Members of Council, Employees and Residents of the Village,
January 1, 2008 was the beginning of one of the most rewarding eight years for me, having the privilege and opportunity serving as the Mayor of the great Village of Edon, my home town and a part of my life.
We are all part of the Village of Edon. The crossroads of State Route 34 and State Route 49 and just a few miles from State Route 6, US Highway 20, and the Ohio Turnpike makes us very visible by many traveling through. First impressions are lasting and we as property owners are responsible for keeping our properties appealing to others.
I would like to thank all those responsible for creating the Zoning Ordinance and the Council for passing the Ordinance in 2008. I am pleased with the cleanup that has been done; however, there are always issues that need attention.
Due to so many golf carts, approximately 35, being run on the streets and the increased traffic through the Village, the Golf Cart Ordinance was passed. This year there were only 13 carts inspected, allowing only those carts to be on the streets of the Village.
It was exciting to see the old hotel demolished and witness the building of the new Edon Public Library. The grand opening was held in August 2008 and I was proud to be a part of the ceremony. It is amazing what a community can do!
I am certain we will all agree the relocation of the Village Administrative offices to the former Medical Clinic and the demolition of the old Village Hall would be one of the most visible improvements in the Village in 2012. We were very fortunate to be able to acquire the building. Only a few minor changes and additions were made before the move.
The closing of the DMI/Chassix Plant remained the top concern of the Village in 2013. Word of the closing was heard April 20, 2013. On April 24, 2013 three Council members and I, along with the Coordinator of WEDCO, met at the plant with two Executives from headquarters, the Plant Manager and Human Resource Manager.
From that meeting on, there had been continued contacts and conversations, but to no avail and the closing date of March 31, 2014 was still going to happen. I have been keeping in contact with each Realty Company and there have been some showings; however, I have not been informed of anything permanent at this time. The Village began to prepare for the loss of the municipal income tax and we were able to adjust accordingly.
Due to the resignation, effective November 28, 2014, of Chris Decker, Water and Wastewater Superintendent and the retirement of Jim Brigle, Street Superintendent, effective April 1, 2015, the discussion began with creating the position of Village Administrator. The Village would not have to continue hiring additional employees if there were the Village Administrator with two additional employees that could be cross trained to work in the Water and Wastewater Departments.
And so I can say the most exciting achievement of 2014 was the establishment of the position of Village Administrator. There were many deciding factors involved and many hours spent weighing the pros and cons and being certain the budget would support the position. The question was: “Does the Village continue to struggle or move forward into the 21st Century?” All Council members saw the need to move forward, therefore Council created the position of Village Administrator. Council approved my recommendation to hire Randy Mahlman as Village Administrator beginning January 5, 2015. The Village Administrator will serve as the Zoning Inspector, hire and work with village employees and work closely with the Fiscal Officer. Randy also holds the necessary required licenses to operate both the Water and Wastewater Plants.
The Police Department continues to work diligently in keeping our Village and surrounding area a safe place to reside. Police Chief Szymczak will continue working closely with Superintendent John Granger and staff at the school to protect the children and maintain a safe environment for everyone.
The Village will continue to be faced with many challenges and opportunities in the coming years. You as the governing body, including the newly elected officials and all employees, must continue to be ready to meet those challenges and opportunities with open minds.
Thanks to Heidi our Fiscal Officer, Chief Szymczak, Officer Wilson and all part time officers and all other employees of the Village. It has been a pleasure to get to know and work with you. Thanks Randy for coming to Edon as the Village Administrator. Thanks also to our Solicitor Mr. Thompson. Thanks to Roxana Nester for your years of serving on Council. Thanks also to Chuck Bidwell for your many years of service to the Village, first as a member of the Board of Public Affairs and then Council.
Chuck also was the first representative of Council to serve on the Planning and Zoning Board from 2008 to 2014.
All of you have been professional and great representatives of the Village. I look forward, as a resident, to seeing the continuance of these assets.
Finally I would like to thank everyone else in this room, the residents of the Village and those that do not live in Edon for the support you have shown during my eight years serving as the Mayor. I am grateful to have had this experience and I wish only the best for what the future holds in our Village.
Darlene J. Burkhardt