BUCKEYE LAKE – Crime never pays, unless someone can identify the person who vandalized the skate park at Ryan-Braden Park last Saturday night.
Monday night, Buckeye Lake Village Council members announced a $200 reward to anyone who can offer information leading to the arrest of the vandal or vandals who painted graffiti on skate park property.
Initially, council member Peggy Wells offered $100 to anyone who could anonymously identify the culprit. She said there is strong evidence pointing to who’s responsible, but a solid tip would help catch the person once and for all. “We need cameras down there,” Wells said.
“I’ll double the reward,” said council member Barry Herron, whose property has also been vandalized by spray painters. He said whoever is vandalizing local property must be brought to justice and a $200 reward provides plenty of incentive for people who know the culprit to inform authorities.
Wells said she believes the culprit considers his or her self to be “artistic,” when in reality the person is just a vandal.
In other council news:
• Monday night was the final meeting for two council members, although there is a chance one may return. Neither Herron nor council president Jeryne Peterson sought new terms last November. Write-in candidates Douglas Poorman and Thomas Wolfe were elected to their positions. However, Wolfe had already been appointed to fill the final two years of former council member Michelle McCormick’s term following her resignation.
Wolfe’s victory gave him the option of filling one of the fouryear terms Herron and Peterson left vacant; he announced he would accept a four-year position Monday night. This left his two-year unexpired position on council open beginning Jan. 1, 2016. Peterson said she may be interested in applying to fill that two-year term, although she would still compete with anyone else applying for that position. “We look forward to your application,” Wolfe said.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time on council,” said Herron, who served for roughly four years. Herron was appointed to fulfill former council member Patrick Brighton’s term in 2012. Herron said he didn’t run for another term because work responsibilities began to interfere with his ability to attend council meetings.
“This is kind of an emotional night for me,” said Peterson, who served 10 years on council. She said plenty of progress was made in the village during her tenure despite negativity portrayed in local media. Peterson said she’s confident Buckeye Lake would eventually return to the prosperity it enjoyed in the 1930s and 1940s, although its economy looks bleak right now.. “Don’t say we can’t do things,” she said. “I’ve enjoyed my terms (on council).” Peterson said she’s been privileged to work with “quite a cast of characters” during her tenure. “It’s been a pleasure,” she said.
• Council members approved the village’s 2016 permanent appropriations budget unanimously, but council members still intend to review the budget next year, once the new council members are in place.
Wells said Wolfe has some good ideas for capping parts of the budget and incorporating more council member input on the finished product. She suggested passing the budget Monday night to meet the year end deadline, but revisiting it next year. Council members agreed.
Council member Kitty Zwissler said while she believes the Buckeye Lake Police Department does a fine job, she is also aware of complaints that the department is too aggressive in issuing traffic citations. She is concerned the heavy ticket writing is discouraging visitors from coming through the village and hurting local businesses. Wolfe said he looks forward to revisiting the village budget next year. “We’re going to focus on a lot of details,” he said.
• Mayor Clay Carroll thanked Solicitor Butch Bindley for his nine years’ service; Bindley is retiring. Newark attorney Mark Gardener will replace Bindley.