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More changes in Kirkersville village government

KIRKERSVILLE – The changing of the guard in Kirkersville village government continues.

Mayor Terry Ashcraft announced another resignation Feb. 4. January, council member and former Kirkersville mayor Bennie Evans, council member Jamie Cloud, and zoning chair and police photographer Mike Cloud tendered their resignations.

This time, Ashcraft said Zoning Inspector Tom Frederick resigned Jan. 30, saying he accepted a zoning inspector’s position in Hanover, which is much closer to his home. He said Frederick left Kirkersville on good terms. Don Copely was appointed to replace Frederick.

Former village council member Debbie Seymour and residents David Roach and Sharon Temple vied for Evans and Cloud’s council seats, although Roach said he would rather have council choose Seymour and Temple before him. Council members Gary Raines and Erika Mudd supported Seymour, but council members Brian Denton and Rosemary Frischen voted against appointing her. Ashcraft broke the tie in favor of her appointment. Denton was Temple’s only no vote.

Without being specific, Ashcraft said he’d like to see some replacements on the village zoning board because some members are missing many meetings and, in his opinion, not contributing as much as they should.

Tuesday, Ashcraft revealed who’s on the village’s various committees and other positions:

• Safety- Frischen, Raines, and Seymour

• Finance- Denton, Mudd, and Temple

• Street Commissioner- Ralph McConnell

• Mosquito control- Frischen

• Fire District Board – Mudd

• Zoning Appeals- Todd Miller, Dent Dailey, Eric Clingerman, Bill Magley, Roy Flowers, and Ashcraft.

In other council news:

• Ashcraft was left scratching his head after the village began accepting bids for operation of the village’s sewer plant. Previously, the village did not accept bids for sewer plant operation. He said the current provider, Kinder Environmental Services of Newark, was charging $4,750 per month plus $1,000 to haul sludge away. Kinder has charged as high as $5,400. However, the current bid from Kinder dropped to $1,950 per month once bidding began. “I’ve got a problem with that,” he said. “The red flag’s up.”

Other bids included Southwest Licking Community Water and Sewer District at $4,200 and Britenstine Environmental at $2,300 plus sludge removal fees. Ashcraft said council would likely decide during the March council meeting.

In a related issue, Ashcraft said Waste Management’s contract ends April 5, and the village will begin exploring the best deal for trash collection.

• Ashcraft said the village will press charges against former Kirkersville Police Chief Robert Chamberlain, who has not returned his personal records to the village or several DVDs with recordings of traffic stops. Attempts to contact Chamberlain have failed. Ashcraft believes that Chamberlain took the DVDs because the former chief purchased the disks. Ashcraft said the village would reimburse Chamberlain for the DVDs, but what’s recorded on them is evidence.

Speaking of evidence, Ashcraft said the village reimbursed more than $600 and replaced a knife to someone who was arrested. When the person was arrested, police took the cash, the knife, and bottles of Bud Light beer into evidence. Later, the evidence was missing and the investigation into the incident continues. “He didn’t ask for the Bud Light back,” said Ashcraft.

• A three-mills operating levy will appear of the May ballot. The levy has failed several times on previous ballots but Ashcraft hopes the change in administrat ion will help pass the levy this time. “I hope it does,” he said. Ashcraft said members of the village government will campaign for the levy and explain clearly why it’s needed.

• Ashcraft hopes the change in administration will alleviate much of the recent bickering between council and members of the village government. “I guarantee you there will be no fighting,” he promised. But, Seymour reminded council she can be very outspoken and is never afraid to offer her opinion. Like her or not, she said, “Everything I do is for the Village of Kirkersville.”

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