Rice resigns from village council

Heather Rice

Council member Heather Rice announced her resignation at Monday evening’s Mount Sterling council meeting.

Rice has received a promotion to account manager from her employer, Century Link, a telephone and internet provider, and is required to move to the company’s headquarters in Monroe, La. Rice has been with the company for 15 years.

Rice has served on the council for nearly three years. She was elected along with Rebecca Burns, who defeated two incumbents.

In an email Rice sent to this newspaper, she commented on what she would like to see happen in the village.

“I am sad that I am leaving something that I was dedicated to following through and I am angry that I did not get a chance to finish what I had campaigned on for the residents of the village.

“I really want to see our village beautified. I am hopeful the village with be able to obtain the Beautification and Revitalization Grant. I would also like to see the Veterans Monument Wall erected. It was my understanding the funds were allocated to finish this project. It is time that the village gives back to its citizens who have lost so much in the past few years. (Police department, pool, school, and local businesses)

“I want to see continued support come from Town Hall to support the Mount Sterling Eagles Youth League. It has been great to watch this successful and passionate Board grow our youth league over the past two seasons. There are more great things to come and we need to ensure the community continues to support and fight for our youth. Thank you Michael Browning and your Board for making this happen and turning it into such a huge success. As always, even though I will not be present in the community, I will always support you from afar and will continuously be your advocate.

“My last and final plea to the citizens of the Village of Mount Sterling is this: Elect new people. If you are unsatisfied with what you are getting, elect new people. If you are unhappy with the answers you are getting, elect new people. If you are unhappy with anything, get on the agenda, say you are unhappy, and offer a potential solution.

“Without the community’s input this community will never grow and be stuck in the same cycle we have been in the past 15 years. If you do not speak up no one will ever hear your voice.”

Council will have 30 days to appoint a replacement for Rice, said Mayor Charlie Neff. If the council fails to do so, he will make the appointment.

In other business:

• Madison County deputy sheriff Jack Dill said a spate of car “break-ins” has occurred along South High Street. The alleged thieves are taking money, “loose change,” from unlocked cars.

Dill cautioned residents to remove all valuables from the vehicles and to lock them. He said while the sheriff’s office has no suspects, it is “watching activity” in the area around Veterans Field.

• Mayor Neff reminded residents to support the Let Freedom Ring celebration Saturday, June 27 in the village. The parade will follow the traditional route. Pleasant Township trustee, Lewis Conway and village businessman Ralph Ross are the parade’s co-grand marshals.

• Finance committee chairman Lowell Anderson reported the RITA collections for year to date total $276,282. That figure is down from the year-to-date in 2014: $297,967. He said it isn’t “anything to be bothered by.”

Anderson said comparing the month of May from this year to that of May 2014 is more favorable: May 2015s collections: $172,000; May 2014s collections, $152,000.

• Council approved a resolution to allow the project of refurbishing the village’s two water towers to move forward. The estimated cost of the project is $418,000.

• Dill reported the Golden Eagles Youth League concluded its season with a celebration held at Mason Park. Dill said three of the park’s five diamonds are in need of drainage improvement. Dill said they remain wet “for weeks after a heavy rain.”

“Three fields need drainage pretty bad,” Dill said.

Dean Shipley can be reached at 740-852-1616, ext. 1617, on Facebook at Dean Shipley or via Twitter @DeanAShipley.