ARCANUM — The Arcanum Village Council met Tuesday evening to discuss a number of topics, primarily a resolution in support of anti-discrimination laws in Ohio.
Due to a member of the council having to leave early, the meeting began with members voting on new business. The village adopted and declared an emergency on Ordinance 2020-33, an ordinance authorizing the placement of stop signs at the intersections of South Locust and West First Street, and South Sycamore and West First Street.
They adopted Resolution 2020-21, a resolution in support of anti-discrimination laws across the state of Ohio. This resolution addresses a number of anti-discrimination topics ranging from proper policing practices, to who is considered to be a protected class. As a part of this resolution, the Arcanum Police Department further affirmed its commitment to perform duties in a manner that is fair to all individuals regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, pregnancy, genetic information, veteran status, marital status, or any other class protected by law.
This resolution also amends Ohio anti-discrimination laws to include sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression as a protected class. By passing this resolution, the town is able to expand legal protections in housing, employment, and access to public accommodations.
Following the voting, Village Mayor Bonnie Millard, gave a short speech in which she addressed the anti-discrimination resolution and discussed matters regarding former Arcanum Police Chief Andrew Ashbaugh. He resigned in April 2019 after alleged actions of “impropriety” involving a young female were reported to the Darke County Sheriff’s Office.
Allegations against Ashbaugh were investigated by the Darke County Sheriff’s Office, but no charges were ever filed.
Millard also congratulated and thanked current Arcanum Police Chief, Marcus Ballinger, for completing his one year probationary period.
Ballinger then rose to address the council.
“Mayor, thank you for your strong words and leadership, thank you council members for allowing me to speak, and thank you to village resident for your continued support,” he said. “In the past year, we have introduced several new policies and procedures that have laid the groundwork for our department’s future. Some of these are included in tonight’s unprecedented legislation of 2020-21 (anti-discrimination resolution). Every person, regardless of background or creed, is given the same rights in our town.”
Near the end of the meeting, the Service and Leisure Committee reported that a new product will be used to fix cracks and other issues for the village swimming pool. They are also planning to begin digging up valves and making major repairs on the swimming pool.
The council concluded by discussing ordinances setting water and sewer rates in the village. These rates are expected to go up as a result of the work being done on water treatment facilities.
As a reminder, new Arcanum firefighters will be sworn in this Sunday, September 13, at 2 p.m., at the firehouse.