(Posted Sept. 11, 2019)
By Andrew Garrett, Staff Writer
Mount Sterling village council is back to full capacity. Mayor Billy Martin administered the oath of office to Andrew Drake at council’s Sept. 9 meeting.
Drake takes the council seat formerly held by Mike Bennett who resigned last month. Appointed after a unanimous vote by council during a special meeting on Sept. 5, Drake will finish out the two years of the unexpired term.
As a result of the appointment, Drake has withdrawn from the race for a full four-year term on council. Two such seats are up for election in the Nov. 5 general election.
Tim Ward, director of the Madison County Board of Elections, said it is too late to remove Drake’s name from the November ballot. The board will post notices at the polling places and in absentee ballot mailings explaining that Drake has withdrawn from the race and that any votes cast for him will not count.
Originally a resident of Washington Courthouse, Drake, 44, has lived in Mount Sterling for 10 years with his wife, Holly, and daughter, Vivian. He graduated from The Ohio State University in 1997 and from Capital University Law School in 2005. He works as an attorney for an insurance software company.
Drake was one of two residents who applied for the vacant council seat.
“Mount Sterling promises a lot of opportunity and is ideally suited to growth,” he said. “I think the village is turning a corner, and I would like to help keep pushing it through and capitalize on what is here now.”
In other action on Sept. 9, council heard a second reading on a measure that gives the village administrator certain powers of a police chief. These powers do not extend to the ability to make arrests, Mayor Martin said, but are limited in scope to such things as temporarily closing a street for repair or a parade, and other functions necessary for safety and flow of traffic and parking. Martin said he was perplexed by how quickly rumor and false information circulated around the village about this issue.
Also getting a second reading was a resolution declaring the parking lot at 16 S. London St. and Deacon Way available for public use.
Passed on emergency was an ordinance to increase appropriations allowing for payment to AJ Asphalt for the second phase of recent street repairs.
Council unanimously voted to designate trick-or-treat hours as 6 to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 31.