Mason Council Members Sworn In

At the December 1 organizational meeting of Mason City Council, four Council members elect were sworn in to serve a 4-year term. Members Ashley Chance and Diana Nelson will return to Council to serve a new term, Barbara Spaeth returns having served on Council previously and Mark Haake will serve his first term as a Council member.  All four terms run through November 30, 2025.

Three or four Council members are elected at-large in odd-numbered years. The City’s charter calls for an organizational meeting on the first day of December in odd-numbered years. At that meeting, a Mayor and Vice Mayor are selected by the Council from among their members. In addition to duties as a Council member, the Mayor presides over Council meetings and acts as the ceremonial head of the City. The Vice Mayor assumes these duties in the absence of the Mayor.

Council unanimously elected Barbara Spaeth as Mayor and Diana Nelson as Vice-Mayor marking a historic moment for Mason – the first time both the Mayor and Vice-Mayor seats are occupied by women.

Pictured from left to right – Councilmember Josh Strycula, Councilmember Mark Haake, Vice Mayor Diana Nelson, Mayor Barbara Spaeth, Councilmember Ashley Chance, Councilmember Kathy Grossmann, Councilmember Tony Bradburn.

Makino Gift Brings Common Ground Playground into Reality

On Monday night, Mason City Council planned a special event during its regular meeting to celebrate a Makino announcement of a $500,000 gift towards the completion of, what Mason residents often refer to as the Common Ground playground, a vision of the City and Mason Parks & Recreation Foundation for nearly a decade. Mason City Council honored Makino’s spirit of generosity and mutual commitment to serve the community by taking action to designate the 34 acres of land off of Reading Road as Makino Park, an inclusive recreational space, which will be anchored by the Common Ground playground.

Mason is home to the North American headquarters for Makino with Makino’s two billion dollar parent company located in Tokyo, Japan.

The Common Ground playground has received generous support from both corporate and individual donors, including recent contributions from TriHealth, the Scheeler family and Deerfield Township, along with over half a million dollars in private individual donations, special fundraising activities and the City of Mason’s matching program. The establishment of Makino Park and the completion of Common Ground playground are hoped to generate excitement and attract many more inclusive recreational features at the park.

“We have always fostered a culture of giving within our organization, encouraging our employees to contribute to impactful local causes,” said Don Lane, President and CEO of Makino Inc. “Giving back to the City of Mason in this enduring way that will benefit residents of all abilities for years to come felt like a fitting tribute to our partnership and success here.”

“We are so honored by this incredible gesture of friendship and collaboration,” said City of Mason Mayor Victor Kidd. “At the core of Mason’s economic development activity is recruiting and retaining business partners whose missions align with the City’s commitment to a culture of wellness and vision for providing quality services and amenities. Makino’s gift will have a lasting impact that completes a seven-year journey and a long-term vision for the Mason Parks & Recreation Foundation, leaving a legacy for generations.”

Common Ground Playground at Makino Park was designed in consultation with local parents of children with disabilities, a leading inclusive playground manufacturer, therapists and other professionals who work with children and adults with special needs. The playground’s educational, interactive environment is unlike any other in the region and goes far beyond requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act to bring new social engagement and sensory opportunities for children, veterans and seniors. It’s an all-inclusive place where families can come together and enjoy a place to have fun.

For over seven years, Rachel Kopfler, President of the Mason Parks & Recreation Foundation has championed advocates and fundraising efforts for the playground. “I can’t tell you how excited we are to see this dream finally become reality. As a mother of five children, including a son with special needs, I really saw the need for an inclusive park first-hand,” Rachel explained.  “My son is a triplet, and he excelled in his development despite a spinal cord defect, because his siblings always pushed him to the next level. It occurred to me that other special needs children without siblings may benefit from a park like this with specialized equipment.”

“The Makino Park sends an important message to our community about inclusive opportunities,” noted Vice Mayor Barbara Berry-Spaeth. “The Mason Community Center is at the heart of the City’s commitment to providing a high quality of life for our residents. Makino Park will be an extension of that commitment, providing more unique and healthy programming opportunities for everyone. We applaud Rachel’s dedication and devotion, Makino’s support of our shared vision and the generous spirit that exists throughout our community in moving this project forward.”

To view concept images of the new park visit www.imaginemason.org.

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About Makino

A world leader in advanced CNC machining centers, Makino is committed to providing high-performance, leading-edge machining technologies and innovative engineered process solutions that enable manufacturers to focus on making what matters. Makino offers a wide range of high-precision metal-cutting and EDM machinery, including horizontal machining centers, vertical machining centers, 5-axis machining centers, graphite machining centers, and wire and sinker EDMs.

Makino’s flexible automation solutions provide reduced labor costs and increased throughput in a variety of production volumes and designs. Makino’s engineering services offers industry-leading expertise for even the most challenging applications across all industries. For more information visit www.makino.com.

About City of Mason

Mason, Ohio, is the largest city in Warren County and an established hub for bioscience and innovation, which includes a business portfolio of leading advanced manufacturing, healthcare and technology companies. Mason is nationally recognized for its low cost of living, award-winning schools and its intentional culture of wellness. For more information about the City of Mason, visit www.imaginemason.org.



On January 28, Mason City Council and TriHealth executives announced TriHealth’s significant contribution toward achieving the goal of building Common Ground Playground in Mason, Ohio. TriHealth’s support of this initiative will have a substantial impact on Mason’s journey to complete Common Ground Playground, a future destination where children and adults of all levels of capabilities can interact and play together and the City’s mission for Building a Culture of Wellness.

Set on 33 acres of land off of Reading Road in Mason, Common Ground playground will be an invaluable asset to the region as it eliminates boundaries for children and adults with disabilities and encourages interaction and inclusivity with typical peers. The park’s serene setting will encompass unique sensory and play equipment in a safe and enclosed environment; encourage social interaction and challenges physical, social, emotional and cognitive development through exploratory and interactive play.

The City of Mason has a successfully history of partnering with TriHealth to enhance health and wellness opportunities in the community.  In 2008, the City of Mason united with TriHealth, one of the leading healthcare providers in the Cincinnati region, to advance the City’s mission of building a culture of wellness in the community. This was accomplished through a significant expansion of the Mason Community Center to offer medical and physical therapy services inside the Center. Since that time, the City and TriHealth have collaborated on various programming initiatives that promote health and wellness to the Center’s members as well as the Mason community. Based off of the continued success of the partnership, TriHealth will be expanding its medical practice services inside the Center to include approximately 10,000 of additional space in order to better serve its clientele in Mason and the Cincinnati region.

With TriHealth’s contribution, Common Ground playground will complement the community’s repertoire of amenities that promote Mason’s values of health, wellness and inclusivity. The project officially broke ground earlier this month and with continual aggressive fundraising efforts, the City of Mason and the Parks and Recreation Foundation are hopeful to complete the project by Spring 2020.

For more information regarding Common Ground Playground, please visit www.masonparksfoundation.org.