Mayor & Council

Council 2024
From left to right:  Michael Graves, Ben Wagner, Kelly Clark, Mayor Keith Funk, Vice Mayor Christina McElfresh, Tom Hagedorn, and John Centers

Meetings

City Council meets on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month at 6:30 p.m.  Meetings are held in the City Council Chambers located at 233 South Main Street.  To send an email to all of Council click here. You can also send them an individual email below.  Telephone:  513-360-2215. Fax: 513-360-2231.

If you would like to be placed on the agenda you can contact Angela S. Wasson, Clerk of Council, at 513-539-7374 extension 1012 or send her an email

Rules of Council


Agendas & Minutes

View Most Recent Agendas and Minutes

Born in Colerain Township, Ohio, I am a graduate with honors of Colerain High School. My collegiate experience began at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College where I earned an Associate's Degree in Marketing. This led me to acquire my Bachelor's Degree in Business Management from the University of Phoenix online; then eventually my Master's in Business Administration from Xavier University in Cincinnati. I also picked up an Associate's Degree in General Insurance along the way through a self-study program.

My family and I settled in Monroe in December of 2012. We instantly knew we were in a special place with great people, great schools, and a bright future. Naturally it is easy to get involved with something special, however my wife Natalie and I have a heightened level of interest in the community as we are raising our young family consisting of our three sons and daughter. I am honored to serve the residents of Monroe and I look forward to paving a path for the future.

Previously I worked as Business Manager for a small municipality in southwest Ohio. My time in the public sector has enlightened me to the impact and value that one person's efforts can provide to local government spurring me to run for Council.

Photograph of Christina McElfresh

Christina "Kristie" McElfresh
 Vice Mayor
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Christina McElfresh, raised in Centerville, Ohio, played a major role in the strength of the Dayton and surrounding region. As Vice President and Director of the AFL-CIO, Community Service, Christina, spearheaded community efforts, with both public and private sectors, to work in a collaborative, community wide, effort to raise awareness and create both a local and regional economic strategic plan of action covering 13 Ohio counties. Christina was also the past Director of Communication for UFCW Local 1099 now Local 75.

Christina was widowed in 2010, and has called Monroe, Ohio, her home for more than 18 years. She has two step-children and three grandchildren. In addition, Christina truly enjoys learning about and collecting antiques. She also operates an antiques shop in Centerville, Ohio.

Christina is passionate about Monroe! She is honored to represent her fellow residents as a Monroe City Council member and she is always available to assist with answering questions or concerns from the Monroe community.

November of 2010, Christina shifted her career to Real Estate and has received numerous awards for her sales volume. In 2014, Christina was elected to the Middletown Board of Realtors, now known as The Butler Warren Association of Realtors. Real estate has always been a passion of hers and she specializes in the sale and purchase of historic homes, assisting first time home buyers, seniors who are down-sizing, and ensuring her clients are happy. She is the President of the Monroe Historical Society and a life time member. Christina is also the President of the Rotary Club, member of the Monroe Lions Club, and very active in the community.

Photograph of John Centers

John P. Centers

Council Member

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I have been married to the love of my life for over 34 years and we have raised our two sons who both graduated from Monroe High School and played various sports during their junior high/high school days.

I spent 39 years in public safety working in public, private and hospital based emergency services. The last 33 years were spent serving Monroe residents where I worked my way through every rank the Monroe Fire Department held, finishing my career as Monroe Fire Chief for 11 years. I managed a rather important portion of the City of Monroe's general services with over 40 full time employees, two 24 hour facilities and an annual budget ranging from $5-$7 million dollars.

During my tenure as Monroe Fire Chief, we were honored to be named Ohio Fire Department of the Year, Ohio EMS Star of Life Recipient, Fire Officer of the Year and received the Ben Franklin Global Heroism Award.

We secured over $1.3 million dollars in grant awards for the Monroe Fire Department, which we are very proud of. I worked as a deployable asset to the Butler County Incident Management Team as an Operations Chief and have been deployed to disasters throughout the U.S. I attended SWAT school and served as a SWAT Medic and was an Arson Investigator for Monroe and the Butler County Arson Task Force.

I served as President of the Butler County Fire Chiefs, was a member of the Butler County Covid Task Force, and Opiate Task Force. I chaired the City of Monroe Occupational Safety and Health Group and authored the City of Monroe Disaster Response Plan. I also spent several years as a board member of Butler County Elderly Services.

My wife and I are founders of Companion Cuisine which is an annual event where the wonderful citizens of Monroe come together with food items, donations and more importantly - their time on Thanksgiving morning where we provide, prepare, package and deliver over 500 Thanksgiving meals to those in need in Monroe and surrounding areas. This has become a family tradition for some Monroe residents.

I look forward to this opportunity to continue serving this amazing community that has given myself and my family so very much.

Photograph of Kelly Clark

Kelly Clark
 Council Member
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I have been a Monroe resident for over twenty years in the same home. My husband and I moved here in the year 2000 to start a family. We loved the small town  atmosphere accessible to the express way, and we were especially excited about the  history making brand new school district, where we hopefully would be sending our future children. In 2002, our daughter Erin arrived, and she attended Monroe Schools and Butler Tech School of the Arts. As an arts student, living in Monroe gave our daughter  exceptional access to the performing arts both nearby and in town , which was yet       another reason to love our community. Erin is currently attending college working on her BFA in theater performance.  

My husband Dan and I have been married for 22 years. You may recognize him as a former Vice Mayor of Monroe. He currently works in claims     management for a local fortune 500 company.  When he left Council, I decided the time was right for me to enter formal public service. Prior to being elected to Council, I was the Chair of the Charter Review Commission in 2020, and I was also a member of the Personnel Board. I have been active in community organizations including the Monroe Historical Society as a lifetime member and former Board Vice President, and a member of the Lions Club assisting with July 4 and pancake breakfast.  

When I’m not serving my community in some capacity, I can be found wearing my second hat as a veterinarian. This is my 25th year in practice, and once again community service for pets  is my passion. Currently, I work with shelters and low cost clinics in the Ohio area to provide affordable veterinary care for all families, as well as controlling the pet population through low cost spay/neuter services.  With my focus on the people of this community, I am eager to bring my service based experience  to the Council. It is my intention to be a visible and accessible community leader, with responsible growth and expenditure as my platform.  

Finally, if you ever see me walking through town or at the parks  with my buddy Lucy the Terrier, feel free to stop and say hello! I look forward to meeting many more of you as we work together to keep Monroe a great place to live, work and visit.


For the last 20 years I have called Monroe home. Growing up we moved around and ended up in West Chester, where I graduated in the last class of Lakota High School. I then went to Mount Vernon Nazarene University where I graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management. Upon graduation, I ended up in the insurance field working with State Farm, Allstate and Metlife in different roles. These movements led me to my current role for the last 6 years, as an owner of an insurance company that focuses on Medicare and Life Insurance. With this, I am able to help work with individuals on their Medicare questions, as well as non-profits and community organizations to help educate the community.

My wife and I met at college and got married soon after. We just celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary. When looking for our first house together we really wanted to live in a small town and have that small town feel. Our search led us here to Monroe, and we haven’t left. Over the years, I have helped coach my 3 kids in basketball, soccer and most recently, the Majors baseball programs, and we have been a part of the Wee football, cheerleading and wrestling programs as well. Throughout my career I have been on many boards or councils, whether with my church, my university, and my companies. I now look forward to this opportunity, to serve on City Council and help be a voice for the citizens of my city.

Tom Hagedorn
Council Member
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I was born and raised in Colerain Township. I graduated from Colerain High School and Vocational Center, where I studied Drafting and Cad program. I am married to my wonderful wife for 25 years. I have a very diverse work background, I have worked in culinary arts, construction and manufacturing. My wife and I moved to Monroe in 2003. We were looking for a small town with a great community and school district. Monroe checked all the boxes. We have raised our 3 children here, all 3 are Monroe graduates. I have volunteered a lot behind the scenes with their sports and extracurricular activities. Now that I have some extra time, I decided it was time to step forward and bring my knowledge and work background to help the City of Monroe and its residents in shaping the future of this great town and not losing sight of where it came from.

I am excited for the opportunity to serve the Monroe Community.

Photograph of Council Member Ben Wagner

Ben Wagner
Council Member
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My family and I moved to Monroe in the fall of 2013.  I have humble roots in Celina, Ohio as the son of a nurse and a Vietnam veteran. I've been married for more than 15 years and have two growing children in Monroe Local Schools.  As a graduate of University of Cincinnati, I have spent the past 20 years in both sales and customer service. I am looking forward to bringing my experience with people to the City of Monroe, working alongside both residents & Council members to keep Monroe proudly growing.


Overview

City Council consists of seven members, elected at large for a term of four years. Following each Council election the Council selects, by a majority vote from its own members, one to serve as Mayor and one to serve as Vice Mayor for a term of two years. City Council meetings are open to the public and everyone is encouraged to attend. If you would like to contact the Mayor and City Council, you can call 513-360-2215 or send them an email

Employees

The Law Director, City Manager, and Clerk of Council report directly to City Council.  All other employees of the City report to the City Manager.

K. Philip Callahan has served as the Law Director and Prosecutor for the City of Monroe since 1997. In addition to his private practice he also serves as Law Director for the City of Miamisburg. Mr. Callahan is a 1978 graduate of Carlisle High School and earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of South Alabama with a Major in Political Science and Minors in both History and English. With the goal of public service, he started to work on his Masters of Public Administration right away and earned that degree in 1983, also from South Alabama.

In 1984 he began his professional career as the Village Administrator for the Village of Carlisle, Warren County, Ohio, moving on to the position of City Manager of the City of Germantown, Montgomery County, Ohio, holding that role from 1985 through 1987. He decided to return to school and earned a Juris Doctorate degree in 1990 from the University of Dayton Law School.

Mr. Callahan can be contacted at 937-866-9933 or via email.  

Photograph of Larry Lester

                     Email Mr. Lester

Larry Lester joined the City of Monroe as City Manager on January 11, 2024.  Prior to coming to Monroe, he worked for the cities of Hilliard and Dublin for over 30 years.

Mr. Lester is pursuing a Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership from Southeastern University. He holds a Master of Public Administration from Ohio University, Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Urbana University, and Associate of Applied Science in Civil Engineering Technology from Columbus State Community College.

Mr. Lester and his wife have been married for 16 years and are the proud parents of two daughters. 

Angela S. Wasson, MMC, serves as the Clerk of Council and Assistant to the City Manager. She is a Master Municipal Clerk and responsible for maintaining City records, public information needs of the City Council and City Manager's office, including the website, newsletter, and social media.  

The City Clerk has direct signature authority and their signature is required on all Ordinances, Resolutions, and other official documents of the City. The City Clerk's office is a citywide information and document resource, and is the official records management office for City Council.  Objectives: promote effective communication among City Council, employees, and the public; simplifying processes, procedures, and systems; treat the public with respect and dignity; staying abreast of current laws as well as any changes in the laws; preserving the City's history and making it available to the public through a highly effective and sound records management program; and carrying out and promoting the organization goals of City Council.

Prior to working for the City of Monroe in 2001, Mrs. Wasson previously worked for the City of Monroe's Law Director for 10 years and the City of Germantown for 8 years.