(Posted Jan. 24, 2018)
By Amanda Ensinger, Staff Writer
The village of Mount Sterling is now live streaming council meetings online. The move is part of leadership’s vow to be as transparent as possible about village business.
The videos are streamed on YouTube. A link is available on the village website at www.mtsterling.org. Viewers can hear and see council members and administrators as they work through meeting agendas.
The board also continues to enhance its website in an effort to educate residents on what is going on in the community. Updates cover the new neighborhood block watch program, action to address nuisance and abatement issues, and 2018 parks and recreation programming.
“We are trying frequently to add new things to the website to keep residents informed. We want the website to be utilized and people to go to it for more information,” said Courtney Bricker, fiscal officer, at council’s Jan. 22 meeting.
Bricker noted that snow emergency routes are posted on the website and that residents cannot park on those routes during snow emergencies.
“Once we get two inches, we ask that you do not park there,” she said. “When cars are there, it is hard to clear the roads.”
Mayor Billy Martin reminded businesses owners that they are responsible for clearing and salting their sidewalks and handicap ramps–something he said he did not see done during the recent snow storms.
Madison County Sheriff Deputy Jack Dill reviewed police statistics for the village for 2017. Of the 1,705 incidents reported, 32 involved domestic disputes, four involved unconscious overdoses, and seven involved sex offenses.
When asked what could be done to reduce crime. Dill said residents should actively participate in the new block watch program.
“We promised accountability and transparency. Now it is residents’ turn to be accountable,” Martin said. “We need a lot of volunteers, and we need the community to stand up and be accountable.”
Speaking about other goals, Martin said village leaders want to be sure everyone is “paying their fair share of RITA taxes.”
“We feel like the village is losing money that is owed to us. This hasn’t been attended to in the past, and we are going to review it,” he said. “Everyone in town needs to pay their fair share, not just in utilities, but in taxes, too.”
Council discussed the ongoing issue of residents not paying their trash bills and illegally dumping trash.
“Another option is for everyone to pay their trash bills through their water bill,” said Mark Pitstick, village law director. “We would then have one trash provider and wouldn’t have a problem with this.”