Serving all the communities of the Buckeye Lake Region

Council makes choice for member on too many committees

BUCKEYE LAKE – Stacie McCloud is doing a fine job as a member of the Buckeye Lake Parks and Recreation Commission and the Planning and Zoning Commission, but according to the village charter, she cannot remain on both commissions simultaneously.

“So, it would seem to me that this would be a violation (of the charter),” said Buckeye Lake Village Council member Robert Masone Monday night.

“Stacie McCloud does an absolutely excellent job on Parks and Rec,” said council president Kitty Zwissler. She said McCloud has helped with funding Ryan-Braden Park. “My suggestion is to confirm her to Parks and Rec,” Zwissler said. Council appointed McCloud to both commissions.

“It seems like we should ask her which one she would like to resign from,” said Mayor Clay Carroll.

Zwissler said technically it’s council’s decision and McCloud excels on Parks and Rec.

“I think she needs to be allowed to make the decision,” said council member Arletta Ruton.

“The decision comes from council,” Zwissler said.

Masone said McCloud could refuse council’s decision but she can’t dictate on which commission she continues.

“It would seem common courtesy” to speak with her first,” said council member Tim Ryan.

“It’s still the decision of council,” Zwissler said. “So, what do you want to do?”

Council member Peggy Wells said she agrees with asking Mc- Cloud, but last November the mayor invited Athens based attorney Garry Hunter, past president of the Athens County Bar Association, the Ohio Municipal League, the Ohio Municipal Attorneys Association, and the International Municipal Lawyers Association, to tell council how to follow the village charter more closely. Wells said Hunter said the council should appoint people with the most professional credentials. Wells said she’s witnessed Mc- Cloud on both commissions. “She does a fine job on both,” but is more vocal on Parks and Rec,” Wells said. She said it’s just a matter of following the charter.

“It’s been no issue with her performance,” Zwissler said. “She’s performed excellent on both. The issue is we need to clean up and enforce some of our rules. I think this is a good place to start.”

“I really think it’s wrong to just bomb her with this,” Carroll said. He suggested inviting her to a meeting and explaining the situation to her.

“The courtesy of informing her is fine,” Wells said, but the charter states McCloud cannot be appointed to two boards. “This has been overlooked for some time,” Wells said. “I don’t think we can pick and choose.”

Masone said McCloud would be notified and the situation rectified.

“I’m sure she doesn’t want to be in violation of anything, either,” Masone said.

“She’s really a good person and has done a wonderful job on both,” Zwissler said. “The point is we need to do some house cleaning on some of the rules.”

Ryan said the planning and zoning members also serve on the board of zoning appeals. So, McCloud actually serves on three village commissions, which could be a problem.

Council members decided to confirm McCloud for Parks and Recreation, and agreed to inform her quickly that she wasn’t reconfirmed for the Planning Commission. Council members authorized advertising in The Beacon (Page 2) the open Planning Commission seat.

In other village news:

• Carroll said the street department’s backhoe needs roughly $17,000 in repairs. He added that council doesn’t have to approve that expense as the money is already in the budget. Carroll is also considering replacing it.

Council member Doug Poorman asked how often the backhoe is used,

“We’re still gathering that information,” Carroll said. He said the village would explore if renting or leasing a backhoe when needed is an option.

• Carroll said the village owns property at 138 2nd Street, next to Ryan-Braden Park. The property has several old trees, which are falling apart and could be dangerous. “It would probably be good to get those trees off,” and expand parking for the park, he said.

• Zwissler said she and other village representatives attended the Buckeye Lake 2030 meeting Jan. 21. “We had a great meeting at Lakewood High School,” she said. Zwissler said she and state representatives discussed giving Buckeye Lake Village access to a total of $980,000 left over from the state’s Businesses in Economic Distress grant. Very little of the $1 million grant was ever distributed because local businesses had to prove an at least 40 percent drop in revenue after the ODNR began to rebuild Buckeye Lake dam.

Zwissler said she hopes to convince state representatives to lower the drop in revenue threshold so more Buckeye Lake area businesses can access the grant money. She assured Ryan the intent of the grant money is only to help local businesses.

• Ryan wondered if Zwissler or Carroll heard any rumors about the old Buckeye Lake Dam being designated a national historic site. They had not heard the rumor.

“That would be a dangerous step going down,” Ryan said, because it may affect the way property owners along the dam could use their land. If the rumor is true, it would demand a lot of discussion within the village, he said. “It is a very serious consideration in the wind. I think it’s a big deal.”

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