The Village of West Jefferson named the new police chief at their council meeting Monday evening.
Mayor Ray Martin appointed Richard J. Hardy to the position which will officially take effect on March 12. Hardy is a sergeant with the Grove City Division of Police and has more than 27 years of experience in law enforcement.
“Throughout his interview, a certain type of personality stuck out,” Martin said. “And that’s what this job is about. It requires leadership and a certain personality.”
A committee of people were assembled to interview the candidates including Martin, councilman Doug Eakins and retired state trooper, Lt. Jim Mendenhall. There were 12 resumes initially, two of which dropped out, leaving the committee to select from 10 well-qualified interviewees.
“We asked them all the same questions and when we were done, I didn’t want to talk about it, I just asked everyone to write down their top four choices,” said Martin. “Everyone had the same top three.”
The mayor and the committee considered both local and out-of-house candidates for the job.
“There were no questions or any opposition to the new police chief. This was a unanimous vote. It’s a job of qualifications, not one of longevity or entitlements,” he said. “The council supported this action.”
The village charter allows for the mayor to make the final decision.
“I considered staying in-house but my responsibility is to do what I think is best for the village,” he added. “I feel confident that the right choice was made.”
Council also approved a resolution to establish a full-time Income Tax Clerk position to handle tax issues in the village.
“We took the part-time tax director’s job, which was only three days a week and made it a tax clerk’s job. Our finance director can do the job of the tax director,” Martin said. “And made it five days a week so we could better serve the community with someone there full-time during the day.”
With the shift in positions, the change will end up saving the village $21,000 in salaries.
Also in new business Monday, council:
• Approved a resolution accepting the application by All-Star Limited Partnership for the Type II Annexation of 133.42 acres to the village. The site is of the golf course on U.S. Route 40 in Jefferson and Deercreek Townships.
• Approved a resolution to confirm the mayor’s appointment of April Milstead into the newly created tax clerk position.
• Authorized a donation of $3,000 to the West Jefferson Youth Athletic Association.
Reach Michael Williamson at 740-852-1616, ext. 1619.
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