By DAVID GREEN
Fayette council voted last week to hire a new tax administrator to fill a vacancy in the front office of the village hall.
Council voted 4-1, with Rodney Kessler absent, to accept the recommendation of the finance committee and hire Genna Biddix.
Biddix will be paid $28,000 for a 35-hour week, plus health insurance. Starting in January, she will offered two weeks of vacation for the year.
"I have a problem with that salary," said councilor Julia Ruger. "When someone worked here that many years, you're going to hire someone new for $500 more?"
When Dee Potter retired from the position after 28 years, she was paid $27,500.
Council member Scott Wagner said that pattern is occurring often with new hires, adding that a good salary must be paid in order to keep people on the job. The previous tax administrator who initially replaced Potter took a new job for more money in West Unity.
Wagner read the salaries paid to clerks in neighboring communities: Edon, $37,000; Stryker, $42,000; Edgerton, $38,000; and Pioneer, $32,200. Village fiscal officer Lisa Zuver said she is one of the lowest paid in the area.
During the finance committee report, council learned that Potter would be contacted to see if she is interested in helping train Biddix for her new position.
In another personnel decision, council voted to remove village worker Cole Landon from his probationary period and give her a 50 cent an hour pay raise.
REVIEW—Vickie Cox, Tina Keiser and Suzy Sommers were appointed to the Income Tax Review Board. The board has not been active in many years, Zuver said, because there have been no disputes about taxes, but there is a now an issue for the board to examine.
INSURANCE—Zuver told council that health insurance rates are expected to increase by 25 percent next year through the consortium of municipalities to which Fayette belongs.
RECYCLING—Council unanimously accepted an offer by Bill Fix to director of the recycling center located east of Water Street. Now that school is back in session, village administrator Steve Blue hopes to get student volunteers to help at the center when it opens on the second Saturday of the month.
Blue suggested that Fix should be allowed to keep the profit from the sale of cans.
ROADS—Council heard the second reading of a proposal to set aside 25 percent of the increasing tax revenue approved by voters earlier this year for road repair. Mayor Ruth Marlatt thanked councilor Julia Ruger for her foresight in suggesting the plan.
CSO PROJECT—The end of the combined sewer project is nearing an end, Blue said, and a list of any deficiencies will be created to present to Gleason Construction.
SOLICITORS—Electric utility companies looking for new customers are becoming much more prevalent, Blue said. Many of the solicitors first obtain a permit from the village office, but he said some are presenting it as an endorsement by the village. That’s not the case, he said. The village government is making no recommendation to citizens about which utility they should choose.
MEETINGS—The November council meeting was rescheduled to Tuesday, Nov. 26. The regular December meeting and the committee-of-the-whole meeting were rescheduled to Dec. 18. Both meetings begin at 6 p.m.