(Posted Dec. 24, 2017)
By Sandi Latimer, Staff Writer
West Jefferson village council members took care of end-of-the year business and bid farewell to outgoing council member, Randy Otis.
Otis represented the village’s fourth ward for the past 12 years. He chose not to run for re-election this past November. He said he is taking a break from public service. His current term ends Dec. 31.
Otis spent much of his tenure as chair of council’s public service committee. He counts the development along U.S. Route 29 as one of the highlights of his time on council. He noted that the late Tom Phillips, a former West Jefferson mayor, served as his mentor in his early days on council.
In thanking Otis for his service, council member Jim King commented, “I enjoyed working with you, although we didn’t always vote the same way.”
After passing a resolution acknowledging Otis’s contributions to council and the village, his colleagues let him have the last action of the night, that of entertaining a motion to adjourn the meeting.
Elected in November, Howard Wade Jr. will take over in January as council’s fourth ward representative.
During the business portion of the meeting, council
– approved a two-year agreement with Dearborn National Life Insurance Co. for life and accidental death and dismemberment coverage for village employees and their dependents. The agreement takes effect Jan. 1.
– decided to leave the Ohio Public Entity Consortium Healthcare Cooperative pool. The village will pay a reserve of no more than $30,000 to leave the consortium. The payment is due by Feb. 1.
– gave Public Service Director John Mitchell permission to purchase up to $30,000 worth of deicing salt at the state minimum of $49.62 per ton, which Mitchell says is $5 per ton less than last year’s cost.
Martin reported that the village received a $14,000 grant from Battelle that will allow Parks and Recreation Director Marci Darlington to expand the summer Lunch & Learn program from two days a week to three days a week.
In other updates, council met in special session Dec. 7 to go into executive session to discuss personnel issues. An ordinance, identified as a non-binding resolution formally expressing and documenting the opinion of the council and the village was tabled until further information becomes available. Council did not provide information as to the specific nature of the ordinance.
West Jefferson council’s regular meetings are held at 7 p.m. the first and third Mondays of the month. Because the first Monday in January is New Year’s Day, council meet on Jan. 2 instead.