The day after voters overwhelmingly approved a new charter for the village of Sunbury, the mayor and council members were unanimous in their praise.
The charter will provide instructions on how to govern Sunbury once it becomes a city, as is anticipated following the 2020 U.S. Census. Earlier this year, a Charter Commission made up of residents met over several months to write up the document. On Nov. 5, Sunbury residents passed the charter.
“They had a hand in what our form of government could or should look like at the smallest level,” Mayor Tommy Hatfield said at the Nov. 6 meeting of Sunbury Village Council. “Fifteen people with no baggage or hadn’t been part of this process sat down with all kinds of backgrounds and hashed through what it should be. There were days when I was like, where are they going, but they came up with a great product.”
One of the changes the charter made over the current form of governance is that the mayor will now have a vote on council.
“I just wanted to say special thanks to the Charter Commission and all the time and effort that they put in,” Council President Joe St. John said. “Just a diligent group. I was so proud of them, the work they put in, and obviously really pleased at the results.”
St. John also thanked village staff and legal counsel for their teamwork with the commission.
Administrator Allen Rothermell said of the charter, “Really, the work is just gonna start.”
There was discussion that there would need to be priority in terms of establishing and filling boards and committees for Sunbury, as written in charter. Also, it was said that Councilman Len Weatherby will be retiring at year’s end after 32 years, although he had said he would be available to serve on a commission. His seat on council would need to be filled by year’s end.
Also at the council meeting, it was noted that construction has started on a 700 foot-long multi-use trail from West Granville Street to West Cherry Street, between the Community Library and the Ohio Fallen Heroes Memorial.
“Sunbury received a grant for half of the construction cost from Delaware County,” states the Engineering Status Report. “Columbus Asphalt Paving was awarded the contract.”
There were also reports on a possible technology inventory, a mapping of trees in Sunbury, and the use of Master Gardeners from the Ohio State University Extension for landscaping projects. Council also approved using money from the Sewer Fund to pay for erosion control near the Waste Water Treatment Plant, which Rothermell said was now fully staffed.
Around town, a building is now up behind the Voss Brothers power equipment dealership. Earlier in the year, council approved the building, which is being used for storage of inventory.
In other Sunbury election results, voters approved a levy for the Community Library, and Mayor Hatfield and Councilman Tim Gose were re-elected after both ran unopposed.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.