Editor’s note: This is the first article of a new city Volunteer Spotlight series written by Sidney City Clerk Kari Egbert.
SIDNEY — Tom Ehler is no stranger in City Hall, having served this community since 1973.
He recently stopped by the Sidney city clerk’s office to ask for an update on the number of years he has served on various city of Sidney boards and commissions. That’s when he also agreed to be the first interviewee for the city of Sidney’s new Volunteer Spotlight series.
Ehler first served on the city’s Personnel Board of Appeals from 1973 through 1980. During that same time (1979-1981) he was the city’s representative on the Shelby County Regional Planning Commission. In 1980, Ehler took a seat on the Recreation Board. When a seat on the Sidney Planning Commission opened up in 1982, he resigned from the Recreation Board. Ehler is the longest serving member of the current Planning Commission and is the current chairman. He also joined the Zoning Board of Appeals in 1999, and serves as the Planning Commission’s representative to this board.
When I asked him how he first got involved serving his community he mentioned that he had read something in the Sidney Daily News that the city was looking for help, but it was his friend and mentor, J. Oliver Amos, who genuinely encouraged him to give back in any way he could.
“At the time I was a young man and couldn’t afford to give financially, but I could give of my time and talents,” Ehler said.
“Volunteering with the city has been a truly rewarding experience, as I see how decisions we make on the Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals impact the community. It can be tough enforcing the regulations, but each of the volunteer boards I serve on help to make sure the right decisions are made for future residents,” Ehler commented. “I feel like I am a part of the city’s team.”
Ehler was very humble when speaking about his service to the community. “It’s not about being important. It’s about taking the time and having the desire to do things right.”
In addition to serving the city of Sidney, Ehler was an active member, coach and officer of the IUTIS Club and served on a number of committees to grow Sidney. He is a life member of the VFW and Elks Club where he currently serves in the capacity of Chaplin.
At 80 years young, Ehler adopted the Sidney community when he began a 27 year career with Coin World. He and his wife Gretchen have three sons and five grandchildren.
Thank you, Tom Ehler, for all that you have done and continue to do for the city of Sidney.
The city has approximately 82 volunteers on some 20 different Boards and Commissions. The time and many contributions these citizens lend to our governing process have been greatly appreciated over the years.
Persons interested in any of these positions should contact the city clerk’s office at 937-498-8148 or by email at email@example.com.