Serving all the communities of the Buckeye Lake Region

‘Watchdog’ checking minutes



Editor:

As I read some of the 2015 minutes from the Licking County Commissioner’s meetings (prepared by their Clerk Adzic) I realized something was not quite right.

On many occasions, there are obvious mistakes that would/should have been caught IF the commissioners are actually reading the minutes before they vote to approve them. Some of the mistakes are minor but some, in my opinion, are important as these are PERMANENT records.

The Commissioners’ minutes list each time that a subject/person/event takes place during the meeting. On July 21st, Ms. Adzic noted that Commissioner Bubb called the meeting to order at 9:10 am and read “in full Resolution 80-444.” This section contained about ten paragraphs listing detail, including public comments, regarding the resolution. I would guess this discussion probably lasted the better part of thirty minutes. However, the time of the next subject is also listed as 9:10 am. Minor mistake? Probably.

Another example is a July 16 meetwhere the time of 9:00 am is recorded as Commissioner Bubb calling the meeting to order; 9:33 am is the noted time of the next subject; followed by yet another subject that is noted as starting at 9:00 am. Minor? Maybe…except that there are a LOT of these!

On one occasion (September 10) it is noted that Commissioner Bubb is absent leaving only two commissioners. A vote is taken to “suspend with the reading of the minutes of previous meeting and accept as presented. Motion by Black and seconded by Flowers. Motion carried 2-0.”

But the next line on those same minutes is where the commissioners have to put their signature either as a yea or nay and in the “yea” it is signed by Flowers, Black AND Bubb! Was Bubb there or not? Did he vote or not? As far as I’m concerned, it is no longer trivial when these mistakes happen over and over. It tells me that the Commissioners are not reading these minutes before they approve them! It makes me think they are comfortable in their elected positions and don’t think their job is worth doing properly.

I see the same, or similar, mistakes being made in Buckeye Lake. I don’t blame the clerks who present these minutes with mistakes; I blame the elected officials who don’t take the time to look them over. If they’re taking that part of their job lightly, what else are they neglecting?

One thing they are not taking lightly in Buckeye Lake is traffic citations! Here’s a little comparison of the money taken in through mayor’s courts:

June July August
Buckeye Lake 13872 16799 14319
Hebron 2070 3390 2775
Kirkersville 7162 7620 8904

I expect Kirkersville’s numbers to come down quite a bit since they are back down to two police officers! I may not always agree with the clerk in Kirkersville, but I will say that she does a good job in presenting the minutes based on what happened in the meetings. In fact, the September 2 Council minutes of the Village of Kirkersville reflect some very interesting comments.

In the Police Chief’s Report at the meeting, the clerk notes that Council member Denton asked the acting police Chief Jason Lawless if he was happy at Kirkersville. He answered that he was to a “certain extent”. Denton then asked Lawless if he told police officers not to talk to council members to which Lawless replied that he “told them to follow the chain of command”.

There was a discussion about officers not completing the Mayor’s Court paperwork correctly which apparently caused issues at Licking County Municipal Court and noted they had “someone put in jail for four days and couldn’t get the paperwork done.” Denton gave Lawless thirty seconds to “resign or we can terminate you.” Lawless chose to be fired!

More to come…

Bonnie Mansfield
Buckeye Lake



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *