ARCANUM — The Village of Arcanum will have a new acting mayor after Mayor Judith Foureman announced her resignation, effective Dec. 31, during Tuesday night’s council meeting.
Adding to the upheaval, Arcanum Fiscal Officer Darcy Woodall announced her resignation Dec. 5, although staying on temporarily in a part-time capacity until her position can be filled.
Council President Vanessa Delk will step in as interim mayor after Dec. 31. Council holds an organizational meeting Jan. 8 and can choose to have Delk serve as acting mayor during the remainder of Foureman’s term through 2019 or select another to serve.
Foureman, who has served as mayor for seven years, cited the actions of several council members as the primary reason for her decision to resign.
“[This is] due to disrespect of various council members, not only to myself, but towards other council people, including village employees,” she said.
Foureman said one council member called the village street department “mediocre” and is continually seeking to use his council position for the benefit of his area of town.
“Everything is for him, clean up trash, move trailers, it’s all for his neighborhood,” she said. “I just cannot tolerate those kind of actions and continue in this position.”
As well, earlier this year Foureman had requested council agree to the hiring of a part-time office employee, which council refused to do. As a result, there is now no one trained to take over the position of fiscal officer in an office she thinks already is understaffed.
“Had they let me do that, right now we’d be paying for a fiscal officer to stand in until we hired someone at $10 per hour,” Foureman said. “As it is, it’s costing them $30 more [per hour]. Council is elected by the people to legislate. I was elected to administer. They will not allow that.”
“As far as the village residents, they’ve been wonderful, but my council stinks,” she added. “I am letting [the residents] down, but I can’t handle it any longer.”
In July, Foureman and Woodall also were pressured by a council member to have each of them sign off on a document certifying grant funds for the North Street reconstruction project, despite the fact village funds were not available at that time. As fiscal officer, Woodall is personally and financially responsible for signing off on expenditures.
“I was told if I didn’t like what council wanted to do, ‘there is the door,’” Woodall said.
Village Administrator Bill Kessler called Foureman “a wonderful mentor.”
“She’s really helped me in finding my way in what I should be doing [as village administrator],” he said. “It’s sad what’s going on.”
Woodall, who has served as fiscal officer for three-and-a-half years, called the situation “disappointing.”
“What [Foureman] said isn’t untrue. It’s why I left,” she said. “This last year has been very difficult. I feel like I did my job well and did what was right for the village, what I was hired to do. I feel like I was second guessed at every turn.”