New Village Solicitor selected in NewcomerstownWilliam CasteelNewcomerstown News2011 will soon bring another fiscal year to the Village of Newcomerstown. With the new the year, a new face will soon be noted at the village council meetings. Robert R. Stephenson II was recently selected by village council as the new village solicitor and will bring 25 years of experience to the council table beginning in January. Stephenson is currently in practice with the law firm Stephenson, Stephenson & Crouthers of New Philadelphia. He has previous experience as the Tuscarawas County Prosecuting attorney and has also worked closely with the county commissioners. Stephenson will receive a $20,000 per year salary for his service to the village. Three candidates were being considered for the 2011 solicitor position on Monday night. Among those were Stephenson, attorney Douglas V. Jackson and current village solicitor attorney Shawn P. Lindsay. In later comment, council said their reason for selecting Stephenson was his number of years and type of experience. The selection of Stephenson will also save the village $4,000 per year. The current solicitor's salary is $24,000 per year. Business discussed and items approved during the Dec. 20 meeting included:* Approved a change order for the 2010 street resurfacing project. * Approved an agreement with Tuscarawas County Jail to house inmates at $50 per day, including meals. * Ordinance approved to terminate the Enterprise Zone Agreement with 3-D Diamond Tooling. The termination was per the company's request.* A second reading was given for the levy of a $10 license plate fee for Newcomerstown residents.* Under new business, council approved a contract with North Point Engineering and KU Services, Inc., and Ream & Haager Laboratory, Inc. for ground water monitoring at the landfill site.Council later entered executive session to discuss personnel and contracts. Action taken was the selection of the new village solicitor.Council approved a special council meeting scheduled for Dec. 27 at 7 p.m. to authorize the contract for the new village solicitor and transfer street levy funds. Council will also have its annual organizational meeting at that time.In audience participation local resident, Doris Harris said her concerns regarding a recent verbal response reportedly given to her by a member of the Newcomerstown Police Department Dec. 19. Harris felt she was verbally responded to inappropriately by the officer. Harris also said the officer had completed an unlawful vehicle search on a member of her family during that same time frame. Mayor Steve Guy later directed Harris to submit a formal complaint in writing and the matter would be addressed accordingly. Harris was agreeable to do so. Another resident, Alan Smart questioned whether the planned $10 license plate fee was going to be voted on by the residents of Newcomerstown. Smart said he felt the residents should have the right to vote on the matter. He added his concerns about many local residents being unemployed and having additional fees being assessed. Mayor Guy informed Smart that council will provide another reading before the ordinance is approved and welcomes any input from local residents regarding the matter.