Commissioner’s Column

Jeff Siegler, Ward 1 Commissioner

First, let me start by saying thank you to Ward 1 voters for electing me as your Commissioner. It is an honor to serve my community and I hope to carry out the task admirably.

After the election last November, I was approached by Laura Pace Lilley, Public Information Officer, and Ian McMeans, Assistant Manager/Planner, about joining them on the Inside Lebo Podcast. One of the first questions Ian posed to me was why I decided to run for Commission.

This is a question I have asked myself quite a few times in previous weeks, particularly when someone tells me their feelings on the Arden Road traffic circle. It was a decision I did not make lightly, as I understood that it would take a serious time commitment and more importantly, the decisions the Commission makes have a real impact on people’s lives.

Having thought quite a bit about it, I concluded that three major reasons compelled me to try to pick up the work of my predecessor, Mindy Ranney.

The first reason being a sense of guilt. I travel the country speaking and consulting with communities on issues regarding revitalization, and economic/community development, and I am constantly emphasizing how important it is for people to get involved in their community. I work with so many cities and towns that are plagued by resident apathy, and I understand firsthand how important it is that people get more involved in their communities to experience the sense of satisfaction and reward by doing something for the greater good. I felt like a bit of a hypocrite for not living up to this ideal in my own life. I volunteered as a soccer coach when my son was at Lincoln and started up an adult kickball league in the neighborhood, but it did not feel like enough. Mt. Lebanon as a community has given so much to me and my family and I felt like I needed to return the favor.

Second, I believe in service. An important part of feeling a sense of self-worth and experiencing a sense of accomplishment comes from serving others. It is all too easy to fall into the trap of trying to fill our lives with stuff in hopes of making them feel whole, and while I enjoy some stuff, I have found it is never as satisfying as the act of serving others, particularly my community. I am surrounded by amazing people and if I have an opportunity to serve them and hopefully make their lives better, I feel like I am doing my part to make my community a better place to live. I hope that through service, I can improve the lives of the people with whom I share a community, the people on my block, the people in my neighborhood and everyone who calls Mt. Lebanon home.

Finally, I suppose some of the decision is just plain old ego. I have worked in community development in one facet or another for 20 years now, and I have learned quite a few lessons on the subject. I see a lot of places get it wrong. All too often, bad processes are blindly adhered to just because “it’s always been done this way” and not enough people stop to ask what we are trying to accomplish. I believe that a highly functioning government is essential to living in safe and healthy communities. We need good government to set and enforce standards, just as we need guardrails to keep us on the road and heading in the right direction. We need people willing to make tough decisions, even when they are not popular, but because they know it’s the right thing to do. This is going to be a challenge, no doubt, but this is a challenge I accept.

It was never my ambition to get into politics, I have always just wanted to work in civics and I have been fortunate enough to spend my career doing just that. However, when presented with the opportunity to use my experience and knowledge to help my own town, it would have been a mistake to pass up the chance. So thank you again and I look forward to being of service.



Resident: Arden Road

Spouse: Amber

Children: 2 sons, 2 daughters

Professional Experience:

Community Revitalization Consultant
Public Speaker
State Coordinator Ohio Main Street Program

Volunteer Activities:

Mt Lebanon Adult Kickball League Coordinator
Lebo Cup Coach
Urban Land Institute Programming Committee