Meet the Mayor: Laurie Howland found a house, a husband and a passion for leading in Milford

MILFORD, Ohio - How well do you know the top man or woman in your community? Each Wednesday "Meet the Mayor" introduces you to the people charged with keeping Tri-State municipalities ticking.

Laurie Howland (born July 15, 1971) Milford 

Elected: Jan. 2014
Population: 6,709
Founded: By Rev. Francis McCormick in 1796
County: Clermont & Hamilton

Claim to fame: Milford is the junction point for eight trails including the American Discovery Trail, The Underground Railroad Cycling Trail and the Sea to Sea Long Distance Hiking Route. The eight trails total more than 22,000 miles. MORE

Laurie Howland grew up in Cincinnati attending St. Ignatius School on the west side of Cincinnati. She graduated from The School for Creative and Performing Arts in 1989 and The University of Cincinnati. Mayor Howland and her husband Tim have an eleven-year-old daughter, Alexis.

After her return to the Greater Cincinnati area in 2008 from Atlanta, she settled in Milford. Prior to looking at older homes within walking distance of shopping she had never set foot in Milford. But after a single day of house hunting, she fell in love with the quaintness of the town and knew she wanted to raise her daughter in Milford.

We want to meet more mayors! If you are one or know one, please drop us a line: Email holly.edgell@wcpo.com.

Her instant love for the city prompted her to volunteer for the Sunflower Street Fest.

It was during this time that she was urged to run for city council, which she did. She was elected in 2009. Milford’s mayor is a part-time job with a salary of $6,000 per year.

Milford is also where Mayor Howland met her husband. Today she manages the office for his custom home building and remodeling company, The Howland Group . In her spare time, the mayor enjoys the outdoors as an avid runner and spending time on her rural land in Kentucky.

Q&A with Mayor Howland

1. What is the single biggest issue facing your town?

The biggest issue facing Milford is the same as many cities throughout the state of Ohio: We have tighter budgets due to the economy and the state’s reduction of local government funding in part due to the elimination of the estate tax. Cities, like households, have a limited resource for income to operate on a daily basis; the cost of living tends to increase annually. With the elimination of the estate tax, the reduction of local funding from the state and with the potential for further cuts from the state, cities have to be cautious in their planning and budgeting.

The cuts from the state came at a time when the economy was already hitting city budgets hard. It is getting harder to provide our residents with the quality of life they expect with less and less money. Council, the city manager, finance director and department heads work very hard to make those tough decisions to keep moving Milford forward.

2. If someone were to visit Milford for the first time, what should they see and do?

A great day in Milford can involve a variety of activities since there is so much to do. An outdoor enthusiast might come for the day to enjoy the Little Miami River, ride their bike on the Milford Bike Trail or visit one of our many great parks.

Meanwhile, some may choose to stop by one of our many restaurants found throughout Milford for a wonderful lunch. Additionally, many may come to enjoy the shopping along Main Street in downtown Milford where antiquestores are next to unique gift shops like Scentilla, Primitives or Amy Kirchen’s flagship boutique. Main Street is dotted with shops, galleries and dining providing something for everyone. 

Milford is also a great stop to explore a little history at Promont House or the Milford Mystery Library on Water Street. Milford is also a great location for date night if you are looking for finer dining at 20 Brix with dessert at award winning Sugar followed by drinks at Chappies Bourbon Bar.

Milford is a city that offers a lot no matter what time type of day you are planning.

3. What is your proudest accomplishment of Mayor?

I have only been mayor for a very short time so it would be hard to have that proudest mayor moment. However, if you were to ask me what my proudest moment is as an elected city council member, I would have to say it is the decision that city council made a few years ago by ushering in a new era for the city with some key changes in personnel.

From the promotion of Jamey Mills to police chief, hiring of Dan Burke as our finance director and the hiring of Jeff Wright as city manager, the addition of these key players in the city added to an already great team that together have worked very hard to move the city forward.

4. What do you hope is different about Milford in ten years?

This is a hard one to answer since I already think Milford is the greatest city around. So I guess my hope is that Milford continues to grow as it has been and that more people discover the gem that

it is whether they simply come to visit or move here.

5. What are your political aspirations?

I had no political aspirations when I made the decision to run for city council the first time, and I still don’t. I simply want to be able to serve my community in some form, even after my term on council expires.

6. I bet you didn’t know that...

Dr. Charles Gatch, a Milford native, was the attending physician to Abraham Lincoln when we was shot. 

Connect with Milford

We want to meet more mayors! If you are one or know one, please drop us a line: Email holly.edgell@wcpo.com.

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