

Pataskala City Council on Oct. 7 decided not to renew Timothy Boland's contract, which expires Dec. 31.

City Council members agreed Nov. 4 they might need to hire an interim administrator to operate the city during the search for a full-time administrator.

The administrator is appointed by the mayor.

Compton's election as mayor also means a replacement will have to serve the remaining two years of his term on City Council.

The city charter requires City Council to appoint a new member. If City Council does not appoint a council member with 60 days of Compton's resignation, Compton, as mayor, will make the appointment.

The mayor's responsibilities also could expand while Compton is in office.

Pataskala City Council has considered convening a charter commission to discuss increasing the mayor's duties.

The mayor currently is a nonvoting member of Pataskala City Council and has the power to vote only to break a tie, according to Section 5 of the city's charter.

Compton said he supports expanding the mayor's duties and is adamant that government officials, such as the city administrator, be required to live in the city limits.