During his 14 years as Worthington's mayor, Harvey Minton was considered caring, kind, competent and creative.
He did not let a young, persuasive Mike Duffey talk his way out of a speeding ticket either.
Such descriptors and anecdotes were on the agenda of Worthington City Council on Feb. 10, when community leaders and friends honored Minton for his service.
He retired last year after running Mayor's Court and serving as Worthington's ceremonial head, usually alongside his wife, Jane. She also was honored.
Duffey, now a state representative, remembered when he appeared before Mayor Minton in court, asking that he be allowed to perform community service in lieu of getting "points" on his driver's license.
"Denied," Duffey recalled.
It was a mayor's court one could respect, he said.
"Your legacy is what Worthington is today," he told Minton. "This is a small town, where everybody knows everybody."
James Lorimer, also a former Worthington mayor who now serves as vice mayor, said Minton was the seventh mayor since Worthington became a city in 1956.
Worthington's mayor is appointed by council and presides over Mayor's Court and serves as ceremonial head of the community.
Minton went beyond what was expected, almost always representing the city at ceremonies, running court with fairness and dignity and officiating at more weddings than any other mayor, speakers pointed out.
"No mayor has served with greater dedication, distinction and personal commitment to Worthington than Mayor Harvey Minton," Lorimer said.
State Sens. Kevin Bacon (R-Minerva Park) and Jim Hughes (R-Columbus) presented the mayor with a proclamation for his service and then surprised Jane Minton with her own proclamation.
Kathryn Paugh, director of the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce, presented Minton with a video of local business leaders giving him a standing ovation during the recent Groundhog Day breakfast.
Family friend John Weppler said Minton never talked about the many things he has done to help people behind the scenes. He called his friend a "silent listener."
"You are a wise man," he said.
Jennifer Minton, daughter of Harvey and Jane, said her father taught her to always be kind and care about everybody and never give up.
"Always do the right thing for the right reason," she said of his teaching.
Council member Scott Myers thanked the retiring mayor for always treating people with respect in Mayor's Court.
It might be the only mayor's court in Ohio where defendants are greeted by the first lady, he said.
"It may be the only encounter people have with the city is in Mayor's Court," he said.
Council president Bonnie Michael presented the Mintons with his name plate from court, framed for display.
"Both of you have been extremely successful because of all of the lives you have touched," she said.