A contentious ordinance was brought to the table and voted down at the West Jefferson council meeting Monday night.
The ordinance, which would amend a section of a previous ordinance from November allowing for an additional part-time village administrative clerk to the payroll, was brought to council at the request of mayor Ray Martin.
The ordinance was presented as an emergency which would have council vote immediately rather than going through the regular series of readings and considerations before a vote. Council members became concerned about the process to get it there.
“I guess I’m wondering why it didn’t come to the finance committee first,” said council vice president Jen Warner. The statement was seconded by council member Lorie Cafagno who also expressed concern in having a position that would be involved with more than one department.
“We’ve had this discussion about separation of duties and we can’t have one person working every department,” Cafagno said. “I think that’s a risk for the village.”
The issue of needing the position has come as the result of the village being somewhat understaffed with regard to administrative duties. Council president Steve Johnston said utilizing the position had been discussed before.
“The position was authorized in 2014,” Johnston said. “It floated along on our budget because the position was never filled.” He added that the option to bring the position back was always on the table.
Since the ordinance was brought to council as an emergency, it was voted on but only received four votes — one shy of the necessary five out of seven to pass.
Mayor Martin said that the ordinance was only brought to council as an emergency to get it passed quickly but agreed that it should have been taken through the finance committee first.
“I will make a commitment right now to make sure everything comes through committee from now on,” Martin said.
Also at Monday’s meeting:
• Members of the Rader-McDonald-Tidd Funeral Home in West Jefferson presented a check for $15,500 that would cover the training and purchasing of a new dog for the police department’s K-9 unit.
• Officer Josh Jacob of the West Jefferson Police Department was promoted to sergeant. “Josh is a go-getter and I’m excited to see what he’s going to do,” said Martin. “His dedication to the force and to the community has been outstanding.”
• Council member Lorie Cafagno resigned from her position as a result of moving out of the village limits.
Reach Michael Williamson at 740-852-1616, ext. 1619.
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU