Update: Mayor reflects on election, his time in office

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MARIETTA, Oh.-(WTAP) Update: 11/6/2019

While his time in office will end with 2019, Joe Matthews says he still has things to accomplish. That's even though it may now be up to others to complete them.

"I think the riverfront development, and another development I had in mind on Union Street across from the Post Office."

After becoming an independent instead of traditionally running as a Democrat, Matthews fell behind Democrat and Republican candidates Tuesday night.

In a post-election interview Wednesday, he continued to speak out against claims from his opponents that he wasn't a full-time mayor.

"I'm totally committee to the city of Marietta; always have and always will be," he reflected. "Years ago, I had chances to work out of town, and I decided to stay in Marietta."

One of those chances now is a job offer from the private sector he is still considering. But he indicates his days of holding political office are over.

"I have had chances to be a state representative for the state of Ohio. I've had opportunities to run for federal office. I have no visions of ever running again for another office."

Elected mayor Josh Schlicher officially takes office January 1.


Josh Schlicher is transitioning from President of Marietta City Council to mayor.

He defeated Democrat Harley Noland, and Democrat-turned-Independent Joe Matthews to become the city's first Republican mayor in 28 years.

He says it's a new start for the city.

"A lot of needed changes," Schlicher said after the final vote totals were released Tuesday night, "but also changes that, for whatever reason, been put on the back burner but not been implemented but needed to be implemented."

While there was only one contested race, Schlicher will deal with a city council with some new faces, including his successor as council president, Susan Vessels.

Marietta school leaders, meantime, say they have not given up on a move to a central school campus, in spite of the loss of a school bond levy that would have funded those changes.

"We have until, I believe, March, to go back to the ballot with the same deal. But after that, the deal goes away," said Superintendent Will Hampton.

We asked: are there still consolidations coming, whether there's a new building or not?

"We will be changing, regardless," he said, "and we've been saying that all along. So, we'll look and plan how that might look, very soon."

The next election is the county's 2020 primary, set for March 17.