ST. PARIS – Brenda Cook was sworn in as the new mayor of the village during Monday’s regular council meeting.
According to state law, Cook, who served as village council president, was appointed mayor following the resignation of former mayor Joe Reneer at the end of February.
Cook previously was appointed mayor in July 2012 following the resignation of Seth Bair before losing to Reneer in the November 2013 election.
Cook was sworn in by council member Terry Ervin II.
With Cook’s appointment, council now has a vacancy. Cook said council has 30 days to fulfill the vacancy and asked council to bring any potential candidates to the next meeting before making a decision at the April 2 meeting.
She noted the village had received one letter of interest.
Council also appointed Susan Prince as temporary president of council until April 2. Council is expected to vote on president of council again on April 2.
The appointment was approved 3-0 as council members Ben Hackley and Niven Jester were absent.
Later in the meeting, Cook reminded council that there is also a vacancy in the village administrator position as fiscal officer Dee Meadows relinquished her duties as village administrator effective March 2.
Cook said three people contacted her with interest, but stated the village will not rush into finding one.
“I think we need to get a good handle on what is expected of our village administrator, what hours we would expect,” Cook said.
Pony Wagon Parade
Council received an update on a potential change to the Pony Wagon Days parade. This year’s festivities are scheduled for Sept. 6 through 8.
In a letter from the Pony Wagon Pony Wagon Days Committee, the group requested to use the wellfield off of South High Street to reverse the parade route.
The committee also asked for the closing of Walnut and Poplar Streets from South High Street to Church Street. The parade route would begin at West Main Street and end at the old junior high school site, 370 E. Main St.
Cook said she wants the safety and street committees to review the parade route before final approval by council.
Council continued a conversation about making potential changes to an ordinance on removing dog waste.
During the Feb. 19 meeting, council was informed of a problem involving residents not cleaning up dog waste within the village.
On Monday, council was provided copies of a previous ordinance on dog control. Cook said the last time the ordinance was discussed was Sept. 21, 2015, during which a proposed amendment did not pass.
Council discussed proposed ideas but no action was taken.
In other action:
•Our Town St. Paris will hold its next meeting March 26 at 6 p.m. in the municipal building, 135 W. Main St.
•Cook said there will be a meeting on the community garden plots on the water wellfield March 15 at 6 p.m. at Covenant Lutheran Church, 103 S. Church St.
•The Old Bag Sale will be held March 18 at the Evans-Purk Fellowship Center, 115 S. Church St. Participants can view bags at 12:30 p.m. and the auction begins at 1:30 p.m. with all proceeds benefiting the American Cancer Society. More information can be provided by contacting Cook at 937-663-4012 or 937-508-8169.
•The next planning commission meeting is scheduled for April 5 at 7:30 p.m. in the municipal building, 135 W. Main St.
•Council approved paying expenses for Meadows to attend a local government officials conference in Columbus on March 22 and 23.
Nick Walton can be reached at 937-652-1331 Ext. 1777 or on Twitter @UDCWalton.