OTTAWA - Council woman Deb Bauer sent a letter to the editor regarding tonight's council meeting at which interviews for the selection of a councilman or woman will be appointed. The meeting is set for 7 p.m. in council chambers at Ottawa's Municipal Building.
The letter follows:
Letter to the Editor:
When my husband and I moved to Ottawa 35 years ago, we were embraced by the people here. Ottawa has been a wonderful place to live and raise our family, and I have been privileged to represent Ottawa residents on village council for 18 of the last 22 years.
Regarding the appointment of a council member to fill the vacancy on Ottawa village council, I did some research. According to the Putnam County Board of Elections, there are 3044 registered voters in the Village of Ottawa, and 1663 voted in the November election. The results of the council election were as follows: Dean Meyer 1026, Jo Deskins 732, Gene Hovest 724, John Salsburey 629, Kevin Goecke 616, and Mark Schmiedebusch 611. At the first of the year, council member Dean Meyer was elected president of council and, according to Ottawa's charter, became Ottawa's mayor to fill the vacated office of mayor. Now Ottawa's council is confronted with the task of filling the vacancy Mr. Meyer left on council. Also, according to Ottawa's charter, council has until the end of January to appoint the new council member. If council is unable to do so, the mayor must make an appointment.
I have been told that the majority of Ottawa's residents want John Salsburey appointed to council because he ran for election. However, Mr. Salsburey did not receive a majority of votes. In fact, the only candidate who did receive a majority of votes was Dean Meyer.
I have been told that the 629 people who voted for Mr. Salsburey feel that their votes went "into the garbage can." Did the votes of the 616 people who voted for Kevin Goecke go into the garbage can? Did the votes of the 611 people who voted for Mark Schmiedebusch go into the garbage can? As would be the case in any election, those three people were not elected. In my opinion, all six of the people who ran for election are fine, upstanding people, who presented good options to our voters. But only three could be elected in the November election. Votes were cast, and votes were counted. The only votes that were not counted were those of the 45% of the registered electors who did not vote in November.
I have been told that "change is good." Ottawa council has already experienced change with the addition of Jo Deskins. Another council member will be appointed, again changing the face of council. Ottawa council has decided to hear presentations from those who want to be considered to fill this position at a special meeting January 16, at 7 p.m. The applicants have been asked to address their educational credentials, employment history, current employment status, community and public service, specific skill sets, personal accomplishments, why they did or did not run for council last November, and why they have applied to be on council. Ottawa's council members take their responsibilities very seriously. It is our duty to give thoughtful consideration to all applicants and to appoint the person who will best serve the interests of the people.