The Mayor’s Office at City Hall is home to Howard Zwelling until the end of December and though his time as Mayor is nearing its end, pictures and other personal items won’t be packed up until the last week.
The pictures are markers and milestones of his last six and a half years in office. There are meetings with President Barack Obama, handshakes with Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and former Governor Ted Strickland. But, Mayor Zwelling wouldn’t have met any of these people if he hadn’t took the plunge into public office. For that he thanks Doctor England, a former councilman.
"I said to him, Dr. England why is it that politics can be so crooked? And you know what he said to me? He said it’s because the people that should be involved in politics usually won’t have anything to do with it and so I decided right then and there that I wanted to be in politics," said Mayor Zwelling.
And so after becoming a lawyer he ran for Municipal Judge and is the only democrat ever to be elected to the position in Muskingum County. He served 16 years there before moving over to Common Pleas Court.
"I enjoyed being municipal judge tremendously, but I felt it was time to step up so I ran for Common Pleas Judge and that was much more complex and bigger challenge but I enjoyed that," explained Zwelling.
Then the bigger challenge of becoming mayor presented itself in 2005 after then Mayor Fenton became ill. He ran unopposed and finished the last two years of Mayor Fenton’s term, then ran for another four year term. A position which he’ll leave at the December.
We’ll hear more about Zwelling’s plans as he leaves office on the WHIZ News at 6pm Friday.