New Carlisle City Council members appointed Jim Leathley to replace council member Bill McIntire

Brand-new New Carlisle City Council appointee, Jim Leathley, says he is both “honored and excited” at the prospect of serving the city’s citizens for the next three years as a city council member.

Lowell McGlothin nominated Leathley for the seat at the regular city council meeting on Dec. 19. Leathley will replace council member Bill McIntire, who resigned his seat only one year after being re-elected, due to his move out of the New Carlisle city limits.

Leathley will serve the remaining three years of McEntire’s four-year term.

Leathley has only lived within the city for three years, but has lived in the Bethel Township area for the majority of his life. He is currently the Vice President of Commercial Lending for New Carlisle’s Security National Bank.

In accordance with the city’s charter, Leathley won the appointment after a majority vote of 4-2 by the current members of the New Carlisle City Council.

A 1970 Tecumseh High School graduate, Leathley earned a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Education from Ohio State University. After a brief stint as an Agricultural Education teacher at Covington High School (Ohio), Leathley soon began his 35-year career in the banking industry.

Along the way, Leathley says he married his bride of 45 years, Sharon, and they had two sons. Four grandchildren were eventually added to the brood as well.

The Leathleys’ roots run deep in the Tecumseh Local School District. Not only did Jim graduate from Tecumseh, Sharon worked in Tecumseh’s Board of Education office for many years before recently retiring, prompting the Leathleys’ move into the city. Their sons both graduated from Tecumseh High School and their grandchildren attend Tecumseh Local Schools today.

Leathley has been the voice of Tecumseh Basketball for 31 years and the voice of Tecumseh Football for 26 years. He says he is also proud of the work he did serving as the Chairman of Tecumseh’s levy committee for 28 years.

Regarding his upcoming term on the city council, Leathley says right now he does not know a lot about what the job will entail, so he will be learning a lot in his first few months. He hopes to help work towards getting the city’s general maintenance issues, like road repair, taken care of. Another of his goal is to work towards getting more growth in the industry and housing sectors.

Leathley comments that he knows finances are always a challenge, so he plans to look into seeing if there are any alternative sources of income, such as grants, that the city can pursue during his term.

McGlothin has known Leathley for many years. He says he nominated him because he knows Leathley will do a “good job” and because of Leathley’s experience in the banking industry and on Tecumseh’s levy committee.

“Jim is a great guy...he is also a numbers guy. He was on the Tecumseh levy committee for over 20 years and he knows about banking. He will be a great asset to the city.”

New Carlisle Councilman Rick Lowry says although he does not know Leathley very well he voted for him, echoing reasons very similar to those of McGlothin’s.

“Mr. Leathley is a numbers guy. He’s worked in banking for a lot of years, which I think will be great for the city. He also carries himself well and is well-spoken too.”

Councilmen William Lindsey and Ethan Reynolds cast the dissenting votes. Both raise concerns that with Leathley’s appointment, over half of the council will have been appointed to their seats without public input.

“I have no problem with Mr. Leathley himself,” says Reynolds, “But I do have a problem with the lack of Democratic Legitimacy represented on this council. I don’t like the fact that Mr. Leathley will be serving almost an entire term based off of an appointment...The electorate should have the opportunity to choose who represents them on the council. I would have no problem with it if he would only be serving until a special election could be held...but to take over the remaining three years of a regular term? I can’t vote for that...”

Lindsey says he does not know Leathley very well either, but he would have rather seen someone who better represented the overall demographic of New Carlisle get appointed to the seat.

“Jim seems like a really nice guy, but the council already has a lot of members serving on it who have a generous amount lot of life experience. I would have preferred to have someone who is raising their family here and has kids in our schools...someone who is working in the city and could be working here for a long time to come. I would have liked to have seen someone like that get the appointment instead.”

Leathley responded to concerns that he may have a conflict of interest as a council member since he works at the same bank where New Carlisle does its own banking.

“I spoke with the bank president before applying for the seat and he had no problem with my serving on council. I will be retiring soon too, so until then I will naturally avoid anything that could be construed as a conflict of interest. I will abstain from getting involved in any business pertaining to the city’s banking...I will also refrain from giving any advice or my opinion about any investments or things of that nature until I am retired.”

Looking ahead, Leathley says he knows he faces challenges as he moves forward in his new position on the city council. But he has great hopes that by bringing his analytical skills, his experience in working with the public, and his desire to serve the community he and his wife recently made their home in, that he will make a positive difference in New Carlisle.

“I am committed to doing and learning everything I can to help me do my very best for the citizens of New Carlisle.”

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