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.