Officials resign after conflicts with mayor

Ashley McCarty - [email protected]
Mayes -
Kratzer -

RIPLEY, Ohio — Two village officials have resigned from their duties effective immediately as volatile contentions arise with newly elected mayor, Dallas Kratzer.

In his resignation letter, former Village Administrator Travis Dotson, said that he would not be able to continue as the administrator because it was clear that Kratzer did not value his input nor want his assistance.

“I have a limited amount of time that I can devote to Ripley. It would not benefit the village if I were to continue in an adversarial relationship with the mayor,” said Dotson.

Dotson said in the letter that he had been prepared to resign following a rather disputatious meeting with Kratzer on Jan. 3. Over the course of an hour, the mayor acted aggressively and attempted to intimidate Dotson, according to the letter.

“Dallas arrived and was upset that I was in his office, [he] became aggressive immediately and attempted to intimidate me. He was offended that I would suggest that the administrator needing an office was more important than the mayor needing an office, and stated that I was never here anyway,” said Dotson.

“He stated that he expected me to be there to greet him on the morning of Jan. 2. He stated that I was an outsider and was really not welcome here and that I did not have any idea what the people of Ripley wanted. He stated that he was unsure of my motives [and] was skeptical that I was here to help improve the village,” said Dotson.

In the letter of resignation, Dotson also said that Kratzer told him that he had instructed the employees to report to him, and to “not worry about [Dotson].” Kratzer also said that Dotson was not accomplishing anything and that he knew more after 24 hours on the job than Dotson was able to gather in a month. Dotson said Kratzer told him that he should not have been hired and that the administrator should be a resident of the village.

“We discussed the garbage. He wanted to know what I thought about it. I told him that I thought it would be in the best interest of the village to switch to Rumpke, but that I felt like council was not ready to make that move and that it was their decision. He responded, ‘I feel, I feel, I don’t care what you feel’. He stated that I was kicking the can down by the road by not switching to Rumpke. I stated that it was not my decision. He stated that I was responsible [for] sending unsafe garbage trucks out on to the streets,” said Dotson.

Following the encounter, Dotson spoke with Tom Mayes, the village solicitor. Mayes suggested that he schedule a meeting where he, Dotson and Kratzer could sit down to try and reconcile their differences. Dotson said that unfortunately, that was not possible.

Despite the circumstances, Dotson said in his letter that he has been truly humbled by the warm reception that he had received from the residents of the village.

“There are so many residents who are working hard to make this village a better place, and I truly hope they find success. I would like to thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist the Village of Ripley as its administrator. I have enjoyed my time there. I believe that Ripley is a special place and has great potential,” he said.

Dotson said if there was a change in leadership or the village needed assistance in the future, to not hesitate to contact him.

On Jan. 10, a letter of resignation from Thomas Mays was written to Kratzer. The letter was formally typed with a header that read “McConn, Cutrell, Purdy and Mayes: Attorneys-at-Law.”

“Please accept this letter as written notice that I am resigning as the village solicitor, effective immediately. Given the attitude of the new administration, I do not feel that I am in a position to effectively represent the village,” Mayes wrote.

“I highly recommend that the search for a solicitor start immediately,” he said. Mayes said he will assist in any way possible and be available to whomever the council hires to answer questions and provide insight to the village’s unique legal needs.

“I want to thank you and council for permitting me the opportunity to serve the village and its residents. I certainly wish you, council and the residents of the Village of Ripley the very best in the future,” said Mayes.

Mayes signed the letter with “very truly yours, Thomas Lee Mayes.”



Ashley McCarty

[email protected]