Combess officially resigned, council seeks new member

Jonathan Wright - [email protected]

ABERDEEN, Ohio — Former council member Tony Combess’ resignation was officially accepted by the Aberdeen Village Council on Thursday.

The most immediate order of business for council surrounded the recent events concerning Combess. Mayor Jason Philips began the meeting by bringing up Combess’ resignation letter to be approved by the council.

Combess’ resignation was due to an ongoing investigation into a marijuana growing operation allegedly discovered in his home by police late last month. A resignation letter was submitted by Combess to Philips shortly after the discovery, which was promptly approved by the council on Thursday.

Following the approval of Combess’ resignation, the task of selecting a new council member to fill the newly formed vacancy began. Council has 30 days to make a decision before the responsibility will be ceded to Philips.

“It’s an equal opportunity for everybody for the council seat,” Philips said. “I’m not judging anybody, I’ll be open for anybody being in the council seat, but it’s (the council’s) decision to make it at this time.”

Council Member David Wireman asked attendees who would be interested in filling the vacancy. Among the community members present for the meeting, two stepped forward to apply for the council member position — Margie Bowie and Don Daring.

Philips urged those who are interested in being part of the council, especially those who want to have a positive impact on the community. The council said it intends to select a new council member before the next meeting in October.

“I don’t want people thinking that they don’t have a fair shot with it, because I’ll be open-minded with it more than anybody. I’ll be fair to anybody that wants that seat, and for one that wants to put the village first, and do something for the village — that’s all I ask for anyone to do, it to put their heart here and give 100 percent,” he said.

Wireman suggested council to go into a closed session at the end of the meeting to discuss the selection process as well as interview Bowie and Daring for the open seat. According to Philips, a decision has yet to be made on a replacement since the closed session, as Council Member Tom Birt was absent from the meeting.

In other business:

— Council Member Billie Eitel reported to council regarding two projects that will improve waste water treatment for the village. One of the projects involve updating the waste water treatment plant, which will extend the plant’s lifespan another 20-25 years; the second, to extend a sewer line near Lower Stivers and River Road, which will allow around 17 citizens to hook up to the line who weren’t previously able to.

Eitel said bidding on the projects are expected to be finished by early December, with construction expected to begin in January.

— Hope Hughes, a resident of Aberdeen, gave the council an update on her efforts of reviving court day in the village. As of now, Hughes said she has 18 confirmed vendors, with several other applications to look over. Hughes also mentioned having plans for events during Christmas and the Fourth of July, which the council approved.

Jonathan Wright

[email protected]