|Walbridge fears having many vacant council seats|
|Written by By DEBBIE ROGERS Sentinel Staff Writer|
|Saturday, 08 August 2009 08:19|
WALBRIDGE - A familiar face has joined council, filling a seat that has been vacant for six weeks.
Pat Fox, who served six years on council several years ago, was sworn in to fill Ron Liwo's seat. Liwo resigned June 17, citing the increasing demands of his council president job. His term ends Dec. 31.
Mayor Dan Wilczynski said he is worried about enough village residents running for the four open seats this November. The seats of Fox, John Scaife, Ed Kolanko and Warren Byington are up, he said.
"I'm concerned because we've got a number of open seats at the end of the year," the mayor said.
In addition to the council seat, four zoning board of appeals positions were filled Wednesday.
Ken Russell, Gerald Mills, Fred Sloyer and Ray Hughes, all long-time members of the board, recently resigned. Wilczynski and Council President Maureen Jacobsen said they did not give a reason.
The men, all contacted by phone Wednesday night, were reluctant to discuss why they quit.
"I really can't say," Mills said.
"I really can't comment right now," added Sloyer.
And Hughes said, "At the present time I'd prefer not to talk about it."
Russell said he had served on the board since the 1990s and has too many other things going on.
Council approved the mayor's recommendation to appoint Bob Kiss, Ken Smith, Willy Heidebrink and Scott Wilkes to the board. Kiss will serve as interim chairman until the board meets and elects one.
Lacy Stickler remains on the board.
The mayor said there are two appeals pending before the board, a fence in a front yard and one concerning the height of a garage.
Fox, who turned 65 Thursday, has owned Pat & Mike's Barbershop in the village for 42 years.
"A few people asked me," he said of his decision to come back to council. "Evidently they weren't getting any applications so I volunteered."
Fox left council in 2001 when his term was up and he did not seek re-election.
He said he's undecided about whether to pursue this council seat full time. He has to decide in less than two weeks whether he wants to run for a four-year term on the Nov. 3 ballot.
Also at Wednesday's meeting, Wilczynski said tax collections in the village are down 11 percent so far this year, "which isn't too bad. We had planned for 10 percent."
The village has spent $743,000 to date and $1.42 million has been appropriated.
The "tough part of the story," he said is that if the village keeps spending at the same rate, the total will be $1.273 million. The expected revenue now is $1.269 million.
"The budget's tight. We need to continue to watch every dollar, but I think we can make it."
Also at the meeting, Wilczynski said he is looking into employment options with Penta Career Center students. He said students in a variety of fields, such as construction and lawn and agriculture, are available for part-time or full-time work or projects.
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