Holiday City Seeks Out Marshal

DSC_1223 WEBBy: T.J. Hug
The Village Reporter

Typically, Holiday City Mayor Shawn Clark has little to say in his reports to the town’s village council. During their April regular meeting on the sixteenth of the month, however, that was not the case.

“I had a letter handed to me yesterday.” Clark began.

That letter was from the Williams County Sheriff’s Office. In it Clark was notified that Holiday City was legally required to hire a marshal, which they have not had since the village’s inception. Given the short amount of time between receiving the letter and attending the council meeting, Clark had yet to discuss the matter further with Sheriff Steven Towns.

“I have not had a chance to call back the sheriff.” Stated Clark.

According to Ohio law, Clark is required to make an appointment to the position. The council’s role in the process is to advise and give their approval on a candidate put forth by the mayor. Said candidate would need to have resided within the Holiday City limits for a period of six months, unless that stipulation is waived by the village. There would also be a six month probation period for the appointee, pending a physical.

A number of costs would be involved with this process. The new marshal would require a great deal of training in order to do his job properly. Not to mention the expenses that come with providing a law enforcement agent with a vehicle and equipment. Indeed, hiring an individual to fill the position could be quite costly to Holiday City.

There are other options, though.

The role of marshal could be contracted out to either the Sheriff’s Department, or another village police department. During discussions on the possibility, the departments in Montpelier, West Unity, and Pioneer were mentioned as potential negotiating partners if the village wished to go that route. Of course, there are potential issues with this choice as well.

“If you’re going to go to another town,” Councilman Ron Keil Jr. said, “you ought to at least consult with their council, to see if they are understaffed.”

Contracting with the county may seem like the best option, but one would have to ask what further service the Sheriff’s Office would provide for the town. The county is already required to protect Holiday City, as well as any other village within the county limits, at all times. While it was agreed that more service would be offered to the village should they go through the Sheriff’s Office, what exactly that agreement would entail was not known at the time of the meeting.

Mayor Clark will meet with Sheriff Towns before the council’s next regular meeting, which will take place in May. He will then present the council members with what their options are to rectify the issue, and give a more detailed layout of what each one will mean for Holiday City in the future.

Village Administrator Gary Baker and Councilwoman Pam Clark attended the annual WEDCO meeting on behalf of Holiday City. They were among the attendees to here an economic specialist serve as its guest speaker. The news that speaker gave was positive for the county.

“He said things are looking up.” Baker relayed. “Though I think most of us already knew that.”

Baker also came away impressed with new WEDCO Executive Director Matt Davis.

“I think our new Director is fantastic.”

Keil Jr. spoke up again when the council was asked if there was any unfinished business.

“I got a hold of the Maintenance Supervisor at ODOT (the Ohio Department of Transportation).

Once he began speaking with the supervisor, Keil brought up a matter that has been mentioned at Holiday City Council meetings for some time; the cleaning under the village’s portion of State Route 15. The news the councilman received was good, as he was informed that the project was on ODOT’s Summer agenda this year.

“They said the hadn’t forgotten about us.” Keil explained.

The council ended the meeting by entering into Executive Session in order to discuss the acquisition of property for utility purposes. No action was taken.

T.J. Hug can be reached at
publisher@thevillagereporter.com

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