- Published: Tuesday, 04 July 2017 12:59
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By Marty Trese, KnoxPages.com Editor
GAMBIER - The Knox County Sheriff's Office was honored as the Gambier Citizen of the Year at Fourth of July festivities. Mayor Kachen Kimmel said the honor is bestowed each year to an individual or group who has been of great service to the village this year. The KCSO has served as the police department of Gambier for 20 years. Beginning on June 11th, the sheriff's office began a missing persons investigation following the disappearance of two Gambier residents. The KCSO alerted residents through KnoxAlerts, the local newspaper and KnoxPages.com about the search and the eventual discovery of the body of one of the two and the arrest of the other for murder. July 4th was declared KCSO day in Gambier.
Knox County Sheriff David Shaffer thanked the Villlage of Gambier for the KCSO being named Citizen of the Year. Mayor Kachen Kimmell looks on. KnoxPages.com Photo by George Breithaupt
Mayor Kimmel presented a plaque to Sheriff David Shaffer who thanked the mayor and said, "We are honored by this award." Shaffer also recognized Deputy Williams and Deputy Cline who regularly patrol the village.
The village also named Daniel Mark Epstein Gambier's Poet Laureate for 2017. He read a poem to celebrate the heroes Walt Whitman and President Abraham Lincoln. Epstein read, "We have choices to make everyday in the tradition of this great democracy."
Mayor Kimmel gave her Independence Day speech to those assembled adjacent to the railroad car along the Kokosing Gap Trail, the new permanent home of the 4th of July ceremony.
"At a time when many people are concerned about what is happening to democracy in our country, democracy here in Gambier is vibrant. Citizen participation in municipal decision making has ben strong during my term as mayor and I know it will continue."
Mayor Kimmel, left, is flanked by veterans from several different military service branches at the village's 4th of July ceremony - KP Photo by Marty Trese
She encouraged residents to run for office, noting there are four council seats open in the village that will be decided this November. She also urged residents to learn the issues, vote, and talk to public officials, such as herself, with concerns.
She recognized those from Gambier who are making their political positions known by writing letters, holding signs on the Public Square in Mount Vernon, and urging others to get involved in democracy. She closed her remarks by saying,"Democracy is strong. Let's go celebrate. Happy 4th of July."
The annual parade then formed along Meadow Lane from Duff Street to the community center. Shaffer was seated in the lead off car followed by several parade units including kids on bicycles, golf carts, dogs, a tractor, members of Gibbs Watch, and a plethora of College Township fire department vehicles. Following the parade a community picnic was scheduled to be held at the park next to the center.