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Bitter computer specialist tells friends to watch their backs

KIRKERSVILLE – Kirkersville’s computer specialist logged off the village Oct. 1. Bill Harper, who has serviced the village’s computers as a consultant, read a letter of resignation to council. In it, he said while the majority of council members, former mayor and current council member Bennie Evans, and the majority of citizens have been courteous, others have not – namely former Kirkersville council members Bonnie Mansfield and Debbie Seymour.

Harper said Mansfield has openly maligned him in letters to the editor in The Beacon and doesn’t feel that current mayor Terry Ashcraft or council members Gary Raines, Erika Mudd, or Rosemary Frischen are supportive. “Any responses submitted by me to Ms. Mansfield’s allegations fell upon mostly deaf ears,” he said. “I cannot and will not submit myself to further degradation and slander.”

Harper said Mansfield criticized his $30 per hour pay, which he said was arrived at as a substantially reduced rate from that of other computer consultants. “With the bilious poison spewing forth from the likes of Ms. Mansfield and (Ms.) Seymour with the assistance of certain individuals within the village administration, all I can say is watch your backs,” he said, specifically to Evans, Village Clerk Johnny Adkins, Zoning Inspector Tom Fredericks, Zoning Board Chairman Mike Cloud, and council members Brian Denton and Jamie Cloud. “Never let your guard down.”

Harper had also served on village council. He no longer lives in Kirkersville.

In other council news:

• Village Solicitor Deborah Kenney McBride said the state requires Kirkersville to raise its traffic violation fines by $10 each. The revenue generated goes to the state. “The state keeps it, but makes the village collect it,” she said.

• Ashcraft said resident Terry Pierce asked if the village could reopen 2nd Street, which is an alleyway behind the Englehardt and Winters properties. Ashcraft said the alley has a fence across it and a sewer line down the middle.

Evans said it is a private issue, not a village issue, because the alley was never dedicated as a village street. “Does anyone have a title search?” he asked.

Pierce said he has maps to prove it’s a dedicated alley. He thought the village should have a title search. Evans believed the burden of proof is on the resident in this case.

Ashcraft asked Pierce to gather his maps, present them to council, and “We’ll go from there,” he said. Kenney McBride confirmed that the village must dedicate the alley before it can be opened.

“It’s up to the attorneys,” said Ashcraft, Tuesday.

• Mansfield asked why there was no public hearing regarding a liquor license for the Flying J Travel Center. Adkins said some paperwork wasn’t filed and no one requested a hearing.

“I did,” said Evans.

• Crossway Community Church Pastor Glen Gram asked council if the church could use the village hall building to serve a community Thanksgiving dinner Nov. 27. Council agreed. Gram said he plans for the “hanging of the greens” to take place some time after Nov. 22.

• Denton reminded everyone that a referendum to stop the Southwest Licking Community Water and Sewer District from providing public water to parts of the village will be on the November ballot. “I’ll bet people wished they had water during the power outage,” he said. “That’s all I’m saying.” Public water systems have backup generators to run distribution system pumps, unlike most home well systems.

• Kirkersville Beggar’s Night is Thursday, Oct. 30, 6 to 7:30 p.m.

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