TROY — On Friday nights in the fall, an optimistic voice bellows through Troy Memorial Stadium, as Mayor Michael Beamish calls each play for the Troy Trojan football team.
Beamish not only served as the “Voice of Troy” as the announcer at Troy High School football games, he also was the voice of the city of Troy during his 26 years of political service — the last 16 of those years as Troy’s mayor.
A proponet of “leave something better than what you found it,” Beamish recently reflected upon his years of service and the mark he is leaving on the city of Troy.
A native of Springfield, Beamish graduated from Wittenberg University and was hired as a special education teacher at Heywood Elementary in 1970. Beamish shared he focused on special education because “I’m always for the underdog.”
“I always liked working with young people and those who have challenges — everyone has something to offer,” he said.
He later served as a principal at Kyle and Cookson. It was the late Mayor Doug Campbell, also a Cookson Elementary principal, who encouraged Beamish to run for a council seat.
As mayor, Beamish said the biggest change the city of Troy has underwent over the years was economic development and “keeping everybody on the same page of the same hymnal.”
“I’m also real proud of all the business partnerships that have grown over the years,” Beamish said.
Beamish said expanding the city’s recreation opportunities from its diverse parks to Hobart Arena was one of his personal “forward-thinking” goals as mayor. Beamish said he focused on sprucing up Troy’s recreation options to put Troy on the regional radar as a “mid-size city with big town taste.”
Beamish said he was pleased to see Treasure Island Park transform into one of the city’s go-to hubs of entertainment and a notable destination for river and outdoor activity in the region.
As “the Living Room of Troy,” Beamish said he was proud to see downtown Troy, including the fountain and Prouty Plaza, featured as a picturesque postcard often used on televised weather forecasts on multiple stations.
Beamish said the city of Troy went through some obstacles during his tenure, including the 2008 recession, which he said the city weathered “with flying colors.”
When asked to give a slice of advice to incoming Mayor Robin Oda, the city’s first-ever female mayor, Beamish said his best advice is “one person can’t do everything.”
“You have to have people you can count on to do their job and to do it well,” he said. “You have to listen, but you have to make a decision based on the best information you have … take steps forward to make a community better than when you leave it.”
Beamish said he’ll miss the people as he steps away from office, but he said he won’t miss the negativity that sometimes comes with running a city of 25,000.
Known for his team work and encouraging spirit, Mayor Beamish condensed his years of public service into one of his famous numerical lists. On his very own “Top 10” list, Beamish listed he was grateful for his relationships with the many civic organizations as well as the 30-year history he formed with Troy’s sister city Takahashi City in Japan. He also highlighted the city’s economic growth he has witnessed over the years, including several expansions of both foreign and domestic companies. He shared one of his personal favorite additions was Marion’s Piazza. Working with non-profits “warms my heart,” and he continues to serve on the boards of the United Way of Miami County, Troy’s Dollars for College, Brukner Nature Center and Festival of Nations, and most recently the Arbogast Performing Arts Center.
Beamish said he also is proud of his faith, sharing his 45 years as an active member of St. John’s United Church of Christ. He said he always looked forward to the annual Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast.
Beamish said he was grateful, humbled and blessed to have served the city for more than two decades.
“It truly has been a blessing and an honor,” he said.