ROGERS - The village has been having problems for years finding enough people willing to run for office in this town of 235 residents, especially for council.
The solution: Reduce the size of council.
Council voted at this week's meeting to begin the process for placing an issue on the Nov. 4 ballot that, if approved by voters, would reduce the size of the board from six members to five.
Rogers council members Jayne Balmenti and Tom Chambers (at left) listen to village Solicitor Luke McConville (shown on the laptop computer screen) speak during this week’s meeting. McConville participated in his first meeting via Skype, which is being done to cut down on the village’s legal fees. McConville lives in the Cleveland area and charges for driving to and from meetings. (Submitted Photo)
Five of the six council seats are currently filled but this occurred only after great difficulty in finding residents willing to serve. The members have been unable to find anyone else to fill the sixth slot and decided to investigate whether they were allowed to downsize council.
"With what we're running into I think it would be a great idea. We're just having a hard time filling that sixth seat," said Councilman Tom Chambers.
Village Solicitor Luke McConville advised them they could downsize, but only with voter approval. The first step was to pass a resolution instructing McConville to prepare the necessary legislation for them to adopt.
Aug. 6 is the filing deadline at the Columbiana County elections board for placing issues on the November ballot, and Fiscal Officer Dale Davis pointed out council was scheduled to next meet on Aug. 11. Council then agreed to hold a special meeting at 11:30 a.m. July 22 to vote to place the issue on the ballot.
This was the first council meeting McConville participated in via Skype since he was hired in early June. Council came up with the novel approach to save money since McConville lives in the Cleveland area and would charge for driving to and from meetings. Having McConville participate in the meetings via Skype likely saves three hours round trip, and he is charging the village $95 an hour.