(Posted Nov. 30, 2016)
By Amanda Ensinger, Staff Writer
A dispute over a council member’s comments on social media continued to bubble over at the Nov. 28 Mount Sterling village council meeting.
During roundtable discussion, council member Diane Spradlin thanked her supporters and addressed the elephant in the room.
“I would like to thank everyone who has supported me during the past two difficult weeks since the resolution has passed,” she said. “Never in my 11 years of public service have I intentionally misled the public.”
In late October after several special meetings, council approved a one-year contract with the same health insurance provider the village has worked with previously. Spradlin disagreed with the decision, saying village administrator John Martin should have gotten quotes from additional providers.
As a result of this disagreement, Spradlin posted comments on social media stating her reasons for objecting to the contract. Other council members later said Spradlin’s online comments contained inaccurate information.
“Diane did not agree with the board’s previous decision to enter into a year contract with the same provider we have previously worked with and posted inaccurate information on social media,” Martin said. “We already have a PR problem as a result of the scandal with the previous village administrator, so board members asked her to please ensure the information she posts on social media is accurate.”
On Nov. 28, Spradlin continued to stand by her comments.
“While this isn’t the time or place to exonerate myself, these false charges brought against me will be properly addressed,” she said.
In a related discussion, Spradlin addressed issues regarding availability of recordings of village council meetings.
“I have been trying for several weeks to get recordings of special meetings held in October,” Spradlin said. “I want to communicate information to the public and can’t do so without viewing these recordings.”
According to Martin, after several requests came in for council meeting recordings, the village discovered that the DVD format they use does not post or copy the recordings. In response to this discovery, the village changed recording formats, however, recordings prior to November of this year are not available.
In other action, council approved legislation to repair the safety equipment and heating and cooling equipment at the wastewater treatment plant.
A presentation on the heroin epidemic is slated for council’s Dec. 12 meeting.
“I know this is a huge problem, so I’m thrilled to hear this presentation,” said council member David Timmons.