Village council handles issues


The Village of Ashley posted all of its 2023 Village Council meetings on its website, and here is an overview of what took place.

• First was Jan. 3, where it was said that Ashley Mayor Jim Nelson has spoken to the Mayor of Marengo regarding zoning.

• On Feb. 7, council members were invited to the Friends of Ashley meeting (Feb. 28 at the Wornstaff Library). The guest was Monica Conners, then-Delaware County Economic Development director. In April, the speaker was Susie Bibler, development director of the Delaware County Foundation.

• A resident thanked the township staff “for moving the fire hydrant that was replaced by her house,” March 7 minutes said. “She did not know there was so much involved. This was a very old hydrant, so a few changes needed to be made to replace with a newer hydrant.” There was also discussion of “train derailments and the speed of trains going through the village.”

• Another resident asked if steps could be installed to get up to the reservoir at the April 4 meeting. “Some discussion went on regarding this and it cannot be done as we cannot dig into the reservoir hill,” the minutes said.

• Nelson said on May 2, “the mayor of Ostrander called and indicated he wanted to meet with Ashley and discuss issues with both villages and strategies to fix them.”

• A special meeting took place on May 23 to interview three candidates for an open council position — Penny Bennett, Jan Silva Sanchez and Kathy Winbourne. After executive session, votes were counted, and Bennett was chosen.

• The June 6 meeting included a complaint about a property on North Harrison Street. A resident asked, “what the rule is about people living in campers in this town,” and saying they knew of at least three. Someone responded there were more than that.

• During public comment on July 5, a resident “spoke of the police levy that failed twice… Marengo, Waldo and Prospect do not have a police department. Why do we need a police department? Those towns are perfectly happy with the setup they have with the sheriff.” It was noted that Orange Township and the villages of Galena and Ostrander also do not have a police department.

Heated discussion followed, which resulted in a councilman saying to someone, “you think you rule this meeting (and he’ll) talk however he wants.”

In the police report, “there was a chase for a felony warrant (but) lost him in the woods.” After calling in the sheriff, the K9 unit arrived, and the suspect was caught.

• The zoning report given at the Aug. 1 zoning meeting mentioned a complaint of a North Grove Street property which has “a car port that was built without a permit, and it is blocking the view in the alley.”

• An overview of the pool season was given at the Sept. 5 meeting, with 1,581 visitors, 27 passes and several private parties. Parking, equipment, and staffing were among the concerns.

• “We have wastewater treatment plant issues,” it was said at a special meeting on Sept. 14. “We have an operator that is operating without a license. He will not respond to phone calls or emails.”

• “There is a lack of traffic control in this town,” it was said by a resident at the Oct. 3 meeting. Speed bumps and speed trailers were mentioned and dismissed. Another traffic study was proposed.

• A resident on Vine Street said at the Nov. 7 council meeting that they couldn’t vote. This borders Oxford Township, it was said, and the resident may want to have their property annexed into the village.

• Finally on Dec. 5, it was said there will be another council seat open, and the next member can be chosen at the Jan. 2, 2024, meeting, and the term will be through 2025.

Council members are Penny Bennett (who replaced the retiring Elaine McFarland), Jim Detter, Cheryl Friend, David Lockhart, Jesse Mann, Dean Mosier, Nelson and Mark Wicker. Guests have included Liz Baker, John Davis, Jesse Mann, then-Mayor Nelson, Scott Santos, Amee Sword and Kathy Windborne.

Assistant Editor Gary Budzak photographs and reports on stories in eastern Delaware County and surrounding areas.

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