ILR student sworn in to serve on Ithaca Common Council

Patrick Mehler ’23 was sworn in Oct. 6 to fill a vacant Ithaca Common Council term.

Mehler hopes to drive engagement between City Hall and the 6,000 people who live in his Collegetown-area district, the 4th Ward.

Patrick Mehler

The ward’s constituencies include single-family homeowners, renters, sorority and fraternity members, and West Campus residents.

“I hope I can get people reengaged with the city. I hope it’s a resurgence” said Mehler, who has had plenty of practice at Cornell in getting groups to move forward.

He is president of Cornell Votes, director of elections for the Cornell Student Assembly, president of the Scheinman Institute Conflict Resolution Club and president of the Cornell Club Sports Council. Mehler is also a volunteer student mediator for the Cornell Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards, formerly the Office of the Judicial Administrator.

He taps into his ILR education on a daily basis, he said. “I very much have turned everything I have learned at ILR to use it the next day to solve a problem. I have genuinely used every course.”

Mehler, who bowls two-handed at the Helen Newman Lanes and writes “The Mehl-Man Delivers,” a column in The Cornell Daily Sun, will serve as one of the city’s 10 ward representatives until Dec. 31, 2022. He is filling the remainder of a four-year term held by Steven Smith, who resigned from the position earlier this year, and will receive a yearly salary of $9,641. Katie Sims ’20 was the other candidate considered by the Common Council to fill Smith’s term.

Cornell undergraduates who have served on the Ithaca Common Council include Gayraud Townsend ’05, Eddie Rooker ’10, Josh Glasstetter ’01, Peter Mack ’03, Michael Taylor ’05, David Gelinas ’07 and Svante Myrick ’09, who is currently Ithaca’s mayor.

Mary Catt is director of communications for the ILR School.