HARTVILLE  Councilman Dave Hubbell has resigned from council after accepting a job offer in California. During the Dec. 5 village council meeting, Mayor Cynthia Billings accepted the resignation, effective immediately

"He is already there (in California) and we will hate to see him go – he has been here seven years," Billings said.

Solicitor Ron Starkey said election rules require council to wait 10 days after a duly elected official would have taken office before officially advertising the open seat. Council then has 30 days in which to fill the seat.

Given than timeline, legislation announcing the vacancy is expected to come before council at its Jan. 16 meeting.

Temporary engineer named

Council also approved a motion to contract with the firm GBC to act as special engineer to review plans for Phase III of the Lake Local Schools building project, at a cost not to exceed $1,200. This is due to a conflict of interest with village engineer Jim Benekos, who works for CT Consultants, the firm that developed the site plan for the school district.

Cheaper healthcare coverage

Council also approved a motion to opt out of renewing the village’s healthcare contract with the Ohio Public Entity Consortium Healthcare Cooperative (OPEC-HC) in 2018, and entering into what Starkey called a more "cheaper…traditional healthcare plan" provided by Anthem. 

Legislation formalizing the motion is expected to come before council at its next meeting Dec. 19.

Emergency plan updated

Council accepted the most recent update of the federally approved Stark County Emergency Management Agency’s Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan.

Billings explained that municipalities must update new developments every five years "like nursing homes and a portion of the sewer plant, this time," she said.

Other actions

Council members approved resolutions renewing agreements with the Stark County Public Defender Commission to provide legal representation to indigent persons; with TAC Computer to service computers at village hall, the police department and sewer plant, each from Jan. 1, 2018 through Dec. 31, 2018; and extending the village’s natural gas aggregation program with Constellation Energy Services beyond March 31, 2018, when the current agreement ends.