Wise appointed to fill council vacancy
MILLERSPORT - Council members quickly and unanimously filed a vacancy Tuesday night.
Late last year council member Paul Detty submitted his resignation effective January 13. He cited a recurring health problem. He was appointed in late 2007 when council member Sandy Lines resigned to accept a position with the village. It was too late to remove her name from the November ballot and Detty was reappointed to replace her after she was reelected to another term.
Shane Wise will fill the rest of Detty/Lines' term which runs through Dec. 31, 2011.
Wise has lived in Millersport since 1995. Tuesday night he said, "I moved out of convenience and never left." He moved to Millersport to be closer to graduate classes at OU-Lancaster. Wise is married and has three children. He is a global planning manager in supply chain management at Ashland Chemicals in Dublin. "Millersport is a great place to raise a family," he concluded.
Council members unanimously reelected Dave Levacy council president. A few changes were made to council committees. The 2009 committees are:
• Rules: Kenneth Brotherton chair with James Wright and Charles Mesko.
• Service: Wright chair with Brotherton and Gary Matheny.
• Safety: Levacy chair with Matheny and Shane Wise.
Finance: Mesko chair with Levacy and Wise.
Council members also unanimously approved a slightly revised annual appropriates ordinance totalling $3,201,455. Mayor's assistant Vince Popo presented a detailed appropriation comparison going back to 2004. In response to a question, Popo believes the fire budget will be the tightest this year.
"It's going to be close," he said. "There are going to be some things they can't buy."
Both Popo and Levacy expressed concern about the impact of declining real estate tax collections. This year Walnut Township Trustees made a specific appropriation - $412,000 - to the Thurston/Walnut Township Fire Department, while cutting the Millersport Fire Department's share of tax collections from 60 percent to 56.5 percent. That means the Millersport Fire Department will bear the entire impact if real estate taxes decline as expected in this recession.
Mesko said if collections fall significantly Millersport could find itself either having to subsidize fire/EMS services in the township or cutting back service.
Council members also approved dock rental fees for the 2009 boating season. The fee for residents is unchanged at $250 for the season, but non-residents will be charged $350 if any docks haven't been rented by residents. Members also approved an annual retainer with GGC Engineers of Gahanna. The firm waived its $350 retainer fee. The agreement allows the village to seek bids from other firms for specific projects, provided GGC gets an opportunity to submit a proposal as well.