The West Jefferson Village Council met for their first meeting of 2018 on Monday night. Newly elected member of the fourth ward, Howard Wade, took his seat as well. Although the agenda was brief, council adjourned in less than 30 minutes as a result of a tabled resolution.
The only item of new business, Resolution 18-007 — which authorizes the Public Service Director John Mitchell to make a variety of purchases for the village, including: a Hustler Zero-Turn Mower, Water Meter and radio Read Endpoints, a Vermeer Wood Chipper and furnace and air conditioning units — was met with concern by some members of council.
“Does the village really need that big of a chipper? Because there are several different sizes of chippers and I don’t see why the village needs one that will cut up a twelve-inch log,” said councilman Doug Eakins. “There are smaller ones available out there that would probably do just as good of a job.”
Councilwoman Lorie Cafagno agreed, noting that the chipper’s $32,000 price tag seemed excessive.
“I think you could probably rent one for $1,000,” Cafagno said. The resolution was included in the 2018 budget which was passed by council ahead of the new year. The legislation was voted to be tabled until the next meeting which will be on Monday, Jan. 29.
Council president Steve Johnston did call a special meeting for Jan. 22 at 6:30 p.m. which he said would be open to the public. Council members will be meeting with representatives of Harmony Development and the Isaac Wiles law firm.
Mayor Ray Martin mentioned that no decision has been made on who will fill the vacant police chief position for the village. Lt. Gary McNeal is currently the acting chief.
“We had a meeting and we talked about what kind of chief West Jeff wanted,” Martin said. The mayor spoke with council and took suggestions about the direction of the police department. “We have another meeting Wednesday night and then we will interview the in-house candidates.”
Reach Michael Williamson at 740-852-1616, ext. 1619.