(Posted March 29, 2019)
By Andrew Garrett, Staff Writer
The village of Mount Sterling is searching for a new parks and recreation director.
On March 25, village council accepted Jack Dill’s resignation from the position and voted to post the job opening online for seven days. Council member Becky Martin abstained from the vote.
Currently, the parks and recreation director job is a contracted position with a 1099 tax filing status. At a previous meeting, council tabled legislation that would have changed the position to a permanent, part-time village job, with the village paying at least part of Medicare and Ohio Public Employee Retirement System benefits. Health insurance would have been part of the package, though Dill did not plan to take it.
In his letter of resignation, Dill stated that the village’s parks and recreation committee had previously agreed to the change, only to have a couple of council members, including one who sits on the committee, question it later.
Also in his resignation letter, Dill explained that he felt he should be adequately compensated for all of the work he does for the village. After the job status switch fell through, he asked for a raise from $13 an hour to $16 an hour. Council denied the pay increase.
Dill served as parks and recreation director for over five years. He had not previously asked for a raise during that time, he said.
“I’m not mad, I’m just tired. They need fresh blood, new ideas,” he said. “I miss my weekends. I want to go fishing.”
Dill’s resignation poses a couple of quandaries for the village. One is what to do about equipment for the outdoor movie nights planned for this summer. Council approved a motion to rent three movies at a cost of between $1,000 and $1,400. The village owns a screen, donated by American Legion Post 417, but Dill owns the rest of the equipment needed to show the movies.
If fundraising isn’t secured to pay for the necessary equipment, council could seek appropriations, said council member Becky Martin.
After the meeting, Dill said he doesn’t have a problem with providing the equipment, only that nobody had asked him about it.
The other concern is who will be responsible for updating the village website, a task Dill had been performing. He said he would continue to do so with council’s approval.
In other matters, Mayor Billy Martin announced that the financial commissions committee signed off on the general appropriations budget for 2019. He said the commission, which oversees the village’s state of fiscal emergency, is pleased with the progress the village is making, particularly with how quickly the village is moving into the black. Martin said Courtney Bricker’s diligence has been key to that success. Bricker, the village’s fiscal officer, said the real thanks should go to council and the residents.
Council also passed a resolution authorizing Bricker to pay Madison-Plains Local Schools a percentage of the income tax collected per the enterprise zone agreement with Keihin Thermal Technology of America. Council member Lowell Anderson cast the single dissenting vote.
The search for a village administrator is coming along sufficiently, Anderson said. So far, village officials have interviewed two candidates, with more to come. The window of application will close soon, he said.
David Timmons, president pro tem, announced that the block watch’s first meeting of the year is set for 6 p.m. April 11 at town hall.