Village looks to fresh start with new council president

By Michael Williamson -

Mount Sterling Village Council held its first meeting of 2018 Monday night, complete with three new members of council. Tammy Vansickle, Becky Martin and Tom Ward helped to name a new president to council — councilwoman Rebecca Burns.

After taking office in 2014, Burns has served on the finance committee and helped organized events for the village. She was nominated by councilman David Timmons.

“Rebecca is a hard worker. I’ve been on the finance committee with her and I think she will guide us the right way,” Timmons said. Her first act as president will be to create committees and appoint their respective leaders.

“The committees are going to be the key,” Burns said. “We’re going to get those going right away.” Council also passed Ordinance 2018-04 which amended the rules of council and will allow Burns to be the sole person in charge of making those committee appointments until February.

Ordinances and resolutions brought to council Monday included:

• Ordinance 2018-01 which amended the village’s strength chart in relation to how many village employee positions they have access to hire.

• Resolution 2018-02 which engaged sheriff’s deputy Jack Dill as Parks and Recreations consultant at an hourly rate of $13 per hour. “(Dill) has already gotten a program started,” mayor Billy Martin said. “He’s doing an amazing job.”

• Resolution 2018-03 which reduces the pay rate of David Cline, a class I water operator for the village, from $23 per hour to $17 per hour. Council made the point that the resolution wasn’t a punitive measure, rather equalizing the pay rate of employees with the same qualifications.

• Resolution 2018-05 which changed the employee personnel manual to eliminate the yearly carry-over of vacation and sick time for village employees.

The resolution was somewhat a topic of contention between council members with the concern that it would leave workers without available sick time.

Councilman Lowell Anderson expressed concern about the resolution as written.

“I think this needs further study,” Anderson said. “I’m afraid some people will lose their vacation time and they’re also going to lose their sick time.” Council maintained that workers would never “lose” time but rather if it wasn’t taken in the course of a year, that workers would have the option to cash out 80 hours of time at the end of the year.

The resolution was adopted with a 4-1 vote and with one council member, Tammy Vansickle, abstaining.

Also on Monday night, fiscal officer Courtney Bricker informed council that the village has been replacing a number of water meters around town and that residents were being held more accountable for lapses in payment. In looking into the monthly payments, Bricker and water/sewer clerk Misty Vance found that some residents had gone without paying for years.

“We’ve neglected so many water meters where you’re just being estimated,” Bricker said. “There’s a lot of money to recover that we found and a lot of money that we could bring back to the village.”

By Michael Williamson

Reach Michael Williamson at 740-852-1616, ext. 1619.

Reach Michael Williamson at 740-852-1616, ext. 1619.