SOUTH BLOOMFIELD — Rick Wilson, mayor of South Bloomfield, opened the village council meeting Monday by resigning from his office effective immediately.
The move came following months of complaints by council members that Wilson had been ignoring his duties as mayor, not attending meetings and holding up the process of governing the village.
Wilson led the Pledge of Allegiance before handing his four-page resignation letter to the clerk of council.
Following the Pledge and just prior to leaving the meeting, Wilson thanked those in attendance, saying, “I appreciate everything, and good luck with this bunch.”
Jane Ramey, council member, stopped Wilson by saying he had “an obligation here,” to which Wilson pointed to a copy of his letter and stated that was his obligation.
A brief argument ensued between Ramey and Wilson’s girlfriend before she and Wilson left the building.
In the letter, Wilson makes a variety of accusations against members of council before ending with his resignation, using words like “dumb,” “two-faced,” “greedy” and “illegal.”
“I will not be a part of these unlawful acts and the destruction of this village, yes I said the destruction of the village,” Wilson wrote. “Eliminating the building department, not taking care of your employees, who will make or break the success of this village, not using the smart growth concept for the growth of this village and being so greedy, this road you are paving for the village will definitely destroy this village.
“So I hereby resign this great seat, which none of you can understand or respect, of the mayor of our fine village. And my God watch over it.”
As president pro-tem, Matt Pettibone was named acting mayor until a new mayor was found. Rob Rishel, village solicitor, said he would look into how the process was done, but he believed that the vacancy would be filled by the next election. He also said he would check with the Board of Elections to make sure that proper notification was made.
“Right now [Pettibone] is in control, and I will get the procedures on how to move forward, which I believe is through the next election,” Rishel said.
All five voting council members approved the resignation unanimously.
Later in the meeting, the building inspector’s wages were discussed as how best to align with the standards that the Ohio Public Employers Retirement system (OPERS) had set as wages. It was approved to change the salary from $200 per month and 25 percent of inspection fees to $500 per month with no percentage of inspection fees.
Ramey also discussed the police department and asked that council consider its removal, saying she had already approached Sheriff Robert Radcliff to discuss the possibility of having deputies patrol the village under contract.
Ramey said she never sees any South Bloomfield Police cars in the village, and that officers and their cars had been seen as far away as Polaris.
“I very seldom see any police officer on [U.S. Route] 23, period,” she said. “I’ve traveled all over the United States, and if I say I’m from South Bloomfield other people say, ‘I’ve been there, that’s a speed trap.’ Well, they can’t say that now, because we don’t have a police officer out there. I see more of the deputies than I do our own police.”
Following her statement, a couple members of the public spoke up in favor of the police. One woman said Chief Ken McCoy spoke to her 15-year-old son about his airsoft rifle, and he has them feeling safe and not afraid to live in the village.
No action was taken on the police matter.