Mount Sterling village administrator resigns

(Posted Feb. 14, 2024)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

Tom Byrne is resigning as village administrator for the village of Mount Sterling, effective Feb. 29.

Byrne was hired to fill the seat in August 2022. He is retiring to spend more time with family, especially his grandchildren.

“I think we got a lot done here in Mount Sterling,” he said about his time with the village. “I think we have a lot of potential. There are a lot of good things going on. I’ve enjoyed all of it. It’s just time for me to move on.”

As for filling the administrator’s position, Mayor Andy Drake said he is taking a few days to evaluate the role and talk with village staff before making a recommendation to council on next steps.

“Once council has had time to consider and make changes to the role, we would then post a position with their approval,” he said.

About Byrne’s service to the village, Drake commented, “He leaves on a very high note, with the village significantly better than when he found it. Tom’s ongoing contributions will be greatly missed, and we hope he will stop by once in a while to share some of his famous Irish cheer.”

Council accepted Byrne’s resignation in a 6-0 vote.

Potholes
Resident Jacob Keever attended the Feb. 12 village council meeting to express concerns about potholes on village streets.

“People want an action plan,” he said, regarding not just pothole fixes for the short term but also fresh paving of roads for the long term.

Drake agreed the village needs a plan. He noted that funding is the challenge when it comes to paving, explaining that the village only gets so much from the state for such projects. He said the village borrowed $400,000 for repaving High Street, the last full paving project the village tackled.

“We are still repaying that loan. We need to be careful about borrowing more money,” Drake said.

In the short-term, Drake said the village’s goal is to patch potholes within 24 hours of discovering them.

Byrne noted that the village’s two streets employees filled over 400 potholes last year.

Arbor Day/Clean-Up Days/Trees
The village’s tree/beautification committee will hold two Arbor Day events. The first is set for April 19 at Mason Park. Organizers hope to have third-graders from Madison-Plains Local Schools plant a couple of trees at the event, as has been done in past years.

The second Arbor Day event is set for 10 a.m.-noon April 20 during which the committee plans to give away tree saplings to the community at the town gazebo and on the town hall lawn.

The village will hold its annual spring Community Clean-Up Days May 3-5. Details will be shared as the dates get closer.

The tree/beautification committee plans to participate in the spring Clean-Up Days, helping with tree trimming projects and planting another six trees at Mason Park. They also plan to clear out brush and other natural growth around Mount Sterling’s oldest tree which stands near the water plant and Mason Park.

The committee’s work over the past year has earned the village the designation of a Tree City USA. Members will attend the Tree City USA conference in Worthington on May 9 to accept the designation.

Committees
Council unanimously approved the appointment of several community members to village committees:

• Linda Blankenship and Phil Starr to the zoning committee;

• Alice Hix to the planning committee (council member Craig Hix abstained on this vote); and

• Jacob Keever and Joann Schobeloch to the tree/beautification committee.

Council held a first reading on a proposal to expand the tree/beautification committee from five members to eight members. Becky Martin, committee chair, said she has received a lot of interest from community members who want to serve.

Martin also serves as chair of the nuisance and abatement committee. She reported that the committee has openings for two community members. Anyone interested in filling the seats can contact Courtney Bricker, village clerk, by sending a message via email to cbricker@mtsterling.org.

Council member Ross Anderson reported that Mike Miller is a new member of the Tri-County Joint Fire District committee. Darrell Champer is the committee’s new chairperson. Anderson serves as council’s representative on the committee.

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