Craig Rower serving as Fayette's interim mayor 1.14.09

Written by David Green.

by DAVID GREEN

Fayette has a new interim mayor in place until the general election in November.

Craig Rower was chosen unanimously to fill the position vacated by Anita Van Zile who gave up her post at the end of 2008.

Village attorney Mark Hagans attended the regular council meeting Thursday to explain the procedure for filling the office.

When a mayor resigns, the council president pro tempore fills the role until the next regularly scheduled election, which is in November.

Because Paul Shaffer’s role as council president expired Dec. 31, Rower was actually elected council president rather than mayor.

Since Fayette’s population is less than 2,000, Hagans said, the council president pro tempore has the option of leaving his council seat vacant until November or appointing a new councilor.

“I’ll probably let council make the decision,” Rower said Friday.

If the other council members favor adding a sixth member, then candidates will be interviewed, he said.

If Rower is absent from a meeting, council will appoint a temporary chairperson to fill his role for the night.

Rower joined council in August 2005 when he was appointed to fill a vacant seat.

Fayette’s council could have a new look after November. In addition to choosing a mayor, voters will elect four council members. The terms of Rower, Shaffer, Jerry Gonzales and Ken Dolphous all expire this year.

COMMITTEES—Rower made the following committee assignments for 2009:

• Public Works—Shaffer, Delphous, Mike Maginn.

• Public Safety—Gonzales, Shaffer, Ruth Marlatt.

• Finance—Shaffer, Delphous, Gonzalez.

• Governmental Affairs—Maginn, Marlatt, Delphous.

Delphous will continue as council’s representative on the cemetery board.

Marlatt and village administrator Amy Metz were appointed to the Fulton County Community Improvement Corporation.

LEAKS—Village workers tracked down three leaks in the water system after observing an abnormally high pumping rate. One of the leaks was inside a foreclosed house, Metz said.

COMPLAINTS—Metz said four residents called to express their concern about lowering the amount of water softener salt. The system will be evaluated this month.

Complaints also came in regarding the elimination of leaf and brush collection. Council will take a look at first quarter tax revenues before making a decision about reinstating the service.

For the year, income tax revenue decreased $31,319 from the previous year, leading council to make several budget cuts for 2009.

Unpaid water and sewer accounts stood at $5,681 at the end of the year. About half of those with delinquent accounts have called the village office to discuss full or partial payment.

RECORDS CLERK—Council voted 3-2 to change the status of the records clerk from a subcontractor to a part-time employee. Dolphous and Shaffer opposed the motion.

Dee Ferguson serves as clerk for $15 an hour. Her work will continue until all of the old records are examined and sorted.

SIDEWALKS—The annual inspection schedule for sidewalks was pushed back a year due to economic conditions.

The application for Safe Routes to School funding for sidewalk work was withdrawn for 2009 to allow additional planning.

TREES—The village tree commission is being revived after inactivity during the past two years. Four village residents are sought to join Eugene Rosinski on the commission. Other residents are invited to attend meetings.

The commission evaluates the health of trees in the village and makes recommendations for trimming and planting. Interest was expressed at the meeting about obtaining Tree City status.

  • Play Practice
    DRAMA—Fayette schools, in conjunction with the Opera House Theater program, will present two plays Friday night at the Fayette Opera House. From the left is Autumn Black, Wyatt Mitchell, Elizabeth Myers, Jonah Perdue, Sam Myers (in the back) and Lauren Dale. Other cast members are Brynn Balmer, Mason Maginn, Ashtyn Dominique, Stephanie Munguia and Sierra Munguia. Jason Stuckey serves as the technician and Trinity Leady is the backstage manager. The plays will be performed during the day Friday for students and for the public at 7 p.m. Friday.
  • Front.F.school
    PROGRESS continues on the agriculture classroom addition at Fayette High School. The project will add 2,900 square feet of space and include an overhead door that would allow equipment to be driven inside. The building should be ready for the start of school in August. Work on ball fields and a running track is also underway.
  • Front.rover
    CLEARING THE WAY—Road crossings in the area on the construction route of the Rover natural gas pipeline are marked with poles and flags as preliminary work nears. Ditches and field entry points are covered with thick planks in many areas to support equipment for tree clearing operations. Actual pipeline construction is progressing across Ohio toward a collecting station near Defiance. That segment of the project is expected to wrap up in July. The 42-inch line through Michigan and into Ontario is scheduled for completion in November. The line is projected to transport 3.25 billion cubic feet of natural gas every day.
  • Front.geese
    ON THE MOVE—Six goslings head out on manuevers with their parents in an area lake. Baby waterfowl are showing up in lakes and ponds throughout the area.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Face Paint
    FUN NIGHT FUN—Savanna Miles sits patiently while Abbie White works on a face paint design Friday during the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Gracie Snead watches the progress after having spent time in the chair. Abbie was one of several volunteer painters, each creating their own unique look. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.

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