Resident challenges councilman’s residency

By Brandon Semler -

Marty Marcum, the operator of a popular Facebook page centered around West Jefferson, challenged council member Cory Coburn’s current residency status at Monday’s regular meeting.

During the public participation portion of the meeting, Marcum claimed Coburn does not live in the village, as required to serve on council.

Marcum referenced Coburn asking council members Ray Martin and Steve Johnston to run a clean campaign at a previous meeting, prior questioning whether the council member lives in the village.

Marcum is the operator of the Facebook page “West Jefferson Uncensored.”

“But when you talk about the integrity of two people on this council, who want to be mayor, where’s your integrity when you don’t live in the village?” Marcum asked.

Coburn said he had no problem addressing the issue. He said he is self-employed, and owns a portable toilet business.

“I’ve got a daughter to raise. I’ve got a family to support,” Coburn said.

He said he owns a house in the village on Crescent Drive.

“You’ve been in my house. I’ve invited you to sit on my couch,” Coburn said to Marcum.

Marcum asked Coburn if he was living in Newport, which Coburn denied.

Council president Ron Garver questioned Marcum’s residency, and said he lives in Defiance. Marcum said he has a lot of family in the village, and he is not an elected official.

Coburn said he is often away at work, especially in the summers, because he has four months to support his family for an entire year at that time.

“If you want to question my integrity, then I’m providing the documentation,” Coburn said. “I’ve got utilities. I’ve got people.”

Garver asked if Coburn is a resident of the village, to which Coburn said he was.

Coburn said online commenters, whom he called “keyboard warriors,” can be misleading.

“They want to sit there, and they want to shoot their mouths off about things (they don’t understand),” Coburn said.

Marcum also questioned Coburn’s absence at the last two meetings, to which Coburn replied every council member has missed a meeting or more, and are allowed to miss up to six.

Later in the meeting, council vice president Steve Johnston said Coburn once flew into the village from Nashville on his own dime when he was needed.

“I think that covers the question of his commitment to the village,” Johnston said.

Brandon Semler can be reached at 740-852-1616, ext. 1615 or via Twitter @BrandonSemler.

By Brandon Semler