UPDATE – April 11, 2019: Mount Sterling village council met in special session on April 10 and passed legislation to hire Jeff Martin as parks and recreation director.
(Posted April 9, 2019)
By Andrew Garrett, Staff Writer
After two years without one, Mount Sterling now has a village administrator.
On April 8, village council cast a unanimous vote to hire Brandon Fetzer to the position. Council member Becky Martin was absent.
Fetzer, 43, holds a Class III wastewater operator’s license through the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. Fetzer has worked in water and wastewater operations for 18 years, most recently with the Ohio Rural Water Association. His first day as administrator will be April 23. He expects to move from his home in Van Wert to Mount Sterling sometime in the coming weeks. His annual salary will be $63,000.
Council will wait to hire a replacement for Jack Dill, who recently vacated the position of parks and recreation director. Legislation to hire Jeff Martin, husband of council member Becky Martin, stalled after failing to get the necessary votes.
The legislation was presented with an emergency clause which, if passed, would have made the hiring effective immediately. Council member Craig Hix cast the lone vote against suspending the three-reading rule to pass the measure as an emergency. Without an emergency clause, legislation typically goes through three council meetings before a final vote is taken.
The measure is expected to pass, but not until after at least one more reading. Council has called a special meeting for 3:30 p.m. April 10 to vote on the legislation again. Again, it will be presented as an emergency.
Martin comes with a strong recommendation from Dill, who has worked with him through the Mount Sterling Eagles Youth League.
The position will pay $13 per hour.
The village’s nuisance and abatement committee is looking for one more private citizen to join its ranks. Dill, a sheriff’s deputy, and Mayor Billy Martin noted that the role isn’t always pleasant.
“It is a thankless job,” Dill said.
On the brighter side, the committee intends to encourage residents to participate in beautification of the village by awarding a placard to the most beautiful yard each month this year. The committee will continue to hand out citations for blight, however.
Block watch is coming together, according to David Timmons, council president pro tem. He wants residents to think of the watch as “neighbor watching neighbor,” and to not function as if it were in the Wild West.
“Always call the sheriff first if you see a problem. Don’t take care of it yourself like Wyatt Earp!” Timmons said.