Village of Thurston

Council Meeting Minutes

January 9, 2003



Meeting called to order at 7:25 pm by Mayor Hite.  Pledge of Allegiance was recited.


Roll call:  Robert Ortman – Present; Nona Buskirk – Present; Roger Aubery – Present; Warren Simpson, Jr. – Absent; Warren Simpson, Sr. – Absent; JT Hilliard – Present; Jo-Ann Hite – Present; Aaron Reedy – Present.


Susan Lent was present from Waste Management to discuss the contract extension for garbage removal with the Village of Thurston.  Susan said she has been in contact with our solicitor, Jeff Feyko, and has expressed to him that she feel this contract is valid and legal.  Re-bidding this contract would mean we wouldn’t get as good a rate as we have now.  She said there are 133 houses being billed for service and the total amount of the billings isn’t enough to warrant the $15,000 rule for taking bids.  She believes they have done a great job and would like to keep servicing the village. 


Aaron shared Jeff’s comments from previous phone calls:

1)      Jeff is not intending the have the village residents incur a higher cost

2)      He feels this should be bid competitively, and Council is taking a chance by not doing so

3)      Jeff will not be offended if Council decides not to take Jeff’s advice

4)      The new contract should be by legislation, not by motion

5)      He’s heard of previous litigation that had no issues with their extension wording

6)      Total of the invoicing does come to $15,000, which doesn’t require bidding


Nona made a motion to have Jeff prepare legislation to continue the current garbage disposal service for another 3 years.  Roger second.  JoAnn called for roll call vote:

            Robert – Yes

            Nona – Yes

            Roger – Yes

            J.T.  –Yes


Susan said the price would be good for three years.


JoAnn turned the meeting over to Chief Mike Jackson.  Council briefly discussed the special meeting that didn’t happen last Monday night due to lack of attendance by Village Council.  JoAnn said she was upset because she and council didn’t have a copy of the fire truck specs like the township trustees did.  Mike said the trustees didn’t have a copy, but that one of them grabbed his copy that night.


Mike said they found a 2002 truck in West Virginia that they’d like to purchase.  It’s a demo model.  The price tag was $280,000, however the asking price is $215,000.  With options he wanted, it would be $245,000.  It has a 6-man cab and a 1000-gallon tank.  It will combine the old engine and rescue into one unit.  Mike would like a motion by council to allow him to put the specs out for bid.  JoAnn asked if all the firemen wanted the truck.  Mike said yes.  JoAnn wanted to know why there weren’t all here.  Mike said they didn’t need to be.  JoAnn asked who made the decisions.  Mike said, “I do.”  JoAnn said “Your one person out of all them that’s up there?”  Jamie Carroll said they get the feedback from everybody.  Mike said that’s why he and his guys are there.  JoAnn said she’s been getting a little feedback, too; that everybody doesn’t want this new fire truck.  Josh Friesner said that you’re gonna have one or two people who may not agree, but everyone has seen the plans for the truck and Chief Jackson got everyone’s opinion on the purchase. 


JT had an issue with who was invited to go look at fire trucks.  He was concerned that none of the Council members were asked to go.  A spat ensued regarding who was invited and who should have been invited.  JT said a Trustee was asked to go, but none of Council was asked.  JoAnn told Mike the next time they plan a trip, come to Council and ask them if they are going to pay for gas reimbursement.  She doesn’t want a call asking if it’s okay to be reimbursed.  Jamie said he had not asked to be reimbursed.  JoAnn told him to, “Keep quiet, Jamie, I wasn’t talking to you.  I’m making a statement.  I am talking; I have the floor.”  JoAnn said she got a telephone call and someone wanted to know if it was okay for them to go and then the town would pay for it.  JoAnn said, “I do not make the decisions, so please don’t ask nobody to call me about you guys getting reimbursed for gas.  That is Council, no me.”  Mike said he did not ask anyone to call her.  She said, “Well, I was called.”  Aaron said, “I called on my own accord.”  JoAnn said, “Well, you know that I don’t make the decisions.  Council does.”  Aaron said he wouldn’t call her again.  JoAnn said she hoped not.  JT said he didn’t mean to cause an argument.  He just thinks it would be a good idea when there is a big purchase like this, Council should be asked to be involved.  Mike said, “JT, when we planned this, we hadn’t seen you for two months, because you had personal issues; you weren’t around; we hadn’t even seen you.  You don’t have a phone to call you.”  JT said he was right, but he lives a block away from the firehouse, and he could have stopped. 


Nona said it would have been good to ask someone on the council if they wanted to go.  Mike said he didn’t mean to offend anyone, they had only made the plans to go a week ahead of time, and Council only meets once a month.  JoAnn said to come and ask Council next time, she didn’t want to be put on the spot.  Mike said he didn’t mean to put her on the spot.  They just kept their receipts just in case; it’s no big deal.  They found the truck, and two days later they went down to look at it.  Roger said he doesn’t know anything about putting out fires and he trusts Mike and his guys to check out these types of things and report back to Council.  Mike said there was one person on the department who had an issue with the truck.  They are here to seek permission to get bids.  He would also like Council to put down $50,000 out of the Fire Fund as a down payment on the truck.


JT made a motion to allow Mike to seek bids for new fire truck and to add enough to the temporary appropriations for 2003 to allow for a $50,000 down payment, if necessary.  Roger second.  JoAnn asked Mike if all of his officers wanted to put the $50,000 down.  He said yes.  JoAnn called for a roll call vote.

            Robert – Yes

            Nona – Yes

            JT – Yes

            Roger – Yes


JoAnn asked Aaron if the 3 outstanding checks from April 2002 had cleared our checking account yet.  Aaron said yes.  Mike King had put them in his desk drawer and forgot about them.  He deposited them this month.


JoAnn asked Mike about the mileage sheet she just got yesterday.  She’s been asking for it since November 25th.  Mike said he found it buried in his inbox.  JoAnn asked whom the title gets made out to.  Mike said he gave that information to Aaron earlier today.  JoAnn said she wished things would be done quicker.  She was afraid the county was driving it under our insurance.  Mike said they are not driving it.  The county assured Mike that they would not drive it anywhere until they had the title for it.  JoAnn said, “Well, anybody can tell you that.”  Mike said he trusts the Sheriff’s office.


JoAnn said she’d asked for a list of pool water users.  He said Mike King hasn’t given the list to him yet.  As soon as he tracks him down, he’ll get him to put some time up there and get that for her.  JoAnn asked about the gas slips.  Mike said Aaron has them.  JoAnn said she was never informed about them until tonight when she was asked.  JoAnn said she asked for them, and she’s been asking for them.  Mike said he’s been turning them in to Aaron.  JoAnn said, “No communication, I guess.” 


Mike said that he has some personnel that are not working with the department as a group, but working against them.  He said he hopes to have the person taken care of quickly.  JoAnn said, “Well, I think some of your officers has really, I just don’t know how to say it, has talked and talked and talked but still they’re your officers.  Huey was one of the main guys up there, and he run the place.  And you don’t have that now, even with your officers; some of them.”  She said she heard he’s putting people in who don’t come to meetings.  Mike said he’s not putting anyone in who is not coming to meetings.  He’s got one person already in who’s not coming to meetings.  JoAnn said, “And they’re supposed to be an officer?”  Mike said he’d be taking care of that real shortly.  She said she heard he wasn’t coming long before he was an officer.  Mike said he didn’t know whom she was talking about.  Everyone he’s put in as an officer has been participating well; except for a couple who had been off for a while.  He brought up Greg Grube and him being off due to accident.  JT asked Mike if he was going to appoint an officer to fill Greg’s position.  Mike said no.  JoAnn said, “JT, you’re not gonna be an officer, forget it.”  JT said he didn’t want to be an officer. 


JoAnn said Kathy from the solicitor’s office called and wanted to know how much we were going to sell the 1981 Ambulance to Fairfield County for.  Mike said one dollar.  JoAnn asked who approved that.  Mike said Village Council agreed to donate the truck, but the County said there has to be a minimum charge of $1.00 for it.  Mike said we need to send an invoice to them.  Aaron will prepare it.


Mike asked if we heard back from Jeff regarding the sale of the 1978 Ford Pump to Greenfield Township.  Aaron read Jeff’s response regarding the sale of property to another public entity.  Basically, Jeff said it was alright to sell it to Greenfield Township without competitive bidding. 


JT made a motion to prepare legislation to sell the 1978 Ford Pumper to Greenfield Township for $1,500.  Robert second.  All yea.


Mike said they now don’t want to sell the 1962 GMC grass truck that they previously wanted to sell.  This is due to historical significance.  It will stay in service as a grass truck.  He said they are going to repair the valve that is busted.  Council agreed to that decision.


Nona asked about Santa Claus being up at the firehouse, and why they didn’t pass out candy at Christmas.  Mike said they have an outdated list of people to deliver to.  Mike asked if there was a list we could give him so they could update their records. 


Mike is trying to put together maps of water and sewer lines for the Village.  Lowell said that Moline Drive is the only new street.


Nona made a motion to approve the December 2002 minutes.  Roger second.  All yea.


Nona made a motion to approve the December 2002 financial statement.  Robert second.  All yea.


Robert made a motion to waive the 3-reading rule and declare an emergency for Ordinance # 2003-2.  Roger second.  All yea.


Nona moved to adopt Ordinance # 2003-2, An Ordinance Authorizing the Private Sale of Surplus and Unused Village Property and the Declaration of an Emergency.  Roger second.  All yea. 


JT made a motion to waive the 3-reading rule and declare an emergency for Ordinance # 2003-3.  Roger second.  All yea.


JT moved to adopt Ordinance # 2003-3, An Ordinance Authorizing the Mayor and Clerk-Treasurer to Enter Into an Engineering Contract with M*E Companies, Inc. for the Position of Village Engineer and the Declaration of an Emergency.  Roger second.  All yea. 


Nona was upset with JT that he’s so concerned about Long Street, but nothing is being done about the drainage problems in front of her house.  She’s been there 15 years, and Council has never offered anything to be done for her.  JT asked why she’s just bringing it up now to him.  Nona said because he said Long Street “has to be done.”   JT said High Street has drains.  Nona said there are drains, but they don’t do any good.  JT said every spring, starting last year, he’s been using a fire truck to try to clean out the drains.  She said he’d never done the one in front of her house.  JT said come spring, he’d make sure he does the one in front of her house.  Nona said she’s lived in water, and had bad health and it’s not good for her to live there.  JT suggested she move.  JoAnn said the kids are causing the problem with the drains.  Nona said she wasn’t going to move.  JT said she could vote for or against the water, he’s saying we screwed up and they don’t have drains on Long Street.  Those people have to deal with flooding in their living rooms.  JoAnn said they’ve had flood problems for years, and they’ve never come and asked for anything before this last year.  JT said he’s been told they were going to sue.  JoAnn said let them sue.  JT said if we get sued, he’s going to resign.  JoAnn said she hears complaints of lawsuits all the time.  JT said if we’re not going to do anything, then why is there a Council, and why is there a Village?  JoAnn said the residents of Long Street never came and asked for anything until after the problem with the paving.  JT said that at least he came.  JoAnn said she never knew there weren’t any drains up there.  Roger agreed.  JT said we need plans or maps that show the drains in the Village.  Council continued discussing the issue that we don’t have the funds to put in drains. 


JT said Long Street is his main concern.  We need to get an engineer to tell us what needs to be done.  JoAnn said we don’t have enough money to do it. 


JoAnn asked if Council wanted to keep the meeting dates the same as it has been in the past.  Everyone agreed to keep the same.


Roger made a motion to nominate Robert Ortman as Council President for 2003.  Nona second.  All yea.


JoAnn said someone called about a handicapped sign, but won’t come to the meeting.


JT made a motion to go into Executive Session to discuss personnel issues at the fire department.  Robert second.  All yea.  The time is 8:45 p.m.


Roger made a motion to come out of Executive Session at 9:12 p.m.  Nona second.  All yea.


JT made a motion to have Aaron contact the Village Solicitor and ask him to put a higher priority on the issue of disciplinary action that can be taken towards the Fire Chief.  Nona second.  All yea.


JoAnn told Aaron she didn’t mean anything against him regarding the mileage reimbursement argument held previously in the meeting.  She said they should have come to Council when they want something.  Aaron said he didn’t ask me to call her; he was just affording JoAnn the respect to ask her.  JoAnn said she doesn’t make the decision. 


Robert said there should be an increase of pay for the Council, Board of Public Affairs, and the Mayor.

JT made a motion to have the Solicitor prepare legislation that would raise the Mayor’s salary from $550 per year to $250.00 per month.  Robert second.  All yea. 

            Robert – Yes

            Nona – Yes

            Roger – Yes

            JT – Yes


Council decided to table the discussion for raising the pay for Council and Board of Public Affairs pending further discussion.  Aaron explained that the pay raises they were discussing would not go into effect until the next term started.  He verified with the Village Solicitor, and in-term pay increases are illegal for anyone other than the Clerk-Treasurer.  JoAnn disagreed.


JT brought up Long Street.  JT asked if we could get our engineer on it right away.  We’ll have to get the contract to M·E first.  Roger and Nona said they hadn’t heard anymore about it.


Aaron asked Council what type of soda pop they would like to see in the refrigerator.  Those mentioned:  Decaf Dr. Pepper, Pepsi, and Mt. Dew.


Roger said the Thurston High Heritage Association has continued to do some work in the building.  JT said we should consider painting the outside of the Municipal Building.  No one agreed.  Aaron said Bob Black was talking about having us move everything from this side of the building to the other side where they’ve just finished the work.  Then they will do the same restoration on this side of the building.  JoAnn said she’d like to move out of this place.  Roger said we should build a new building.  Robert said you either spend the money to renovate here, or spend the money on a new building.  Roger said we should build a new building.  Larry Kahle has never returned JoAnn’s call about the price of the property just to the west of the Municipal Building.  JT said we should fix Long Street first.  Roger said if we’re going to spend $20,000 on our building, we’re further ahead to spend it on a new building. 


JT made a motion to waive the 3-reading rule and declare an emergency for Resolution # 2003-1.  Roger second.  All yea.


Roger moved to adopt Resolution # 2003-1, An Interim Appropriation Resolution for Current Expenses and Other Expenditures of the Village of Thurston for the First Quarter of the Fiscal Year 2003 (January 1, 2003 to March 31, 2003) and the Declaration of an Emergency.  JT second.  All yea. 


Since there was no other business to address, JT made a motion to pay bills and adjourn.  Robert second.  All yea. 


Respectfully Submitted,




Aaron L. Reedy, Clerk