St. Paris fiscal officer to resign this week

By Nick Walton -

ST. PARIS — The village council accepted the resignation of village fiscal officer Cathlyn Adkins, effective Friday, during its regular meeting last week.

The resignation was brought up by Mayor Joe Reneer.

“I would like to thank the residents of St. Paris for allowing me to serve them the last 12 years,” Adkins states in her resignation letter.

Before council took action on the resignation, upset residents voiced their disappointment with council and a nepotism policy it passed this year.

During the Aug. 3 meeting, council unanimously approved a resolution enacting a nepotism policy for the village administration and elected offices.

Adkins’ husband, Tyler, was elected to village council last month after council terminated him from his position as village street commissioner in June. He attended the meeting.

One resident called the policy “bull(expletive)” and said the decision to accept the resignation would be foolish. Residents also stated they felt the policy was punishing Cathlyn Adkins due to previous issues with Tyler Adkins.

Council member Larry Watkins said he was absent during the Aug. 3 meeting and would not have voted for the resolution. He said Cathlyn Adkins has done an excellent job.

“Would I like Cathy to stay? Doggone right I would,” Watkins said. “Has she done a good job? She’s probably the best clerk since I’ve been here and I’ve been here for a couple different clerks. I don’t want her to go.”

Council member Niven Jester said it was Cathlyn Adkins’ decision to resign and not councils. Tyler Adkins said it was council’s decision because it created the policy, to which council member Lynn Miller responded, “no, you created the policy.”

When put to a vote, the resignation was accepted 4-1 with Watkins voting no. Council member Brad Kennedy was not present.

Council also unanimously approved a payout of Cathlyn Adkins’ unused vacation and sick time.

Former school purchased

Following an executive session, council returned to unanimously authorize village administrator Joe Sampson to contact Graham Local Schools to move forward with the purchase of the former Graham junior/senior high school, 370 E. Main St.

Watkins abstained from voting as he is an adjacent property owner.

The property was a topic of discussion since the Graham Local Schools board approved a resolution in August offering to sell the property to the village for $15,000. The motion passed on Monday approved the purchase at the same price.

Prior to this action, Sampson stated he received a second cost estimate for how much it would cost to demolish the building. The estimate was $214,000, while an estimate from another company was over $300,000.

Previously, council held multiple work sessions allowing for public input on what to do with the property, but council did not discuss plans for the property on Monday. Council vacated a work session scheduled prior to the Dec. 21 meeting.

Council authorized Sampson to supervise the sale of property located at 9746 W. U.S. Route 36. According to the Champaign County auditor’s website, the property is a one-story modular residence built in 1988.

Village police receive grants

St. Paris Police Officer David C. Patrick II informed council about two grants the department received.

A grant in the amount of $10,916.85 is for a new server and complete reworking of the police department’s computer network. In a memo Patrick provided to council, he states the current police server is over 10 years old and contains records dating back to 2005.

“We are already three years over the standard lifetime of a server and if the current server fails the police department could lose all of the records due to no standard backup being performed,” Patrick stated.

Some of the anticipated improvements from a new server Patrick mentioned include updated firewalls, the ability to print from anywhere including a cruiser and the ability to have infrastructure to implement future technologies such as in-car camera/body cameras as the department would have the ability to store this data.

The second grant is a continuation of the MARCs radio grant from this year and will provide $12,260 for two more portable radios and a base station radio in the police office. Patrick stated in the memo that the department currently owns two portable radios and borrows two portable radios from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

The majority of the total grant costs will be covered by the state Office of Criminal Justice Services and the village would pay $5,794.22.

By Nick Walton

Nick Walton can be reached at 937-652-1331 Ext. 1777 or on Twitter @UDCWalton.

Nick Walton can be reached at 937-652-1331 Ext. 1777 or on Twitter @UDCWalton.