EDMORE — Again the four councilmen were asked, and again they deigned to answer why they voted not to extend the village manager’s contract.
The question was asked at Monday night’s regular Edmore Village Council meeting, which more than 30 people attended.
Councilwoman Bonnie Ashbaugh asked President Chet Guild and councilmen Eddie Adams, Chuck Burr and Jerry Rasmussen why they voted to not extend then-village manager Neil Rankin’s contract at a special meeting June 30. A reason for the nonextension has never been given.
“So what is it you’re looking for, Bonnie?” Guild asked at Monday’s meeting.
“I think the public would like an explanation,” Ashbaugh said. “They lost their village manager too.”
Ashbaugh was especially upset as she and Councilwoman Karen Deja are both members of the village’s Personnel Committee — of which Burr is the chairman — and neither woman was informed a nonextension motion was a possibility. Ashbaugh and Deja say they came to the June 30 meeting expecting to evaluate Rankin’s first year on the job and discuss his contract.
“It wasn’t a Personnel Committee thing,” Burr said at Monday’s meeting. “It was a Village Council thing.”
Burr declined to elaborate further, adding, “I can’t speak for everybody else.”
Adams, Guild and Rasmussen didn’t comment.
The council briefly discussed whether to hire a new village manager, but no action was taken at Monday’s meeting.
Also at Monday’s meeting, the village council voted 7-0 to accept a $56,400 bid from Scott Crater Construction of Lakeview to build new restrooms at Curtis Park.
In May, Curtis Foundation Chairwoman Bonnie Davis announced a series of donations to the park. The foundation approved $30,000 for new playground equipment, $25,000 for new restrooms (contingent upon inspection and approval of designs) and $2,500 toward a master plan for the park.
“Did you get a grant, or where are you getting the money?” asked Davis after the restroom vote at Monday’s meeting.
Davis pointed out the village is not likely to receive any grants until a master plan has been created.
Rasmussen said village officials are working with Spicer Group on this issue. Guild said if no grants are obtained, the money for the new restrooms will come out of the village’s general fund, which he says currently contains about $700,000.
“I don’t think that’s a lot of money to ask for the community,” Guild said. “We haven’t done a lot of things with general fund money to help the community. I personally don’t see where it would hurt the taxpayers of Edmore to spend a few dollars.”
A community meeting to discuss park improvements will take place at “4:30 or 5 p.m. Wednesday,” according to Rasmussen.
A community build at the playground will take place Sept. 12-13. Volunteers are needed. Call the village hall at (989) 427-5661 for more information.