New mayor wants more communication
THORNVILLE- Thornville's new mayor wants more discussion and less burn out. "We will have a more open line of communication. That's a good way of doing business," said Mayor Beth Patrick during Monday night's Thornville Village Council meeting.
Patrick, the former council president, was sworn in as mayor Friday following former mayor Dale Brussee's resignation. Patrick's change in roles created a vacancy on council for which the village is accepting applications until May 7. Council member Kevin Howell was named council president after Patrick was sworn in as mayor.
Considering there have been many changes to Thornville's government recently, currently its council and management is as follows:
+ Mayor- Beth Patrick
+ Acting Village Administrator Ron Koehler
+ Council President- Kevin Howell
+ Council members: Lynne Snider, Charlie Hale, Ron Dittoe, Mary Renner, and there is one council vacancy.
One of Patrick's goals is to limit village committee meetings to once per month. She said some committees are meeting far more often than that. "I think people are getting burned out," said Patrick. People are working so hard to resolve village issues, she said, that meetings are "stacking up," and Patrick believes the meetings would actually be more effective if everyone "took a breath" and slowed down a bit.
Koehler, who is temporarily volunteering as village administrator, gave a very detailed administrator's report Monday night, which included:
+ Perry County Court will send people fulfillingcommunity service obligations to help with some cleaning projects around Thornville. The court will supervise the workers.
+ Koehler said the village's sludge press was repaired for $1,200. The original estimate for repair was $12,000, but Koehler said the press could work with a smaller pump than originally thought, and other parts didn't need to be replaced. So far, he said, the sludge press is working smoothly with the new pump.
+ Koehler suggested giving more hours to the village officestaff. He said former village administrator Josh Eggleston took care of a lot of computer and paper work that will need to be completed by someone else since Eggleston resigned earlier this month.
+ Koehler said the village should consider adopting a sex offender ordinance similar to one recently adopted by the Village of Buckeye Lake. According to the ordinance, registered sex offenders are prohibited from establishing residences within 1,000 feet of schools, licensed day care centers, or village-owned playgrounds or parks.
In other council news: + Fiscal OfficerMelissa Trem- blay hopes the village will owe less than an originally estimated $24,000 to the IRS for back tax errors. She said a former village clerk's "W-2s didn't match the 941 (forms) for 2004," and the village may still owe some money. "Hopefully, they'll accept my numbers and that amount will drop significantly," she said. But, Tremblay didn't estimate how much that amount may drop.
Tremblay said there's $19,000 in the village's general fund and "we've been spending a little less than we're bringing in," although legal bills have been high.
+ Howell said health insurance for village employees is becoming expensive and suggested a plan whereby village employee's deductibles are placed high, but the village maintains a fund to help employees meet their deductibles when necessary. "This is going to be a large issue for us," he said.
+ Snider said the Thornville swimming pool staff will host a voluntary work day, Saturday, April 28, beginning 9 a.m. to help prepare the pool for the summer season.
+ Resident Patricia Reinhart said the Perry County Democratic Forum adopted a stretch of Ohio 13, just north and south of Sheridan High School. The forum is hosting its first clean up Saturday, April 28, 9 a.m. Bags and vests will be provided and there is a pot luck afterward.
+ Resident Willis McNabb complimented Koehler on his administrator's report and commented that Koehler is just one example of the intelligent and capable people of Thornville who could "step up to the plate" and serve on a board of public affairs. McNabb believes creating a BPA would be more cost effective than finding a permanent village administrator. "I'm really in favor of a board of public affairs," he said.