NEW FRANKLIN There is a new face on New Franklin City Council.
During the March 7 council meeting, Andrew Fetterman was sworn in to serve as the new Ward 4 councilman.
Fetterman fills the seat following the resignation of Councilman Gust Kalapodis due to health reasons. Council received two applications after asking people to apply between Jan. 17 and Feb. 7. Both candidates were interviewed and Fetterman was selected.
"I have always had an interest in politics but never really knew where or how to get started," Fetterman said. "This opportunity was just one of those rare things that pop up and I thought it was a great way and time to get involved."
Fetterman graduated from the carpentry program at Wayne County Schools Career Center via Chippewa High School. He has lived in New Franklin since 2007 and will be married 18 years this coming June. He has a 16-year-old daughter and a 15-year-old son. He began working for Time Warner Cable in 1998, which is now Spectrum, and his role is construction coordinator.
Fetterman is excited to help contribute to the growth of the city.
"One of the things I have interest in is to find ways to get the community involved in events as New Franklin," Fetterman said. "As a whole, most residents go to either Norton, Canal Fulton, Barberton, Coventry, Green or other places for their community events. I would really like to start some of our own events and find ways to bring our residents and those surrounding communities here and support our local businesses."
He thinks the biggest challenge as a councilman will be finding a way to bring water and sewer to the city. He said not having those two items will really hold back potential growth and development.
In other business March 7, council:
- Approved on first reading supporting the development and designation of Ohio and US bicycle routes in New Franklin. Mayor Paul Adamson said the city was asked to support this as bike routes are enjoyed all over the state. He said future connections could be coming to the city along with neighboring communities. He said the bike routes can also lead to local businesses opening along them kind of like what has happened in the Cuyahoga Valley.
- Heard from resident Lynne Jones in regards to Republic Waste not picking up her trash some weeks. She said this problem has been ongoing off and on for several months and when she calls the company, they tell here they will pick it up, but don’t follow through. Jones also witnessed her trash and recycle being dumped into the same truck. Jones said she is frustrated and wonders if other parts of the community are experiencing these issues. Adamson said this is the first he has heard of the issue and said he plans to contact Republic about it.
- Heard form Adamson about the city sending NEXUS a letter. He said it was like a good neighbor letter, asking if NEXUS would partner with the city on a variety of upcoming community projects, but NEXUS respectfully declined, he said. He said NEXUS has completed most of the tree clearing in the city and the city is planning to update the city’s website with a map of where the pipeline is going.
- Heard from Adamson also that new Medicare cards are coming out and the only change is social security numbers are being removed from them. He also said the city has formed a healthcare committee. He said several roundtables have taken place looking at healthcare for the city and what is good and bad about the plan and how the city can be more effective.
- Announced there will be a shredding day at the administration building from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 28. More information can be found on the New Franklin website.
- Heard from Councilman Tony Hawk about exploring adding street lights on Main Street in the city limits similar to the ones recently added on Manchester Road. He said the area is dark at night and streets can be hard to see where to turn.
- Heard from Councilman Jim Cotts about his concerns that the city needs to start thinking now about ways to raise revenue. He doesn’t want to see the city get in a position where three to four years down the road where cuts would have to be made. Cotts is concerned with all the money recently spent toward changes to department heads benefits, adding an office assistant for the service department and the upcoming cost to upgrade dispatch equipment.
- Entered into executive session for real estate with no action taken.
The next New Franklin Council meeting is set to begin immediately following the committee meetings, which are scheduled for 6 p.m. March 21 at New Franklin City Hall.