- Calm all fears and concerns by providing clear and accurate information.
- Keep the laws and encourage others to support law enforcement efforts.
- Present the City’s best image to those within our community and visitors.
- Plan for the strategic growth of our community.
- Propose and support the City’s annual budget.
- Work together with all personalities: elected and appointed state, federal, and local officials, business, and community leaders.
Donald Mason is a lifelong resident of Zanesville, Ohio and was elected to office on November 5th, 2019 with over 65% of the vote, winning every precinct. He was unopposed in the November, 2023 re-election.
Mason has long been committed to public service. After graduating from Muskingum University in 1979, where he majored in Political Science and History, he was elected as a write in candidate to the Zanesville City Council in 1979 and served on the council through 1983.
In 1983, at the age of 26, Mason was elected Mayor of the City of Zanesville, where he oversaw natural gas and cable negotiations, water and sewer infrastructure development and other public works projects. Including within the projects was a development of the water, sewer, electricity and natural gas infrastructure in an industrial park of over 600 acres, which became the city's 'flagship' for business and economic growth. He was subsequently re-elected in 1987.
Furthermore, Mason's administration built the first water treatment facility in Zanesville, in order to remove many of the heavy minerals which were causing damage to hot water tanks, plumbing, laundry and domestic consumption.
Leaving Local Government
Leaving local government in 1991, Mason then became Chief of the Division of Oil and Gas at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) where he supervised regulatory activities and developed environmental programs for the safe and healthy extraction of oil and gas resources, including hydraulic fracturing and the disposal activity of oil and gas by-products including UIC Class I, II and III permitting. He also served on the Hazardous Waste Facilities Board, which reviewed permits for hazardous waste storage sites in Ohio.
From 1993 to 1995, as Deputy Director of ODNR, he supervised the Divisions of Parks, Forestry, Watercraft, Natural Area Preserves, and Wildlife. Those agencies totaled over 2000 employees and $100,000,000 in annual budgets.
His past public service included serving two terms as Commissioner of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. He was first appointed to the PUCO in 1998 by Governor George Voinovich and reappointed in 2003. In each appointment he was nominated by the Governor and confirmed by the Ohio Senate. The PUCO regulates investor owned electricity, natural gas, telephone and water and sewer companies in Ohio.
Mayor Mason was appointed by former U.S. Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham and reappointed by Secretary Samuel Bodman to serve on the National Petroleum Council. He was a member of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) where he served as Chairman of the Gas Committee and member of the Board of Directors. Additionally, he was a government representative and Chairman on the U.S. Department of Transportation's Technical Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety Committee. Mason also served as chairman of the Gas Technology Institute Public Interest Advisory Committee.
Commissioner Mason has served Ohio on the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC) appointed by Governor George V. Voinovich and Governor Bob Taft from 1995 until 2010 and Governor John Kasich subsequently reappointed him in 2014. At the IOGCC, he chaired various committees, eventually becoming vice-chair from 2003 to 2004 of the Commission, serving with then chairman Bill Richardson, Governor of New Mexico, and Alaska Commissioner and future Governor Sarah Palin.
After leaving state service, Donald L. Mason also served the State of Ohio as Commissioner of the Oil and Gas Commission and presently is a Trustee of Kent State University. He serves as Secretary to the Board of Trustees and Chairman of the Investment Committee and the Audit and Compliance Committee. He is also a Board Member of the Governor's Executive Workforce Development Board.
In 2022, Mason was appointed to the Board of Directors of OneOhio Recovery Foundation, where he serves as Vice Chairman.
Additionally, he has served his community as Chairman of the Zanesville Planning Commission, a member of the Board of Zoning Appeals, Downtown Design Review Board, and Design Review Board as appointed by former Mayor Howard 'Butch' Zwelling.
Mason graduated with a degree in political science from Muskingum College where he was the first NCAA All-American wrestler ever at Muskingum and later earned his law degree from Capital University, graduating cum laud
Mason is the Past-President of the 106-Year-Old Zanesville Rotary with over 41 years of perfect attendance and is a multiple Paul Harris Fellow. He is also a 32nd-degree Mason, Shriner, and a member of the several other Masonic organizations such as York and Scottish Rites, Amrou Grotto, and the Knights of Columbus.
In 2010, he received an award for Outstanding Community Service by the Grandmaster of all Ohio Masons. Mason continues to serve Muskingum County as President of the Board of Trustees of the Muskingum County Library System.
He is in his 45th year as an Ohio high school wrestling official. He has been was selected to referee the Ohio High School State Wrestling Championships on numerous occasions. In 2023, he was elected to the OHSAA Official Hall of Fame. He is a member of the Zanesville High School Hall of Fame and Muskingum University Hall of Fame. He is a lifetime member of the NAACP, where he serves on the Muskingum County Chapter Board and has been the Master of ceremonies for the Annual Freedom Fund Dinner.
Since taking office in 2020, Mason has addressed many issues across the historic community he serves including:
2020-2023 PROJECTS and IMPROVEMENTS COZ
- Cleaned up 2200 Linden Avenue (Lear Property) Original estimate was $6 million. We were able to walk the site with OEPA and USEPA and go the estimate down to $1.7 million because the drone survey measured far less debris than prior measurements. Project was well under bid at $730,000. Cooperation with the County was critical because they helped to fund the cleanup.
- Rebuilt Keen Street Park, Goddard Park, Chap's Run Park, Merrick Park, Cutty Dixon Park, and Lincoln School Park with new equipment and made the area safer. Included were new playground equipment, shelter houses, basketball net, hoops, and facilities.
- Re-leased 'Armco Diamonds and prepared them for Girls Softball League practice and play. The football fields are used for youth games.
- Added cameras to many parks so that dispatchers at ZPD can see if people are trespassing. This includes Putnam, Riverside, and Zane's Landing.
- Returned the historic Lorena' into service with tours and banquets.
- Awarded construction project in September of 2023 on new ballfield lights at Gant Municipal Stadium- FALL 2023 completion anticipated.
- Had each cemetery was cleaned and cut by Memorial Weekend so that families and friends can honor those who have passed.
- Worked with volunteers to 'bring back' the June Zane's Trace Commemoration in 2022 and 2023.
- The City started to run two street sweepers daily in order to keep our streets clean. Purchased new leaf vacuum machines to help residents clean the streets and keep storm sewers clean.
- The City worked through the Muskingum County Land Bank to have the Munson School site and the Mosaic Tile sites cleared of debris and leveled.
- Munson and McKinley sites will be repurposed for work force housing. Funding of Munson has been approves by a State agency.
- Received $6.9 million in funding from Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District, State of Ohio and FEMA/OEMA to rebuilt Dug Road and replace a sanitary sewer line which is 50 years old and at capacity and build a new storm sewer to move rainwater, spring water and ground water from hillside. Project was awarded by bid to a local firm nearly a million and a half under the engineers estimate. Construction to start in the fall of 2023.
- Rebuild curbs and sidewalks in the Putnam Neighborhood as the City responded to OEPA requirements to separate the storm and sanitary sewers. $6 million project.
- Rebuilt downtown parking lots and worked with volunteers to replace planters and veterans' banners so that the downtown is attractive and inviting. Coordination with downtown associations to have more events such as First Friday Art Walk.
- Initiated a downtown grant program so that property owners could repurpose buildings.
- Presently, rebuilding houses that were seized in a drug raid so they can be sold for single-family home ownership. The 'City' CIC is the vehicle that we are using to manage the projects. (8-1O phased project). Houses will become 'homes' in the Spring of 2024.
- Presently working with the Convention Facilities Authority to improve downtown buildings and make 5th Street an inviting entrance into the City.
- Started the Thursday Night Summer Concert Series, Secrest Summer Series which has gathered thousands of people downtown.
- Brought back concerts to the Secrest Auditorium and Music Hall.
- Worked with the Chamber, Convention Visitors Bureau, and others to improve the Christmas parade, events, and activities.
- Continuous involvement and attendance in the leadership of Statewide Opioid Funds Settlement case. Representing 8 counties in SE Ohio. Serving as Vice Chairman of the Board and Chairman of the Investments Committee.
- Distribution of thousands of free 96-gallon trash cans and 96-gallon recycling canisters. As a result, less trash is scattered on city streets and private yards (due to animals and weather). It also provided a safer workplace for sanitation workers and the routes ran more smoothly since sanitation workers did not have to waste time picking up scattered trash.
- Repaved the entirety of Maple Avenue after placing 1500 feet of new water lines under the street. The 1500-foot area had the highest amount of water line breaks in the City. It has been two months and no breaks yet.
- Built new Pickleball Courts at Riverside Park, contracted with a 'new' softball commissioner who brought more events and shared more revenue with the City. Also, great success in working with the soccer association who used proceeds to fund additional improvements such as security cameras at soccer fields and Kidzville.
- Rebuild curbs, sidewalks, and streets in the Ridge and Brighton Blvd area