BUCKEYE LAKE – Monday night, during a special meeting, Buckeye Lake Village Council members appointed resident Tom Wolfe to fill the position Michelle McCormick vacated. Three of Buckeye Lake’s seven council members have now been appointed, rather than elected.
One of the elected council members, Peggy Wells, was still not allowed to vote on Wolfe’s appointment. She had spoken with village solicitor Butch Bindley following last week’s Planning Commission meeting. Wells said he told her that council members could not prohibit her from voting as a condition of her threemeeting censure.
As the meeting opened, Wells recommended the council appoint Wolfe; council president Jeryne Peterson reminded Wells she was under censure and couldn’t participate in the meeting beyond the roll call.
“I’m allowed to vote, according to the attorney,” Wells said.
“You misinterpreted what he said,” Peterson said.
Council member Robert Masone said the personnel committee interviewed Wolfe and recommended his appointment.
Council member Kitty Zwissler said she was pleased someone with Wolfe’s qualifications was interested in the position.
Council members unanimously approved the personnel committee’s recommendation to appoint Wolfe.
“Wells, yes,” interjected Wells following the roll call vote. Peterson reminded Wells again that couldn’t participate. Wells began walking out of the meeting.
“Councilor Wells, I would advise you to take your seat,” said council member Arletta Ruton. “You are not allowed to leave a council meeting; it’s in council rules.”
Peterson told Wells to refer to page five of the council rules, although Wells continued to walk away from the council chamber.
“Aren’t you cute. Did you do this in school,” Peterson asked Wells.
I’m sorry you had to see this kind of childishness,” Zwissler said to Wolfe.
Mayor Clay Carroll swore in Wolfe.
Monday night was Wells’ third and final censured meeting.
According to Wolfe’s application for the vacant council seat, he is a Cranberry Lane resident who has held no previous positions with the village; however, he is treasurer of the Buckeye Lake Region Chamber of Commerce, was a property code official for the City of Newark, a local banker and served with the 2014 Winterfest Committee.
Wolfe said his main reasons for wanting to serve on council are to improve the village’s economic condition, improve EMS, bring jobs to the area, improve streets, and improve the property code.
“I have not seen good paying jobs coming into beautiful Buckeye Lake, Ohio,” Wolfe said in his application. “I have not seen the prosperity this town could have. Should I get on council I want to see the charm and prosperity every resident and business of this village should have. We need good jobs, a safe dam to be completed timely, life saving team of EMS staff, better streets, dilapidated properties cleaned up, and an end goal of teamwork this village can use.”