LEWIS CENTER — Erica Fouss was recently named the third trustee for Orange Township.
“On Tuesday, January 18, 2022, Erica Fouss was appointed to our board of trustees,” the township posted on Facebook. “This appointment fills the vacancy left by the resignation of Ben Grumbles. We are very excited to welcome Erica to the board. Trustee Fouss brings extensive and valuable experience as a public servant and volunteer to our community.”
Fouss, 42, is a registered Republican who has lived in the township for 13 years. She is a stay-at-home mom to her three children, married, and a former engineer. Fouss will serve out Grumbles’ term, which will expire at the end of 2023.
Readers may recall that Grumbles, who had already held a trustee seat in Orange that began in 2020, ran for a different seat in the November 2020 election. The Ohio Supreme Court ruled he could do so. Grumbles won that election, which meant he had to resign the seat he already held in order to serve the new term.
Grumbles is chair of the trustees as the result of a prior reorganization meeting. Lisa Knapp, a former trustee who was reelected in November 2020, is vice chair.
The nearly two-hour Jan. 18 meeting immediately went into executive session to discuss the vacant trustee position. A dozen candidates were considered for the position. The meeting returned to a public session after 70 minutes.
“It was a difficult decision to make, but I think we made the right decision,” Knapp said upon Fouss’ appointment.
Also at the meeting, Grumbles told Delaware Public Health District Commissioner Shelia Hiddleson that the township had experienced a spike in the omicron variant of COVID-19, but staff was able to work remotely for a week “and that seems to have done the trick, giving people time to recover and also making sure we minimize contact accordingly.”
Hiddleson said Delaware County continues to have the highest percentage of vaccination among the population who are eligible to receive the coronavirus vaccines in the state of Ohio.
“I do think that our community as a whole understands what the threat is to themselves and is making decisions,” Hiddleson said. “We still have to be responsive. We have been working with the state to get more tests into Delaware County.”
She said the DPHD has a three-point infographic that informs residents how to handle an illness in the age of COVID.
“If you know you have COVID, stay home for five days. If you’re sick and you don’t know what it is, you need to stay home until you are fever-free for 24 hours and your symptoms are resolving. Everyone else, you should probably assume you’ve been exposed to it and just be careful unless you become symptomatic and refer to number one.”
In response to a question, Hiddleson said they are continuing to recommend that students wear masks to prevent community spread of the virus.
The trustees also approved having TruGreen provide pesticide treatment for township-owned properties for the year at a fee of $25,000. Grumbles said the treatments have been effective in tick prevention.
Lastly, it was approved to allow the township hall to be rented at a fee of $1 to hold a prom for a group of Olentangy special needs children on Feb. 11.