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BLUFFTON COLLEGE ELECTRICIAN DOUBLES AS BLUFFTON MAYOR

Fred Rodabaugh is an electrician at Bluffton College, the owner of Shannon Theatre on Main Street and, last but not least, mayor of Bluffton, population 4,000.

After 22 years on the village council, Rodabaugh became mayor in January 2001, following a special election to fill a vacancy. Last month, he was re-elected to a full four-year term, which starts in January.

Rodabaugh carries out the typical tasks of a mayor’s to-do list. He leads the village council meetings, takes charge of the budget, and supervises the police and fire chiefs. Also, as mayor, Rodabaugh is the chief law enforcer in Bluffton and handles the mayor’s court, where he presides two days a month as a judge, hearing cases brought by the police department.

In addition, Rodabaugh fulfills the ceremonial duties every mayor has to carry out. These include welcoming Bluffton College students to the village each fall, attending public gatherings and cutting ribbons when businesses open.

The president of the six-member council is a Bluffton College faculty member—J. Peter Suter, assistant professor of business. Also serving on the council is Dr. Eric Fulcomer, the college’s vice president for enrollment management.

A member of the college’s buildings and grounds staff for 20 years, Rodabaugh decided to keep working as the campus electrician after he became mayor. "Being around students" is the best part of his college job, he said.

In his spare time, Rodabaugh likes to build model railroads and to go snow skiing. Luckily he does not need to spend much time at his theatre, which is managed by one of his daughters, Katie Glenn, with the assistance of student workers from the college and local high school.

Caroline Moons, public relations office, 12/4/03