City council gives Meeks empty seat

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 11, 2005

Elections produce winners and there are losers Š and then there's something in between, as Rick Meeks learned at Thursday's Ironton City Council meeting.

The meeting began unofficially with many congratulations exchanged between winners and losers in the 10-man city council race. That contest concluded Tuesday evening with four new faces, Leo Johnson and Rich Blankenship (both of whom were present at the meeting), Butch Huff and Bob Cleary unseating three incumbents, Bob Isaac, Bill Nenni and Brent Pyles.

All current councilmen were present for the meeting, save, of course, for Jesse Roberts who resigned from the council during its meeting on Oct. 27.

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The departure of Roberts left a vacancy on the council that had to be filled by its members no later than Nov. 27. Councilman-elect Blankenship was one of the first to speak at the meeting, saying he hoped that the council would wait until the new council could meet and make a suggestion before nominating a new member.

However, councilman Bill Nenni had other plans. He nominated Rick Meeks, the man who received the fifth-highest number of votes in Tuesday's election.

Although the floor was opened for other nominations, none were made. The naming of Meeks was a popular idea.

&#8220In my opinion that's only appropriate, because he, like the other candidates, put in the time and ran,” said councilman Chuck O'Leary.

&#8220I couldn't agree with it more,” said departing council chairman Jim Tordiff. &#8220Rick and I worked together in the finance department a number of years ago, probably more years ago than Rick and I want to talk about. Rick didn't do anything but a wonderful job, and I have all the faith in the world in him.”

Apparently, the council shared the view of Tordiff and O'Leary, the nomination was approved unanimously.

&#8220I'm excited. It was unanimous, so that pleases me,” Meeks said. &#8220I'm looking forward to it. I think the council that was elected is a good one and I think I won't have any problems working with them at all. I'm excited.”

Also during the meeting, the council gave first reading to an ordinance that established a storm water fund, into which all monies from the storm water utility fee will be funneled. The fee will allow the council to keep an adequate audit trail for the storm water funds.

All money that has already been collected from the fee will be deposited into the new fund.

The council authorized the mayor to renew a contract with Schonhardt & Associates for GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) conversion for 2005 through 2007.

The mayor was also authorized to apply for the Clean Ohio Assistance fund in an effort to find monies for the clean up of the Ironton Iron/Intermet site.

Council chairman Tordiff also reminded that the council's next meeting would be held on Monday, Nov. 21, due to the Thanksgiving holiday.