By Jane Ernsberger
Times-Junction News Editor
L. James Ludban was hired by Willard City Council to serve as interim city manager. Ludban’s service as city manager will continue while council conducts a search for a replacement for present city manager Shawn Tappel whose resignation will take effect June 3. Ludban will start his new duties on May 23.
The ordinance was passed by an emergency but not by a unanimous vote. Council member Joe Daniel abstained because he is related to Ludban.
Council member David Sattig voted no to the hiring of Ludban as interim city manager. Sattig said he is related to Ludban by marriage.
Sue Johnson, the city’s finance director, said the tax revenues look “nice.”
“I’m not going to say great,” she told members of council. “But it is nice to see them a little higher than anticipated.”
Christyn Burne was hired as the new tax clerk, Johnson said. Over 30 people took the test, and Burne finished first and was what Johnson called the “best fit.”
Willard Police Chief Mark Holden is acting city manager. He told council a new firefighter/EMT was hired and working at full-time status.
Rainy weather is also causing grass to grow rapidly. Some residents might not have caught up with the higher grass.
“We have sent out numerous grass letters,” Holden told members of city council. “They are starting to pop up.”
Council passed an ordinance on final reading to appropriate from unappropriated funds $350,000 and to amend the annual appropriations for that amount to cover funding for unexpected repairs at the water plant. The third reading was passed an an emergency.
City manager Shawn Tappel was absent from the council meeting. In his written report to council he said he, Ludban and James Pomerich will be attending a meeting of the Ohio Public Works Commission on May 20 to see if the city is going to receive additional funding for streets.
Also included in Tappel’s written report were the following:
• The 9-1-1 committee toured the Frontier building located on Gibbs Road;
• The City of Willard was named a Tree City USA for the 36th year, and
• Negotiations have started with the fire union.
Council accepted the donation of a rocking chair for the fire department from Don Murray and sons and Jane and Edward Ernsberger in memory of Honorary Firefighter Jean Murray. The rocker is valued at $200.Council also accepted a $250 donation to the clock tower project from Bauer Farms.