Marysville Mayor Chris Schmenk announced last week that she will be leaving office sometime in the next two months. ThisWeek Marysville sat down with her last week to discuss her thoughts on the city, its past and future. The following are excerpts from that conversation.

Marysville Mayor Chris Schmenk announced last week that she will be leaving office sometime in the next two months. ThisWeek Marysville sat down with her last week to discuss her thoughts on the city, its past and future. The following are excerpts from that conversation.

ThisWeek: This has been your first experience with public office. What has it been like to be mayor of your home town?

Schmenk: What has been really fun has been to see the blend of the 'old guard' in Marysville I'm kind of the old guard, growing up in Marysville and then the new residents moving here from other places and are pretty recent, who may not know a lot of others in the community. It's been neat to see that mix, because everyone has great ideas. I think what I've been really fortunate to have is the support of those who have been here they knew my mom and dad and family, so I think they had that level of trust with me. They knew what I was about, and that has been something I've felt fortunate about. And with the newer residents it's been fun to get to know them, to hear their ideas, I know that my husband and I lived in different parts of Columbus for the first 12 years of our marriage, and when we moved back I know we brought ideas with us, and I see a lot of the new residents doing that as well. Marysville gets stronger and better when people give those suggestions.

ThisWeek: What balance have you tried to strike between long-range goals and immediate city needs?

Schmenk: I think my philosophy has been, it's good to have a couple big initiatives to be working on, so that the first year I took office we worked on the Comprehensive Plan, the Parks Plan, and we really put a financial plan into place. The second year the big initiative was trying to secure our finances, and that happened with the income tax increase. The big driver behind that was also to secure safety services. This year the big initiatives are to get those buildings built. The things we've been looking toward for next year are city employee wellness, an initiative the focuses on preventative wellness, to get employees to really look at exercise and eating habits, to be knowledgeable about their healthcare decisions.

ThisWeek: Do you see Marysville revisiting the income tax issue in the next five or 10 years?

Schmenk: I don't think the city will, I think we put the half a percent increase in place with the hope that it would be enough money for the city to do what it needs to do for the next 30 or 40 years. That would be the hope. I think there are some residents who still wish we offered a commuter credit, and now I'll also be a commuter. I've never been against it at all, I've seen the issue and recognized we just had not been able to find a way financially to do it, so that might be something that comes up again at some point.

ThisWeek : How do you think working on a state level will be different from your local experience?

Schmenk: There's a lot of, I'm sure, unknowns. I've not worked for the state before, so there is a whole different way of doing things. But as far as the particular work I'll be doing, I feel like I have the background and experience to go in and hit the ground running as far as the legal work, and the economic development aspect. There's a definite learning curve, but it's the type of work I'm excited to get going on.

ThisWeek: What impressions do you leave with from your time as mayor?

Schmenk: I loved it the thing I really hope as I leave public office is that more people in our community will get involved. We've seen that with the boards and the commissions we have a part in, people giving input on things like the police and fire buildings, and I really hope more people will get involved. We'll have an open seat for mayor in November and several council seats, and I'd love to see a big field, and I'll be on the sidelines cheering people on. It's really fulfilling to be in public office, and I've really enjoyed the last three years.