It was the last regular Newcomerstown Village Council session for 2015, but it was also a night of basically wrapping up the end of another challenging year. Council later took time to recognize the accomplishments of the village this past year, and express gratitude to each other, as well as recognize Mayor Jim Friel and Fiscal Officer Lisa Stiteler.
New council committee chair persons for 2016 were approved as a proactive measure by council since there is a new incoming Mayor Pat Cadle, and a new council member Kristie Wilkin who will both be officially sworn in at 11:30 p.m. on Dec. 31 at the Olde Main Street Museum & Social Center on Canal Street. Both, Cadle and Wilkin were present as audience during the regular session Monday night.
The new council committees chair persons are:
Kristie Wilkin: Legislation, Rules and Personnel
Earl McCormick: Finance and Long Range Planning
Heather Stein Wells: Streets, Sidewlks and Recreations
Travis Pollock: Buildings and Grounds
Jim Trzop: Public Safety and Relations
Jim Reed: Sewer and Public Works
Earl McCormick was appointed as Mayor Pro Tem, and Heather Stein-Wells was appointed as Clerk Pro Tem.
Outgoing Mayor Jim Friel personally thanked each council member and recognized their outstanding contributions to this past year's council. Friel also recognized Fiscal Officer Lisa Stiteler and her outstanding achievements with improving the village's financial status. Friel also recognized Police Chief Gary Holland, and Street and Cemetery Superintendent Chris Jones and Assistant Superintendent, Mark Henke.
Councilmember Stein-Wells also recognized Mayor Friel and outgoing councilmember Jim Carr for their contributions to council this past term.
Mayor Friel later commented, "I have went up the ladder (from former Police Chief to Mayor). Would I do it all over again? Probably." Councilman Carr thanked council and Mayor Friel for a job well done, and ending the year in a positive note. Carr has also been the former village Mayor and a dedicated council member more than several terms.
Council later approved to extend contracts for two more years for Fiscal Officer Stiteler, Cemetery and Street Superintendent Chris Jones and Assistant Street Superintendent Mark Henke. Council voiced their gratitude to Stiteler, Jones, and Henke for their outstanding work and dedication to the village of Newcomerstown.
Council tabled discussion on the insurance package, and adding accidental death & dismemberment for full time and part-time members of the village fire department members. This will be discussed at a later session after the first of the year.
Ordinance 30-2015 was approved, concerning revision of the sewage rates that had earlier been discussed.
Council's next meeting will be Jan. 4 at 7 p.m. at the Newcomestown Library Annex.