The new Newcomerstown Village Mayor comes into office with a lot on his agenda. However, his two main goals are for cooperation and the betterment of the village.

Jim Friel officially became mayor of the village at midnight Dec. 31. He was elected in 2011 to serve the four-year term at the helm of the village. He took over for retiring Mayor Steve Guy.

The position is considered part-time but Friel runs on a full-time agenda.

Even on his first day on the job, he was signing paperwork and making selections for his committees for Newcomerstown Village Council. He was also given the duty to administer the oath of office to recently re-elected Gregg Shivers on the Newcomerstown Board of Public Affairs.

Friel said his plans for the next four years are to work with Newcomerstown Village Council to move in a positive direction, try to complete more projects, and work on the Newcomerstown Bicentennial Committee by making improvements to the downtown, especially Main Street. He said he wants to make the downtown look more decorative and inviting for more businesses and shoppers to utilize the downtown businesses.

As far as zoning in the village, Friel said he is for it.

Im for zoning, he said, Im going to do whatever to help the people in town.

Friel is no stranger to public office by having served on the Newcomerstown Board of Public Affairs for eight years, Newcomerstown Village Council for four years, Newcomerstown Chamber of Commerce president for four years and Newcomerstown Chief of Police from 1985 to 1995.

In his free time, Friel also works for Ohio Security Services, and has a wife, Patricia; a son, Robert Todd; a daughter, Angela Ankrom; and six grandchildren.

Friel plans to maintain consistent office hours by being in the Mayors Office on Monday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Tuesday through Friday from 8 a.m. to noon. However, if any resident has any concern, they are urged to call the Mayors Office at 498-6313. He said, My doors are always open for questions, concerns or good ideas, or if you want to volunteer for anything.