All together, Matt Cincione has spent about a quarter of a century in public office -- but that role just became even more public.
"I was surprised, being a council member for so many years -- you switch to being mayor and all of a sudden everyone knows you're mayor," he said. "People are coming up to me all the time now with questions and issues they have."
And that's exactly how the new mayor of Marble Cliff likes it.
Cincione ran unopposed in November for the position. He replaces Kent Studebaker, who did not run for reelection.
"One of the nice things serving in Marble Cliff is that we're so small and manageable, we can be accessible to our residents and work with them on issues more effectively and also work with the businesses who are already here and those who are interested in coming to Marble Cliff," he said.
Cincione has served since 2001 on Village Council and served two terms on Grandview Heights City Council from 1988 to 1995.
"The village is carrying forward a couple of initiatives Kent and the council got started last year," Cincione said. "The solar panels are up and installed at the Village Hall, and they should be operating by the early part of February."
Twenty-two "black-on-black" 60-cell panels on the front portion of Village Hall will power it. The other 30 commercial-watt 72-cell panels installed on the rear of the building will power the streetlights at the north end of the village.
The two electric-vehicle charging stations installed in front of Village Hall also are expected to be operational before the end of February, Cincione said.
"We're just waiting for AEP to finish installing the connections, and then they will be available for people to use," he said.
One of the main issues the village will address over the next few months is AEP's purchase of the property at 2200 W. Fifth Ave. and its plans to demolish the two buildings at the site to install a larger substation, Cincione said.
"We're concerned about the tax revenue and the jobs we may be losing from the businesses that are currently located there," he said. "We also have concerns about the aesthetics of what they are planning there and how it may detract from the main entryway to the village."
It's uncertain whether the utility would need to gain approval of its plans from the village, Cincione said.
"It's not like a business that has a plan to redevelop or rezone the property," he said. "They would have to go through and get approval from council."
As a utility, AEP does not have to go through the same process as a commercial entity, Cincione said.
"We're looking into what our options might be," he said.
Cincione has served the past 10 years as Village Council president.
Council members Jan. 20 elected Dow Voelker to serve as president and voted to appoint former councilwoman Kendy Troiano to fill the vacancy on council that resulted after Cincione became mayor at the beginning of the year.
Troiano lost her council seat after placing third in the race for a pair of seats in November, behind challenger Jeff Smith and incumbent Joanne Taylor.
Voelker has served the past six years on Village Council and served on Grandview Heights City Council from 1994 to 1998.
"I'm honored that my colleagues on the council selected me to serve as president," Voelker said. "We worked well together as a group when Kent was mayor, and I expect that will continue now that Matt has moved into that role."
The desire to serve the community, both when he was living in Grandview and now in the village, "was kind of branded into me" by the examples set by his parents and grandfather, he said.
His father, Dirken Voelker, served on Village Council and as village solicitor for about 20 years. His mother, Sharon, and grandfather, Harold, both served on the Grandview Heights Public Library's board of trustees.
After approving the plan last year for a condominium project at 2015 W. Fifth Ave., Village Council will continue this year "to make sure the project moves forward the way we expect and as the developer presented it to us," Voelker said.
"Right now, the village is in a pretty strong financial position, and we'll be focusing on ensuring we stay fiscally strong," he said.
Troiano was among five candidates who submitted letters of interest to fill the council vacancy.
The others were Bridget Burdick, veterinarian with German Village Veterinary Hospital in Columbus; Ryan Crossley, a partner at the law firm of Kooperman, Mental, Ferguson and Yaross; Charlotte Hickcox, president of Magog Consulting, an independent contract lobbying firm; and Mike Leach, who recently retired from Nationwide Insurance as chief financial officer for Nationwide's property and casualty business.
Troiano served on council from 2009 to 2019.
"Her previous experience on council and the fact that she had run (in the election) were among the factors that led us to choose Kendy," Voelker said, "but we had a very strong list of candidates to choose from."
Troiano is a human-resources director at Clark Grave Vault Co.