(Posted Oct. 15, 2017)
By Amanda Ensinger, Staff Writer
Mount Sterling leadership is experiencing another shake-up after several council members voted to terminate the village administrator’s contract.
At the Oct. 9 village council meeting, council member Rebecca Burns called for John Martin’s termination.
“As a result of the finance meeting, I’m asking for the termination of John Martin as village administrator,” Burns said.
Diane Spradlin seconded the motion. She, Burns, and David Timmons voted in favor of the termination. Mary Lou Stiverson-Ratliff and Jim Davis voted “no.”
The vote did not sit well with Mayor Lowell Anderson, who voiced his opposition at the meeting.
“This comes as a shock to me that we are releasing John Martin from his contract,” Anderson said. “I don’t think there was enough study done on this, and I think the person who asked for this and the person who seconded it have more of a grind (with Martin).”
Spradlin rebutted, saying Anderson’s assessment was incorrect.
“You are out of order to degrade any person for how they voted,” Spradlin said. “We have to vote how we think is right and should not be bullied. We followed the proper rules, and I think it is in poor taste to degrade people for how they voted.”
Timmons echoed Spradlin’s comments.
“My father fought for my right to be here and do what is right for the village,” he said.
When asked after the meeting for the reason she sought termination of Martin’s contract, Burns said, “At this time, I really can’t say anything additional. I refuse to do things behind closed doors and this needed to happen. At this time, I can’t say anything else.”
Spradlin said, “I can’t comment on personnel issues.”
About council’s actions, Martin said, “I have absolutely nothing to say.”
According to Martin, his current contract with the village started March 1, 2016, and expires Feb. 28, 2018.
The village hired Martin after the previous administrator, Joe Johnson, was terminated for stealing over $700,000 from the village. In March, Johnson was sentenced to 10 years in prison.