James Kiger and his granddaughter, Aubrey Kiger, attended the Washington Court House City Council meeting on Wednesday night to present Washington Court House City Manager Joe Denen with a plaque that included keys to the old city building.
The Kigers both practice law at Kiger & Kiger, a legal Ohio corporation, which has been in operation in Washington C.H. for approximately 54 years.
“We’re very low-key, but we’ve been here forever. We’ve seen the City of Washington Court House when you couldn’t find a place to park. Then we saw it go down. Now we’re seeing it come back again,” explained James.
While presenting the plaque to Denen, James told the city council, “We want him to have this. They’re the keys to the kingdom. The original keys to the old city building.”
James explained he first received the keys in the 60s from Patricia West. West was a deputy auditor for approximately 34 years and also served as the city auditor for Washington Court House.
According to James, Patricia believed the keys opened every door in the old building aside from the fire department. After retiring she realized she still had the keys and the old building had been torn down. James said Patricia told him, “’If you don’t want them see that they get home.’”
James and Patricia recently agreed the keys should go back to the city. They have now found that home in a plaque made by a local business, Quali-Tee.
“You can’t be a city manager and keep everybody happy. If you keep everybody happy you aren’t doing your job,” James said. “It takes leadership to keep these small, rural communities alive, and we’re alive.”
During the speech he mentioned how nice downtown is looking with trees and flowers, and that it is safe. He also mentioned the city manager form of government is the best choice for the city. Recently, several locals have expressed interest in a switch to a mayoral form of government.
“We have good water. They say that’s not important, oh yes it is. Good sewers, good police protection, good fire protection, good parking, good facilities and most of all good people,” said James.
Reach Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355.