New council member appointed in Sunbury


By Gary Budzak - gbudzak@aimmediamidwest.com



Cindi Cooper was appointed as the newest member of the Sunbury Village Council at a meeting held Wednesday.

“I was on the Charter Commission,” Cooper said. “That’s what started my interest. I became interested in what was going on.”

The Charter Commission was created to create a document (the charter) outlining the form of government Sunbury will use going forward as it becomes designated as a city following the 2020 U.S. Census. Although the results of the Census won’t be announced until 2021, the charter officially went into effect Jan. 1, 2020. The primary change in the charter was that the mayor becomes a member of council, giving the village seven members instead of six. Formerly, the mayor presided over council meetings and could comment on legislation, but had no vote.

Sunbury Mayor Tommy Hatfield attended the Charter Commission’s meetings as a member of the public.

“She asked a lot of great questions,” Hatfield said of Cooper. “I really appreciated that.”

Cooper spoke before council as a guest and finalist for the council spot.

She said she and her husband have resided in Sunbury for seven years. They five children, with one attending Big Walnut Middle School and the other four are home-schooled. They attend the Vineyard Church and enjoyed attending family-oriented events on the Village Square, such as the summer outdoor movies.

Being on the Charter Commission was “more fun than I expected,” Cooper said. “That led to volunteering.” She helped with Sunbury’s annual Fourth of July Parade, as well as the Sizzle & Sound Food and Music festival last summer.

Cooper said another reason she wanted to be on council was that there was currently no female representation and that wasn’t fair to the women in the community.

Later in the meeting, Hatfield nominated Cooper to be appointed to council, and she was unanimously approved. She replaces long-time Councilman Leonard Weatherby, who stepped down at the end of last year.

Cooper will be officially sworn in at the next council meeting scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Jan. 22 on the third floor of the Village Hall on the Square in Sunbury.

Also at the Jan. 8 meeting, Hatfield nominated Joe St. John to continue on as council president for a second straight year, “since he’s done such an excellent job,” and he was unanimously approved. St. John said representatives for council committees would be determined at the next meeting.

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Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.

Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.