Longtime Miami County politician, fire chief dies

Jan Mottinger, a longtime public servant as Miami County elected Clerk of Courts and Bradford Fire Department chief, died Monday at age 83.

Mottinger, a Bradford native, had served as clerk of courts since 1976, re-elected most recently in November.

He was a 56-year member of the Bradford Fire Department, continuing to serve as chief the past 29 years. Mottinger also was former village of Bradford mayor and longtime member of the county Republican Party and its executive and central committee.

His wife of 61 years, Carol, preceded him in death June 5.

“I think the whole county is very, very sad with the passing of Jan,” said Miami County Commission President Greg Simmons. “He has been a friend to the commissioners, to fire services throughout the county, police services throughout the county.”

Mottinger, whose responsibilities included the county Auto Title office, pushed a new county One Stop Shop for motor vehicle services. Planning for the facility is underway. Mottinger supported that and other county projects such as the county Courthouse/Safety Building entry security systems with money from his excess title funds.

Simmons said he worked with Mottinger since the 1970s when Simmons was with the county probation system. “We go back a long way. He has been one of the greatest assets this county has had.”

Commissioner Ted Mercer called Mottinger, “a genuine, kind person.”

Shawn Peeples, the deputy clerk of courts, said he has known Mottinger from the Bradford area and the fire department most of his life.

“He was always even-keeled, the voice of reason,” Peeples said of Mottinger and his interactions at the office and at emergency scenes.

Peeples was appointed Tuesday as the interim clerk of courts. The county Republicans will appoint the next clerk of courts

Mottinger was recognized in 2019 by the Central Western Firemen’s Association as the oldest, still active firefighter.

He also was active in the Ohio Association of Clerk of Courts.

Cynthia Bailey, the association’s president from Clinton County, said she was not certain Mottinger was the longest serving Clerk of Courts in the state. “But we do know he is definitely close to one of the top,” she said.

“He was always willing to share his knowledge and answer questions that we had,” Bailey said. “The OCCA is heartbroken for this loss and his family and friends are in our thoughts and prayers.”

Funeral arrangements are pending.

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