NEW MADISON — The Village of New Madison council swore in a new Mayor and elected a new Council President during their monthly meeting Monday night.
New Madison Mayor Lisa Garland stepped down at the beginning of Monday’s meeting, citing family obligations and her attempts to pursue a business degree.
“The residents of New Madison deserve more than I am able to give right now,” Garland said. As previously reported in The Daily Advocate, Garland became mayor in 2015, after serving on the city council for six years. Her duties as mayor include supervising village officers, managing the administration of the village, presiding over all council meetings, and signing legal documents as needed.
Council president Monica Schlechty was immediately sworn in as Mayor in Garland’s stead. Council member Charles Godsey then nominated senior councilman Karl King to be the new president. King was elected to the position via unanimous vote.
Council now has 30 days to fill the seat vacated by Schlechty. Otherwise the mayor will be required to appoint a new council member.
Dennis Bernaciak, manager of Central Collection Agency in Cleveland, addressed the council about the possibility of his group assuming responsibility for collecting the city’s taxes. Bernaciak stressed that CCA is not a private company, but in fact a division of the city of Cleveland’s finance department.
“You’d be entering into a partnership with the city of Cleveland to collect your taxes,” Bernaciak said. According to Bernaciak, CCA collects taxes from over 1.5 million residents in communities throughout Ohio, including Dayton, Hamilton, New Paris, and West Alexandria.
“Think of us as a black box that collects all your taxes, then cuts you a check at the end of the month,” Bernaciak said.
During the public hearing portion of the meeting, New Madison Fourth of July Committee member Kami Hollinger addressed the council, asking for a portion of Harrison Street to be shut down during this year’s Independence Day celebration.
“Our goal is to make room for more food vendors, as well as more rides for the kids,” Hollinger said.
Council member Gail Farmer made a motion to approve the request, which was passed unanimously by the council. This year’s Fourth of July festivities will begin the afternoon of Tuesday, July 3, and continue through the following day. Hollinger also asked about cut-off times for the event’s band, citing complaints the council had received during last year’s celebration when the group continued playing past midnight.
“We’ll need to check our noise ordinance about that,” Mayor Schlechty said.
Finally, New Madison resident Kris Rantz offered to donate funds for a number of signs throughout the village, including a No Parking sign in the emergency lane near Munchel Park, as well as signs cautioning drivers that a blind resident lives, and frequently walks, in the area. Mayor Schlechty indicated she would pass the request on to the city’s safety and security committee.
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