The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.office
    NEW OFFICES—Fayette village administrator Steve Blue speaks with tax administrator Genna Biddix at the new front desk of the village office. Village council members voted to use budgeted renovation funds targeted for the old office and instead buy the vacant bank building on the corner of Main and Fayette streets. The old office was sold to Sherwood State Bank. When everything is put into place in the spacious new village office, an open house will be scheduled. Council member David Wheeler donated all of his time needed to make changes in the bank interior to fit the Village’s needs.

Fayette council OKs cuts; mayor resigns 12.31.08

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Fayette village council members approved a budget change that will trim services to residents in 2009.

Council now has the task of getting a new mayor in place following the resignation of Anita Van Zile.

Village administrator Amy Metz heard that some citizens planned to attend the council meeting Dec. 23 to question the proposed cuts, but no one from the public was there. The budget adjustments were approved with no further discussion.

Council members intend to trim nearly $43,000 from next year’s spending plan because income tax revenue is falling short of projected levels. Cuts include the elimination of leaf and brush collection, a 50 percent reduction in water softening, and various reductions in personnel and hours worked.

A plan to save $5,000 from the pay that council members and the mayor receive ran into problems when it was learned that the change could not apply to those already serving. Council members would have to voluntarily donate their pay back to the village.

Mayor Van Zile presented a letter of resignation effective Dec. 31. She was elected to the council in 1997 and first elected mayor in 2003.

Her letter stated that she has been thinking about leaving village government due to time constraints. In addition to her job, she is earning a master’s degree and volunteers at her church.

When the village administrator position was reduced to part-time, Van Zile said her own busy schedule made it difficult to make connections with the administrator. Van Zile felt she was no longer “trying to be my best” serving as mayor.

She added, “while I recognized the diverse and controversial personalities of council while contemplating running for my second term as mayor, I was still unprepared for its affect on me. While trying to juggle the same schedule as stated above, the negative tone of council was taking its toll on me and affecting me in other areas.”

Van Zile values her experience with village government and urges other residents will step forward to serve.

“I would not trade my experiences of being elected as a council member and then running for mayor,” she said. “I would recommend to anyone to take advantage of the opportunity to serve the village, learn the system of village government, and grow deeper as a person and in commitment to the village.”

Metz was waiting to hear from the village attorney to learn about the next step in choosing a new mayor. Ordinarily, the village president (Paul Shaffer) would move into the mayor position, but his appointment as president also expires Dec. 31.

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