Wauseon Council accepts Murphy’s resignation

Wauseon City Council on Monday officially accepted the resignation of its Clerk of Council and appointed a city utility clerk as the replacement.

Margaret Murphy read a brief and sometimes humorous statement announcing her resignation for the purpose of retirement, effective Sept. 30. She served as Clerk of Council just shy of 24 years, beginning Nov. 22, 1993, and through four city administrations.

“It has been a rewarding experience, and I’m thankful for having the opportunity to serve in this position,” Murphy said. “As clerk, it has been an interesting and fulfilling career, and, perhaps on occasion, sometimes a little bit more interesting and colorful.”

She said her job taught her the importance of local government and showed her the dedication of the city’s elected officials and employees.

Murphy sparked laughter when she directed a playful barb at her duty of vocally registering the votes of council members for proposed city ordinances, resolutions, and motions during meetings. “Please be assured I won’t miss all the ‘yays’ and ‘nays’ I’ve had to say all through the years,” she said.

Councilor Heather Kost told Murphy that, while she may not have worked with Murphy as long as some council members, “You’ve done an incredible job, and it’s been great to work with you, Meg. Thank you.”

Following a motion to accept Murphy’s resignation, the council voted unanimously to appoint Andrea Gerken to fill Murphy’s unexpired term from Oct. 1 to Jan. 31, 2018. She was also appointed interim Clerk of Council from Sept. 5-30 for training purposes.

Gerken had been offered the position by the city’s Personnel Committee at its Aug. 15 meeting. A Fulton County native, she has served as the city’s water utility clerk for nearly two years.

In other business, the council passed 6-0 a motion to accept the Park Board’s recommendation for a nine-hole Disc Golf course in Reighard Park. The golf course and labor to construct it, mainly on the park’s north side, will be paid for by Worthington Steel of Delta.

The company’s representative, Derrick Stiriz, told the board at its Aug. 8 meeting Worthington Steel chose Reighard Park over other potential sites in Fulton County so that it would complement the new community pool under construction. Stiriz suggested the Frisbees that are used in the game could be sold or rented at the pool’s concession stand.

He said the steel plant would like to expand the course to 18 holes at a later date. His only request is that the city dig post holes for the project.

“I think it will be fun, and a good thing for Wauseon,” Mayor Kathy Huner said.

The Park Board turned down a request for Ga-ga Ball to be played in the park, saying it wouldn’t be a good fit. Similar to dodgeball, the game is played by younger children in a hexagon.

In department reports:

• Police Chief Keith Torbet reminded citizens that New Horizons Academy, located at Sara’s Garden at 620 W. Leggett St., is now a certified school. He said the school is surrounded by 20 mile-per-hour zones, and the city is currently getting extensions for the zones through the Ohio Department of Transportation.

“We ask people to take it a little bit slower around there. We have kids out during the day, just as we do around the other schools,” Torbet said.

He said openings are still available for the Citizens Police Academy, to be held each Thursday for eight weeks beginning Sept. 14. Applications are available at the police station at 230 Clinton St.

And he said the nationwide Safe and Sober campaign, an effort to crack down on drunk driving, runs through Labor Day.

• Public Service Director Dennis Richardson reported that Gerken Paving of Napoleon was awarded the bid for street paving. All streets originally scheduled for paving will be included with the exception of Superior Street. That street will undergo separate work that will delay its paving until at least next summer.

Instead, Richardson said, the city will include Francis, Doris, and Virginia drives in the project.

He said the community pool project has incurred some unexpected expenses. The cost to run power to a new transformer for the pool facility will cost approximately $8,500, and work to reinforce the bath house so it can support a new roof system will cost about $3,800.

Richardson also reported that a new open air shelter built in Dorothy B. Biddle Park by the midget football field has passed inspection.

• Law Director Tom McWatters III said the city was scheduled this week to meet with representatives from Spectrum Time Warner Cable.

He said a title issue involving the city bicycle trail near County Road 18 is being resolved, and that efforts are being made to keep the trail intact.

“From time to time, issues like that come up with the trail,” he said.

The council also approved: the second reading of a resolution authorizing the mayor, through the Maumee Valley Planning Organization, to advertise for, accept the lowest bid for, and contract for construction of Americans With Disabilities-compliant ramps along Fulton Street; the second reading of an ordinance amending Section 505.17 of city’s codified ordinances to permit dogs in Homecoming Park; and a motion to permit Director of Finance Jamie Giguere to establish a special revenue fund, “Special Energy Improvement Projects.”

Council members entered into executive session to discuss personnel. No action was taken.

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Wauseon Clerk of Council Margaret Murphy read a statement Monday offering her resignation for the purpose of retirement as of Sept. 30.
https://www.fcnews.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/45/2017/08/web1_meg-murphy.jpgWauseon Clerk of Council Margaret Murphy read a statement Monday offering her resignation for the purpose of retirement as of Sept. 30.
Disc golf course planned

By David J. Coehrs


Reach David J. Coehrs at 419-335-2010.