Hanson appointed to four year council term
BUCKEYE LAKE – Buckeye Lake Village Council members appointed resident Margaret Hanson to a four-year term Monday night.
She fills the position left open after it was discovered write-in candidate Kenneth Owens was ineligible to serve because he registered to vote less than a full year before he ran for office. Buckeye Lake’s Village Charter states any resident who has been a qualified elector of the village for at least one continuous year prior to the election for member of council shall be eligible to hold the office of council member.
Council members voted 5 to 1 to appoint Hanson, with council member Peggy Wells voting for former council member and mayoral candidate Brenda Hileman. Resident Shirley Colley also sought the position, but received no votes from council.
Wells objected to council members appointing its new member via a secret ballot. “I respectfully protest the secret ballot because I think it’s illegal,” she said to council president Jeryne Peterson.
“It isn’t for any type of personal preferences,” said Peterson. “As democracy has it, each to his own, however he or she feels to vote.” She continued with the secret ballot, although Wells announced her vote for Hileman publicly and did not fill out a secret ballot.
Hanson was sworn into office. Wednesday, she said she’s looking forward to serving the community in the position and will devote her time, for the time being, to learning the village’s procedures. Hanson most recentl owned and operated an Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt franchise in Pickerington and was a senior international equity trader for J.P. Morgan Chase.
In other council news:
• Water Supervisor Toby Miller said the village will install a system to inject zinc orthophosphate into the Buckeye Lake Village water distribution system to compensate for an abundance of copper that appeared in some residents’ plumbing fixtures. “(The copper) is not in our water system,” he said. He said the water absorbs copper as it sits in the pipes leading to many residents’ faucets – the water is actually picking up copper from the homes’ plumbing. “It’s the homeowners’ systems,” said Miller. “It’s not that we’re protecting ourselves, it’s that we’re protecting customers.”
Miller said Ohio EPA monitors water for lead and copper and, while the EPA didn’t find excessive lead, it did find copper. According to Ohio EPA, public water systems commonly add phosphates to drinking water as a corrosion inhibitor to prevent the leaching of lead and copper from pipes and fixtures. Inorganic phosphates (e.g., phosphoric acid, zinc phosphate, and sodium phosphate) are added to the water to create orthophosphate, which forms a protective coating of insoluble mineral scale on the inside of service lines and household plumbing.
The coating serves as a liner that keeps corrosive elements in water from dissolving some of the metal in the drinking water. The key to ensuring that orthophosphate reduces lead and copper levels is for public water systems to maintain proper orthophosphate levels.
The zinc phosphate is safe for consumers. The typical phosphate levels found in a liter of drinking water are about one hundred times lower than the phosphate levels found in the average American diet. For example, a person would have to drink 10 to 15 liters of water to equal the amount of phosphates in just one can of soda.
Miller said this isn’t something that sould have been anticipated when the village’s distribution system was installed. It could only be found through many months or years of testing. “It was not something overlooked during construction,” he said.
• Council members unanimously approved a resolution requesting the Licking County Board of Elections to re-establish a polling place in the Village of Buckeye Lake. Wells wrote the resolution and will present it to the board of elections during its Feb. 11 meeting.
Wells said previously that the Licking County Board of Elections’ decision to move Buckeye Lake’s polling place from Our Lady of Mount Carmel church to the Union Township Complex some seven miles away for the November election caused a “pretty significant” drop in voter turnout – approximately 500 voters from the presidential election, she said. Voter turnout was down approximately 35% compared to recent non-presidential elections. Wells pointed out that combining the village’s two precincts already saved the Election Board money by cutting the number of poll workers.
• Council appointed chairs and members of the village’s committees. Committee chairs are:
• Public Safety Committeecouncil member Gerry Neff
• Community Development Committee- council member Michelle McCormick
• Personnel Committee- Wells
• Rules Committee- Hanson
• Finance Committee- council member Barry Herron, and
• Public Service Committee- Arletta Ruton
Often committee meetings are canceled because there are not enough committee members present for a quorum. As Herron discussed scheduling a finance meeting, Wells asked if brief meetings couldn’t be held during council’s regular committees meeting. “That could be just a five-minute discussion,” she said.
“It’ll be a longer meeting,” said Herron.
• Mayor Clay Carroll and council members urged residents to attend the First Annual Polar Bear Plunge at noon, on Sunday, Feb. 2, at Buckeye Lake Winery. The event will benefit the Buckeye Lake Historical Society. Carroll said the winery’s docks have bubblers, so the lake won’t be frozen near the docks. A portion of the proceeds from Plunge T-shirt purchases and pledges will be donated to the society. There will be a chili and baked potato bar and local musician Reid Coleman will provide entertainment.
Peterson said historical society’s request of the village for $3,000 from the village to promote tourism would go to the finance committee for discussion, “since our finances are a little tight,” she said.