Residents can say their piece at next council meeting

(Posted Aug. 25, 2016)

By Amanda Amsel, Staff Writer

Over the past month, Mount Sterling Mayor Lowell Anderson has denied residents the opportunity to address village leaders during council meetings. That will change at the next meeting on Sept. 12.

“Residents can put their name and address on a card and put it in a box at the next council meeting,” Anderson said at council’s Aug. 22 meeting. “Cards will then be drawn and people will be allowed to speak to the board for three minutes. The council will not respond to any comments, but this will give residents an opportunity to air their grievances.”

Those grievances likely will include questions related to the July arrest of Joe Johnson on 30 felony accounts, including the theft of nearly $1 million from the village during his four years as village administrator.

At the Aug. 22 meeting, one resident was permitted to address council. The topics were not related to the Johnson case. Bobi Little asked for documentation stating that council members do not get paid for meetings they don’t attend.

“From what we have been told from you, if a council member doesn’t attend a meeting or a meeting gets canceled, you don’t get paid,” Little said. “I cannot find any ordinance that says this. In fact, the only ordinance I can find that addresses any compensation for council is from the 1990’s. I would like to know where to find this ordinance that clearly states this.”

No council members responded to Little’s question.

Little also commented on what she deems to be a lack of transparency regarding the neighborhood revitalization grant the village received.

“We want to know what is happening with this,” Little said. “It would be nice to have a flow chart to see where we are at on this.”

Village Administrator John Martin said he will create an outline to keep residents abreast of developments in this project. Martin also gave a brief update on several of the revitalization projects.

“Some of the items for this revitalization have to wait until the water plant is complete, however some projects will be kicking off soon,” he said. “One item we will want community input on is the veterans memorial. The cost and design of this is still up in the air, but it is important that we get community feedback on this.”

The village has until late fall 2017 to complete all projects for this grant. Besides the veterans memorial, some of the other projects planned include new playground equipment, a basketball court, a walking track and a dugout.

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  1. Why no addressing Coincil until after meeting adjourns? When the meeting adjourns it’s “off the Records” even the Council minutes stop when it adjourns! I can see why the community has no respect for those in office, looks as though they want to keep playing the GAMES that Joe Johnson was doing! Not only should the people Recall as many of them as they can but they need to get another Village Solistor also if he just sits there and doesn’t tell them what rules of Council, ORC and ethics they are breaking. Let’s just hope that when the investigation is done that those that let it happen under their nose without saying a word are not there so the village can begin to heal from the many many years of the Good Ol Boy political BS it has suffered from.


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