2008-02-16 / Editorials & Letters

'Watchdog' still keeping an eye on Kirkersville

Editor:

The February 6th council meeting in Kirkersville was amusing and sad at the same time. Former mayor, now council member Bennie Evans' did most of the talking as the meeting began. If you didn't know in advance, you might think there were two mayors...the one elected by the people; and the one trying to crawl back into the seat he was voted out of!

Evans' puppets were silent, for the most part. But sometimes one of the council puppets would speak and I swear you could see council member and ventriloquist Evans' lips move. You can, at least, see GOB Zoning Chairman Mike Cloud's facial gestures and head bobbing as though he were trying to guide the puppets from his seat in the audience.

Mayor Ashcraft questioned that Bennie Evans was incorrectly put on council. Ashcraft stated that he believed that no one can be appointed to a seat until it is vacant. He asked Village Solicitor Debbie Kenney to read Section 731.43 of the ORC which states "when the officeof a member of the legislative authority of a village becomes vacant..." She stated that it looked like a 'quibble of words' to her. Brian Denton claimed that Miller's seat was vacant that night. However, according to the minutes of that evening, council member Bobbi Miller's resignation was not effective until December 31 as Ashcraft had claimed. In addition, I spoke to the Board of Elections and they have never been notified of Evans' move to council and still list Bobbi Miller as a council member.

During Evans' reign as mayor, auxiliary police officerspatrolled the streets INCLUDING INTERSTATE 70 but were UNINSURED by the village! One paid police officer wrecked a cruiser and, according to King Kop Chamberlain, the village was unable to test him for drugs because there was no contract for the company doing the testing even though there was an ordinance. It seems it has been this way for at least two years. Village Solicitor Debbie Kenney said the testing company "probably has a contract we need to sign." Duh! Ya think!

Not only are the old mayor and solicitor to blame, but also the council members who apparently did no research and hurried through their Committee of the Whole meetings. Again, I ask, committee of the whole WHAT?! I also believe that these meetings were all bunched together on the same night as council meetings so the GOB's would have to spend as little time in public as possible.

During this February 6th meeting, tcouncil voted 4-2 to approve the ordinance for water. One citizen announced that she would be getting a referendum together to have the water issue placed on the ballot where the people would have a fair vote. A poll taken by the former administration left 70+ homes out of the survey and only allowed for one member of a household to cast a vote AND no one renting property was permitted to vote.

Current Mayor Ashcraft and council members Raines and Mudd are NOT included as GOB's, puppets or puppeteers. I believe they are trying to fight for the citizens of Kirkersville. Sadly, it's an uphill battle. How about giving them a 'pat on the back' when you see them out and about. And when you see the GOB's out and about, ask them how long they plan to be puppets, or puppeteers or ventriloquists....... Bonnie Mansfield Buckeye Lake

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