Incoming lawmakers join session

The three men who will take seats on City Council next month are already stepping into those roles.

Dan Bekar, Dick Simpson and Ted Souder were invited into a closed door session with council this week to discuss the sale or lease of land.

Mayor David Spatholt invited them into the session on the basis that they will be involved with any future action that could come out of the meeting.

Street Superintendent Jesse Wilson was also invited into the session briefly. The session lasted about 35 minutes and no action was taken.

Council did take action on other matters, which included giving second readings to legislation approving a utility pole agreement with the Chillicothe Telephone Co., establishing the dates of regularly scheduled council, board and commission meetings, amending appropriations in several funds and setting temporary appropriations for the first three months of 2014.

Councilman James King took a few minutes at the close of the meeting to make his exit. The businessman has served on council the last eight years and lost his seat in the November general election.

“I just want to wish everybody good luck. I hope you all have successful terms up here. Work with each other not everybody has the same opinion. I want to thank everybody that has supported me the last eight years,” he said.

He plans to remain involved in the city, and even expressed an interest in joining the EMS department.

Municipal Attorney Daniel Blasdell advised he would need to be off council for at least a year before attempting to find city employment.

King has formerly worked as an EMT and was a volunteer firefighter.

He then turned his attention to City Manager Lance Willard.

“You have exceeded my expectations and you bring a lot of good ideas to the table,” he said.

He and councilman Bryan Blakeman and former councilman Bob Bieshelt voted against the hiring in January but Willard was brought on after Spatholt broke the tie.

“I was not in favor of Lance, but as I’ve told Lance on the phone privately, I think he has done a good job, I really do,” King said.

Spatholt, who will be replaced by Blakeman in January, also thanked his supporters and said he will miss being mayor.