Council talks to candidates for village manager

EAST PALESTINE

The village is still considering applicants for a new village manager, with the hefty list of more than 90 people narrowed down to two.

Village Council conducted interviews with two people at the end of May during special council meetings that went into executive session. According to minutes of those meetings, council interviewed applicant John Simon Jr. on May 29 and applicant Kelly Cook on May 31.

Council then met in special session on June 5 to discuss the candidates, and that meeting also went into executive session. Another executive session to discuss the candidates was held at the end of the Monday regular council meeting and no action was taken.

Council members have not made any public comment regarding the applicants.

The village began accepting applications for the full-time position back in March after former manager Pete Monteleone announced his plans to resign. Monteleone has since left for a law enforcement job in Shenandoah, Va.

Finance Director Traci Spratt is currently serving as interim manager until a replacement is found.

Council is also still looking into a possible Joint Economic Development District (JEDD) with Unity Township. Councilman DJ Yokley, who serves on council’s development committee, provided an update during the meeting.

He said the township is looking over a proposed map for the district and that he

hopes to hear feedback from local residents about the matter.

In a JEDD the village would receive a portion of taxes levied without having to annex property, and the township could still collect property taxes and receive municipal water. It would not involve police protection, however.

In order to create a JEDD, an agreement would need approval from both the village and the township.

A development committee meeting has been scheduled for 6 p.m. June 24 before the regular council meeting at the East Palestine administrative offices. Yokley said he hopes residents attend the meeting and voice their opinions.

In other business, council approved a resolution to request the county auditor certify certain tax valuation information for the renewal of a five-year street levy. A renewal results in tax increase to residents. The potential levy revenue would be put toward general construction, reconstruction, resurfacing, and repair of streets, roads and bridges.

Council also gave a first reading to legislation setting the proposed 2020 budget for the village. The village is expected to have a total budget of $5.7 million next year, with the general fund accounting for $1.5 million.

kwhite@mojonews.com

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