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Lakemore Council appoints new member

12/6/2012 - South Side Leader
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By Emily Chesnic

Councilman Sommers resigns, resident Cochran appointed

Laura Cochran
Photo courtesy of Laura Cochran
LAKEMORE — Lakemore Council accepted the resignation of one of its own at the Dec. 3 meeting but quickly filled the opening with another willing community member.

At the start of the meeting, Mayor Rick Justice announced Councilman Wendell Sommers provided his resignation from the elected position due to his increased workload.

“We appreciate his time and service. He had a great impact on us and brought us quite a ways,” he said.

Sommers was appointed to Council in February 2010 to replace then newly elected Councilman Kevin Owens, who cited regulations of his disability pension for the reason for his resignation.

After Sommers’ resignation was accepted, Council President Tammie Coontz asked Council to nominate a new Council member from the 10 applications on file with the village.

Council recently accepted 11 applications to find a replacement for former Councilwoman Lori Strittmatter, who was expelled by Council in October due to repeated absences from regular meetings.

At a special meeting Nov. 26, Council selected Chad Lance, a village resident for seven years and a living cost accountant, to fill the vacant seat. [See related story in the Nov. 30, 2012, edition or visit the archives at www.akron.com.]

At the Dec. 3 meeting, Lance and the other members of Council unanimously approved Laura Cochran for Sommers’ replacement. She will remain on the seat for the remainder of the term, which expires Dec. 31, 2013, according to Fiscal Officer Tracy Fast.

“She is part of our fiscal emergency coalition and has done a super job on that. She comes to Council with high recommendations,” Justice said.

Cochran said she had the desire to get further involved in the village.

“I am excited that there is so much interest in rejuvenating Lakemore, and I want to be a part of that,” she said. “Lakemore is a great place to live.”

Cochran said she and her husband, Michael, decided to retire to the village seven years ago. Cochran, a retired employee of the U.S. Postal Service, explained her husband was born and raised in Lakemore.

During the meeting, Justice swore in Cochran to office.

“Mrs. Cochran puts us back to a full Council, and I am happy to see that because we have a lot of work to do,” Justice said.

Council did not approve any legislation Dec. 3 but heard the second readings of two ordinances that would increase sewer and trash collection charges in the village.

If approved, the first measure would set a minimum sewer charge of $90 per quarter for each residential unit and commercial unit in the village corporation limits — a $20 per quarter increase — Justice has said.

Proposed legislation also would set a minimum trash charge of $46 per quarter next year, a $1 increase than what is being paid currently. The minimum charge would continue to cover weekly trash and recycling pickup, the mayor said.

Justice explained the village is being asked to pay more for sewage and trash, so those charges need to be passed on to the residents to ensure balanced funds.

Lakemore is a sewer customer of the city of Akron and under contract with Republic Waste for trash removal.

“We need to bring those rates up to where they need to be to cover the village’s increases,” he said.

Additionally Dec. 3, Council scheduled work sessions for Dec. 5 and Dec. 12, both at 6 p.m. at the Municipal Building, 1400 Main St. Justice said the work sessions were needed so Council could draft a village operating budget for 2013.

Council will hold its next regular meeting Dec. 17 at 7 p.m. at the Municipal Building.

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