The city held its Arbor Day Tree Planting Celebration on Friday, where, now former Mayor Steven Rockwell, on his last day of public service before retirement, planted the annual foliage.
Rockwell was assisted by members of the village tree commission — Martha Berckmueller and Candy Draeger — and the village street department in planting a red sunset maple on East Front Street. Rockwell read an Arbor Day proclamation at a council meeting Wednesday, naming Friday Milan’s official Arbor Day.
Rockwell had his final act as Milan’s mayor and the next day, Richard Maloney, who served as council president before stepping down Wednesday, was sworn in as the village’s new leader.
Maloney took over as the new mayor of the village and will carry out the remaining term of office, through Dec. 31, 2019.
“It’s good; I enjoy it,” Maloney said of being mayor. “I enjoy what I do. I like what I do. I’m an easy going guy. I respect other people’s wishes.”
He added though that accepting the position is bittersweet.
“A buddy of mine who was on council, (John) Fox — he always wanted to be the mayor of Milan,” Maloney said. “He died two years ago coming to a council meeting. I think I’ll have part of his spirit with me. I’ll be all right I think in that respect.”
He said he’s “up to any challenge there would be” to the job, since he’s been on council for what he estimated to be 15 to 20 years, serving various periods since the 1970s. Maloney said he doesn’t expect it to be too difficult, but said he intends to make some adjustments along the way.
“I would like to see some changes, but I can’t divulge them now,” he said. “There are some changes that I have to do.”
Milan council is accepting letters of interest, from any village resident, for the open seat on council that resulted from Maloney’s transfer of position.
Those interested should email their letter to village administrator Brian Rospert at [email protected] or drop it off at the utility department by May 15.