2009-11-21 / News

Small stays on council, takes Bourne’s seat

By Scott Rawdon

BUCKEYE LAKE – Buckeye Lake Village Council member Shelly Small will continue to serve on council and fill the remaining two years of former council member Drew Bourne’s term.

Monday night, council members unanimously appointed her to the vacancy during a special meeting. Small’s current term expires at the end of the year and she didn’t seek reelection. However, upon further consideration, she decided to apply for Bourne’s unexpired term along with Margaret Tobin and Bourne’s son, Joshua.

Council member-elect A. Kaye Hartman was appronted to serve the rest of Small’s existing term until Hartman’s term officially begins Jan. 1, 2010. Council member-elect Clay Carroll will continue to serve on the village planning commission through December.

“The committee itself was locked,” said council member Jeryne Peterson, who also serves on the personnel committee. All three committee members – Peterson and council members Donna Thompson and Hilde Hildebrandt – supported a different candidate. Peterson supported Tobin, Thompson supported Small, and Hildebrandt supported Bourne. Committee members discussed their reasons privately during an executive session. Some members of the public objected to using an executive session for the appointment discussion, but Ted Hart, deputy director of media relations for the Ohio Attorney General, said Tuesday that consideration of the appointment of a public official or employee is a permissible provision for executive session according to Ohio’s Sunshine Law.

Peterson said committee members couldn’t arrive at a unanimous decision, but she said she didn’t want to leave the appointment up to Mayor Frank Foster, who makes the appointment if council fails to do so in 30 days.

When council convened following the personnel committee meeting, Peterson nominated Tobin, who didn’t receive enough votes. Thompson nominated Small, who had unanimous council support. Bourne’s nomination was never called to the table.

Peterson said she was disappointed that neither Tobin nor Bourne attended the meeting, and she couldn’t remember either of them ever attending a meeting, which ultimately led her to sup port Small. “She’s dedicated herself to the village,” said Peterson. “It’s a commitment.”

Peterson still believes Tobin would be an effective council member in the future and encouraged her to volunteer for village positions, such as one of several village planning commission seats that will be open in January. She encouraged Bourne to volunteer as well.

“I believe growth in and around the lake will be big,” said Small Tuesday. She said the village’s public water system, which is currently under construction, will attract development. “More options will come our way, and we have to be ready with a council who is willing to move forward together for the good of the village,” she said. Small also believes cleaning up some of the residences, either by removing uninhabitable houses or removing junk from lawns and mowing them, is another major issue for the village’s future. “We need to work with and find help for residents to clean up their houses and yards,” she said. Small is aware there are government programs and local youths willing to help the cause. “All we have to do is ask,” she said.

Peterson said council did not decide whether to turn building code enforcment over to a new Licking County Building Code Department, nor discuss a proposed tree ordinance.

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