STRUTHERS, Ohio (WKBN) – More than 100 people gathered Saturday at the childhood home of new Struthers Mayor Catherine Cercone-Miller.
Here, they witnessed history.
She is the first female mayor elected and sworn in as mayor in Struthers.
“It was surprising to me because it’s 2019. This should have happened a long time ago, but to be the first is very, very humbling,” said Cerone-Miller.
However, she’s more concerned with being the right person — not just the right woman for the job.
Born and raised in Struthers, she’ll now transition from her job as a secretary to the city law director and prosecutor. Her top priorities as mayor include addressing blight in the neighborhood and bringing in new business.
“I’ve been paying attention, listening, learning, watching everything that’s been going on in City Hall for the last six years, just really doing my homework and getting to know the city even better,” Cercone-Miller said.
Mahoning County Commissioner Carol Rimedio-Righetti said she can see this starting a trend in the Valley.
“Now we have broken that glass ceiling here in the Valley that we can all be a part of the elected system,” she said.
For Cercone-Miller, the swearing-in ceremony comes just a couple of weeks after the passing of her mother. She said many people have been questioning how that would affect her duties as mayor, but she said that only makes her more motivated.
“Since she’s been gone, I feel like I have two angels on both of my shoulders,” she said. “It’s gonna push me to work even harder moving forward.”
Cercone-Miller is a 2001 graduate of Struthers and said she now has her dream job.