City News

January 2, 2024

Jeff Sanner wrapping up 36 years of service to West Carrollton

Jeff Sanner wrapping up 36 years of service to West Carrollton


Jeff Sanner is stepping aside after serving West Carrollton as city council member from 1988 until 2007 and as mayor since 2008.

“I always said I would know when it was time,” Sanner told Dayton Daily News this week. “This past year, I’ve just felt that it was time to step aside and not run again after 36 years. I was on council 20 years, and then was mayor 16 years, so I think that’s long enough.”

Sanner, 68, said he first ended up on council in 1988 to fill a seat vacated by a council member, Maxine Gilman, who was elected mayor.

He said he considers his biggest accomplishment during his many years in office to be “seeing Exit 47 get constructed because it used to be you had to go down to the Frisch’s in Moraine and make a U-turn and then come back up into West Carrollton to be able to go on southbound (Interstate) 75.”

The most rewarding aspect of those more than three decades in office has been the interaction he’s had with community members, Sanner said. “They knew how to get ahold of me because I own a funeral home, so they can always call the funeral home and get me or my cell phone number available to everyone,” he said.

Sanner said that as he exits his longtime service to the city, he’s happy to see progress being made on a river district project long in the works.

“Finally, we’re seeing some movement,” Sanner said. “It’s going to happen, it just takes time. We could have developed that into a truck stop a long time ago if we had interest that way because we own the property, the city does, and we wanted to be able to control our own destiny and be a little bit on the picky side (regarding) what goes in there.”

Sanner said there’s only thing he wishes he could have done differently.

“Probably my biggest disappointment, I feel, is the water softening plant that we put in to soften the water,” he said. “I just, I’ve always questioned really how successful that’s been. If I had to do over again, that’s probably one thing I wouldn’t have supported.”

Sanner said he’s got “full confidence” in city council member Rick Barnhart, West Carrollton’s former police chief, taking over next month as the city’s next mayor. He also said Brad Townsend, who was city manager for 16 years, was “a good fit” with department heads.

“He took us through some financial tough times, and we came out on the other side in better shape than what we were, so he’s done an excellent job,” Sanner said.

Council member Angie Fryman lauded Sanner for served West Carrollton for more than half of his life.

“That’s amazing, let alone perfect attendance for the last 16 years for your meetings,” Fryman said to Sanner during West Carrollton’s most recent meeting.

Barnhart said he appreciates Sanner for his support of the police department during the time Barnhart was in charge of it and praised Sanner for working with other city council members to push through the department’s much needed expansion and renovation.

“Your support for us in the city has gone on for years and years,” Barnhart said during the meeting. “It went on before you were on council. You certainly have been a great leader for the city, a mentor to me from being a police chief coming in and talking to you, going over stats and different things, so I really appreciate our friendship and your leadership over the years.”