PORTSMOUTH — Portsmouth City Council voted to install Dennis Packard as the 6th Ward Councilman on Monday evening following a 90-minute executive session.
Nominated by 5th Ward Councilman Edwin Martell, Packard had unanimous support of all present Council members. Following the passing of Thomas Lowe last month, he spoke with fellow 6th Ward residents about who would be a good fit for the vacancy. At his neighbors’ urging, Packard threw his hat in the ring.
Among three other candidates, Packard was chosen as a nearly life-long resident of Scioto County. Knowing of Lowe and his legacy, he hopes to live up to that standard.
“I knew how passionate he was about any topic or interest,” said Packard of Lowe, adding that they shared a passion for working on old cars.
Born to area residents, he has spent nearly each of his 60 years in Sciotoville, having seen a considerable amount of change in the area during that time.
Those changes, such as the opioid epidemic, which has possibly worsened in the area due to COVID, and increased littering, have been undesired and ones he plans on taking on as a councilman.
“I think a safe and clean community is a goal for all of us,” said Packard, already hearing from one citizen about a potential litter project. “It is one we should work for. I really enjoyed it when the city used to do projects that would just help people clean-up.”
Packard served in the Air Force before returning to the county where he first spent a few years with his wife before returning to the 6th Ward. Jackie Patterson, his mother, owned the Borders by Jackie photography shop in Sciotoville where he worked about 10 years at the family business.
Later, he attended Shawnee State University and became a nurse. Packard moved on from a nursing home in Portsmouth to work in psychiatric and mental health nursing for the state of Ohio before retiring this April.
As a retired health care worker, he would like to see the city to continue placing these workers as priorities even after the coronavirus pandemic subsides.
When asked about being an ambassador for the ward, Packard felt that title applied more to his mom.
“I always figured she would be a great public, just because she loved everybody,” he said of her.
Packard and his wife have four children and four grandchildren.
Reach Patrick Keck (740)-353-3501 ext. 1931, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @pkeckreporter.
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