Lakemore Council to interview candidates for open seat
Lakemore Village Mayor Rick Justice said he is impressed with the number of people stepping up to serve the struggling community in some capacity.
At the Nov. 5 Council meeting, Justice announced the village received 11 applicants from individuals willing to fill an open seat on Council.
Council unanimously agreed last month to expel Councilwoman Lori Strittmatter due to repeated absences from regular meetings.
Strittmatter ran as a write-in candidate in the 2011 November General Election and began her first term on Council in January.
However, her attendance record led Council Oct. 15 to remove her from the position.
Council President Tammy Coontz said the goal is to have a committed Council member in place by the next regular meeting Nov. 19.
She scheduled a work session for Nov. 14 at 6 p.m. at the Municipal Building so Council could review the applications and possibly interview several interested residents for the role.
Justice has said Council must appoint someone to Strittmatter’s seat within 30 days, according to the Ohio Revised Code. If members don’t agree on the replacement, then Justice would have to make the appointment.
During the meeting, Justice said he also was impressed with how many residents recently came forward to be involved in the village’s Community Area Reinvestment Program.
He explained the first meeting was held Oct. 25 to discuss the program, which would offer tax incentives to residents wishing to improve their homes and businesses looking to make updates and add jobs.
He said the program also would be used to attract new businesses to Lakemore.
Fourteen residents are involved in developing the program, Justice said.
“I am excited about the community involvement we are seeing,” he said.
Also during the regular meeting, Council approved a contract with SummaCare for employee health insurance coverage through Oct. 31, 2013.
SummaCare is the village’s current health insurance provider.
According to the contract, the village will pay monthly premiums of $4,938.
“This is a good deal for us,” said Councilman Tom Wolfe.
He explained the village would have saved a few hundred dollars in 2013 by choosing a different provider, but the employees’ co-pay would have gone from $20 to $40 for a doctor’s office visit.
Wolfe said Council did not find it beneficial to switch to a new insurance company due to the extra financial burden it would put on the village employees.
Justice added the village still would save $8,000 next year by staying with SummaCare.
Council also agreed Nov. 5 that fire department personnel scheduled to work this Thanksgiving and Christmas would be compensated at a rate of one-and-a-half times their set rate of pay during those holidays.
Fire Chief Barry Saley said the extra compensation aids him in recruiting employees to work the holidays.
In other city business:
• A Veterans Day ceremony will take place Nov. 11 at 11:11 a.m. at the triangle in the village.
• The annual tree lighting ceremony is scheduled for Nov. 24 at 6 p.m. at the Municipal Building.
Council will hold its next regular meeting Nov. 19 at 7 p.m. at the Municipal Building, 1400 Main St.
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