An extensive review of local village council meeting records shows that for the most part, Members of Council are showing up to do the job they were elected to do in Adams County villages. In a position that can at times have high turnover with little compensation, village councils conduct business in the town that keeps public services operating.
The Village of Winchester: 25 meetings that were reviewed among the years of 2016 and 2017. Council member Roades, Young, Davis, Lung, and Platt only missed a handful of meetings while council member Edenfield missed a total of 8 meetings, giving him an average of 68% attendance.
The Village of Manchester: 34 Meetings were reviewed. Council members Phipps, Napier, Wagoner, Phipps, Blythe and Henderson missed only a handful of meetings while Councilwoman Freeman missed sixteen, giving her an average of 53% of attendance between fall of this year and December of 2016. Councilwoman Freeman declined to comment on her absences, and it is unclear if she is giving back portions of her salary because of excessive absences. After pressure from village leaders, Freeman declined to seek re-election for an additional term.
The Village of Seaman: Council attendance was 53% of the 21 meetings that were reviewed among the years of 2016 and 2017. Council members Wright, Tolle, Sparks, Shelby, Merfert, and Anderson have missed less than three meetings each during the review window.
The Village of Peebles: Council attendance was 62% of the 21 meetings that were reviewed among the years of 2016 and 2017. Council member Newman and Setty did not miss any meetings while Hoop, Gordley, Shiveley, and Cross missed less than two meetings each.
The Village of West Union: council attendance was 73% among the 41 board meetings that were reviewed during the same window. Councilmen Rothwell, McCarty, M. Brewer, and Brewer only missed a handful of meetings while Councilmen Lafferty and Buda missed less than 5.
In Ohio, with the local rule authority, the Village Council is considered the “legislative authority.” According to the Ohio Revised Code, The legislative authority shall have the management and control of the finances and property of the municipality, unless provided otherwise.
The legislative authority, under its investigative capacity, also has the power to compel witnesses and the production of relevant material at any meeting of the village council pursuant to and under Ohio Revised Code 705.21.
There is no statutory authorization for general supervisory powers over village departments or personnel. The village council acts only through its official meetings, and no powers are enumerated to individual village council members.