Dan Wiencek finished his term on Powell City Council this month.

Dan Wiencek finished his term on Powell City Council this month.

Wiencek, a Powell resident since January 1997, decided not to seek re-election last November.

He served on council for two terms for eight years, including two years as mayor.

He also spent three years on the parks and rec advisory board, developing the master plan that guided development of the current parks and bicycle paths, he said.

He was a member of the planning and zoning commission for six years, both as a regular member and as the council representative.

"My time on P & Z saw the city grow to where it is today, from a village with a few thousand residents and downtown with no curbs and only a four-way stop sign," Wiencek wrote in an e-mail. "Having had a hand in the approval of nearly every home and business built during this tremendous growth period brings me a great deal of satisfaction."

This year, when Wiencek and his wife, Teresa, purchased a campground -- the Mohican KOA in Butler -- Wiencek realized there weren't enough hours in a day. He decided not to seek re-election.

"The demands of our new campground do not allow me to continue to dedicate the necessary time to properly represent the residents of Powell. Being on city council requires more than just going to two meetings a month. There is significant additional time spent on council committees, researching issues and planning for the future," Wiencek wrote.

A memorable and defining moment for Wiencek was when he said the Pledge of Allegiance at his first meeting.

"(It) really helped to focus me on the importance of our roles as active citizens. The words continue to have greater meaning now than they did before I was elected," he wrote.

He also enjoyed officiating marriages when he was mayor.

"Playing even a small role as a couple started their lives together was a unique experience and a real honor," he said.

Another defining moment was when he introduced "the legislation that made Powell the first smoke-free community in central Ohio."

Asked about his concerns for the city, Wiencek wrote, "It is vitally important that the residents approve an increase in the income tax. A great community has to invest in itself. Powell is incredibly well-managed and efficient. There has not been an increase in the city income tax rate since its inception in 1990."

Wiencek said the increase is needed to fund infrastructure improvement projects such as construction and maintenance of roads and storm sewers.

He has valued "having a direct say in how (the) community has developed," and found it "immensely rewarding.

"Powell is a community where the voice of a single resident can effect change. It's been a pleasure being on the listening end of the equation," Wiencek said.

Wiencek was recognized by his fellow council members Dec.15.

Mayor Tom Counts called Wiencek a "long-standing servant of the city."

"He is tenacious. If there is an issue he is passionate about, he will pursue it. The smoke-free ordinance is an example of that," Counts said. "He always had the city in the forefront and in his heart and pursued what was best for the city. You could always count on Dan for doing his homework. On planning and zoning he always came well prepared with questions to be asked, and we're well served by that."