2008-09-13 / Editorials & Letters

'Watchdog' digs up a lot of mismanagement


UNBELIVEABLE!! Of ALL the phrases to be used, would you ever expect GOB (Good Ole Boy) Bennie Evans to accuse someone else of having a "CONFLICT OF INTEREST?!"

But that's just what happened at the September 3rd Kirkersville Council meeting. Mayor Ashcraft announced that he would like to hire James Petrey as the new Chief of Police after Village Clerk Adkins read a letter of resignation from Interim Chief Chris Martin. Bennie Evans, of all people, said he felt like there would be a conflict of interest with Petrey working as the chief since he works a couple of nights a week for Buckeye Lake.

OBVIOUSLY, Petrey would not be working both jobs at the same time and the jurisdiction would be limited to each municipality whose borders do not meet although Evans called them "adjoining municipalities." (For those of you who don't know, Evans is the former Kirkersville Mayor also Licking County Rehab Inspector that was inspecting jobs done by his son-in-law through a company that Evans once owned; who put his coworkers from the county on a Kirkersville committee even though they don't live in Kirkersville; whose son-in-law was a council member; whose other son-in-law was the street employee; and so on!!)

Evans asked Ashcraft if he had an application from Chris Martin. Ashcraft said he did not. Adkins said he thought Martin wanted the position as police chief. Ashcraft said Martin told him he was quitting because "(Buckeye Lake Police Chief) Ron Small and Bonnie Mansfield are ruining his reputation!" What a joke! Mr. Martin's actions ruined his reputation. He needed no help!

Council member and GOB Brian Denton said he understood conflict of interest and said he has to be very careful when it comes to "liquor issues" claiming the Attorney General would "smack him in jail" if he didn't watch what he said. Denton is employed by the State of Ohio Division of Liquor Control. However, it was Brian Denton who first announced that the Flying J had applied for a liquor license and he knew that because of where he works! He wasn't too concerned about what hesaid that night!

The operating levy won't be on the November ballot. Evans told everyone that the ordinance was passed illegally at a special meeting in which only four members showed up. Evans and Cloud were absent from that meeting. Debi Seymour questioned Village Solicitor Debbie Kenney, from the audience, asking if Ms. Kenney was at that meeting. Kenney said she was not taking questions from the floor. But Ms. Kenney WAS at that meeting! Why didn't she catch this mistake then when there would have been enough time to get the levy on the ballot?

In the past, when Bennie Evans was mayor, there were SEVERAL occasions in which the rules were suspended and ordinances were passed with only four members present. In fact, there wasn't even a quorum when Evans' son-in-law was appointed to a council seat. Evans didn't open his mouth then! But even more interesting is the fact that the night (in 2006) when Ms. Kenney's contract was renewed and the rules were suspended and an ordinance was passed AS AN EMERGENCY, there were only four members present! Does that make her contract invalid?

Another ordinance, the ordinance to hire the Village Fiscal Officer, was prepared wrong! Debbie Kenney says she had to prepare a revised ordinance to hire the fiscal officer for the village. One ordinance would be to hire the person and another one to set her wages. The first ordinance had the hiring and the wages combined. I hope Ms. Kenney doesn't charge the village to attend the special meetings that council will have to have because of her mistake.

In closing, be sure to thank (with sarcasm) GOB Mike Cloud for pushing so hard to get rid of the bats! A dying bird was found near the town hall and has tested POSITIVE for West Nile disease! Remember that one bat can eat THOUSANDS of mosquitoes (who carry West Nile) in just one night! And one GOB can put the whole village at risk, in more ways than one, in just one day!

Bonnie Mansfield Buckeye Lake

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