John Eby - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

John Eby

John Eby’s commitment to public service and our wonderful city speaks for itself. As a young person—long before he had the remotest inclination that he may one day run for Cincinnati City Council—John was focused on his community rather than himself. To this day, John’s natural urge to serve others and to improve the world around him remain at his core, a trait hardwired into his being thanks to his family and his faith. This is what makes John the likeable, determined, common sense leader that he is. This is what makes John so well suited and qualified for a seat on Cincinnati City Council.

John’s never been one to sit on the sidelines and expect others to manage and improve his community for him. In recent years, John has been particularly active in Westwood where he lives with his wife and their two daughters.

In 2000 John was elected, as a first-time candidate, to the Westwood Civic Association. He chaired the housing committee for one year, and then resigned to accept a board position with the Westwood Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation. This group promotes development of the Westwood business district, markets the community beyond its borders and creates working relationships with housing developers.

John has also helped form and continues to help lead the Ryan Commons Park Team. Working in cooperation with the Cincinnati Recreation Commission, this organization is creating a master plan, designing a fund-raising campaign, and planning “sweat-equity” opportunities for a new community park in Westwood. As part of this effort, John organized a planning meeting, with over 100 people participating, to solicit input from residents.

It’s never been John’s leadership style to just assume what those who have placed their trust in him need and want. He respects people too much to operate from assumptions—or in the dark. John’s always been one to solicit input, build coalitions and find the “win-win” in any given situation. Likewise, his lead-by-example approach inspires people to work together toward common goals. The kind of arrogance many of us have come to associate with “politicians” is simply not part of John’s makeup. That’s perhaps because John isn’t a politician in the sound-byte, baby-kissing, grandstanding sort of way. To John, politics is just a means to an end, a means to a better community for us all.

Remember when, after the riots of 2001, support for our police and fire personnel waned a little? Well, John stepped up and did something about what her perceived as a sad and unfair state of affairs. John planned, organized and promoted “Hands Across District 3” in both 2001 and 2002. In these events, thankful citizens stood along a five-mile route to show their gratitude for those who protect us. The event culminated in a celebration and an opportunity to pray for peace and healing in our town—and beyond. Thanks to John’s leadership, more than 1,600 residents attended the rally. And, just as importantly, it provided a much-needed morale boost for our policemen and firemen.

John’s respect for our police department—and his inherent sense of fairness and the rule of law—is what inspired Mayor Charlie Luken to appoint John to the Citizens Complaint Authority. In this important role, John is one of seven city residents who perform civilian oversight of the Cincinnati Police Department. John serves as vice president and has earned the respect of those who have come before the board with a complaint or comment.

Mayor Charlie Luken and other city leaders aren’t the only people who have noticed John’s natural leadership and bridge-building abilities. The Hamilton County Commissioners recently named him a board member of the Community Action Agency, which develops strategies to solve local poverty issues by seeking to provide educational and training opportunities, employment and the chance to live in decency and dignity.

The energy and focus that John brings to his community service is quite impressive. (John does, after all, have a full-time job as an electrical engineer for PEDCo Engineering & Architecture Services Inc. And his wife serves as the director of theApple Tree Daycare Center, a post she’s held since 1985.) John’s drive and stamina are simply remarkable. In fact, he earned his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Cincinnati’s College of Applied Science, by devoting himself to seven years of night school. When John makes up his mind to get something done, it gets done. It’s that simple.

John has also served his state and nation as a member of the Ohio National Guard’s 1/147th Combat Support Company. He helped lead a mortar platoon as a fire direction control chief and a platoon sergeant. He was responsible for the training and welfare of forty men and the maintenance of four gun systems and various vehicles. He was honorably discharged in 1990 as a buck sergeant.

John’s devotion to his community comes from down deep. That’s because John grew up here in our town, attending St. William’s Elementary School in Price Hill (1976) and then Western Hills High School (1980), where he played football. While in high school, John was very involved in St. William’s Youth Group. He was so well liked and respected by his peers, he was elected to serve as president. A year later he was elected to the youth board of the archdiocesan-wide Catholic Youth Organization. In that role, John helped plan and supervise events for tens of thousands of young people in southwest Ohio, skills that have obviously come in handy later. In 1980 he was named “Catholic Boy of the Year” by the Archdiocese, a harbinger of achievements to come.

John’s just not the kind of guy to forget about his roots or disconnect from his family or faith community that sustained and formed him—and continue to do so. John remains involved in the church. He’s an active member of Saint Catherine’s, where he serves on the festival steering committee and for the last five years he has chaired the very busy—and profitable—beer booth.

John’s community service ethic is something that his parents—and six siblings—helped instilled in him. His father, James, a retired district sales rep for an electric supplier, has volunteered with St Vincent-DePaul, Holy Family Gym Club, Knights of Columbus, Catholic War Veterans and the VFW. He fought in World War II with the Army Air Corp in Italy.

His mother, Pat (Sinnard), helped raise John and his six siblings, and then worked at St. Williams School as a secretary for 20 years. She volunteers at the Veterans hospital and she still attends mass at Holy Family Church in Price Hill, were she grew up.

Biography obtained from John Eby's Website

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