West Jeff Council needs to fill vacant seat


(Posted Aug. 18, 2015)

By Sandi Latimer, Staff Writer

The resignation of West Jefferson council member Cory Coburn has sent village leaders to their charter to determine the next step in filling the vacant seat.

Coburn resigned Aug. 11 citing what he fears could be a conflict of interest. His company was purchased by one that does business with the village, and he feels it could be a conflict of interest. In addition, Coburn is selling his house and moving out of Ward 3, the area of the village he represents on council.

Coburn’s resignation came days after the deadline to submit signed petitions to the Madison County Board of Elections to run for office in the November election.

Discussions were held among village leaders, village Law Director Ron Parsons and Board of Elections Director Tim Ward. The village charter and the Ohio Revised Code were consulted.

The group determined that individuals in Ward 3 have the opportunity to file petitions to run for election on the Nov. 3 ballot to fill the remaining two years of Coburn’s term, which expires Dec. 31, 2017. They also determined that an interim council member will be appointed to fill Coburn’s seat until his successor is declared as elected following the Nov. 3 election.

Anyone from Ward 3 who is interested in filling the interim seat has until Aug. 31 to submit a resumé to jherrel@wjohio.org or to: Clerk of Council, 28 E. Main St., West Jefferson, OH 43162. Council President Ron Garver said he hopes to see the interim replacement appointed before the next council meeting on Sept. 8.

Anyone from Ward 3 who is interested in filling the last two years of the unexpired term has until 4 p.m. Sept. 3 to file a candidacy petition with the Board of Elections. Those interested must be registered voters and have lived in West Jefferson’s Ward 3 for at least one year in order to circulate petitions. Petitioners must collect 25 valid signatures from voters in the ward.

Garver said that Coburn has done a lot of work during his time on council. He chairs the employees benefits committee, which revised the employee handbook.

“He’s does a lot of work behind the scenes,” Garver said.

In other business, at their Aug. 17 meeting, council members approved putting $7,000 into the municipal pool fund to meet payroll and other obligations at the pool.

Public Service Director John Mitchell said it was a bad year for the pool. Garver agreed.

“With 19 straight days of rain, there are probably a lot of pools out there struggling,” Garver said.

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