Jeff Ducey
Jeff Ducey

OTTAWA — During Monday’s meeting of the Ottawa Village Council, members officially acknowledged and accepted the resignation of one of their own.

“I would like to thank Jeff Ducey for all his years on council,” Mayor Dean Meyer said by way of introducing the topic. “We haven’t always gotten along, but Jeff’s made us better. So I just wanted to personally say thank you for all your service.”

Often controversial and occasionally contentious, Ducey tenaciously defended his stance on a number of issues despite the conflicting opinions of other council members.

“It was always in my mind to do what was right, what was best, for the residents,” Ducey said in an interview on Tuesday. “(Council) didn’t always agree with me, as you could see by all the five to one votes, but I only wanted what I believed best for the village.”

And while debate sometimes grew heated, Ducey said there was never any rancor, and that his decision to resign his seat was personal, not due to “anything bad.”

“Due to my wife’s passing in late 2019 I have decided to move closer to family,” Ducey wrote in his formal resignation to village officials. “I am very grateful to the residents for giving me this opportunity to serve Ottawa in this capacity. I have lived in this community my entire life and I wish everyone good luck in the future.”

Although his relationship with some council members and village employees over the years was sometimes rocky, his interactions, he said, were always honest.

“Don’t ask Jeff Ducey a question if you really don’t want to hear the answer,” the man said, smiling.

The resignation, which is effective June 30, leaves council with a seat to fill. Ohio Revised Code requires vacated seats be filled within 30 days of the resignation date; in this case, by July 30.

Addressing the issue, Councilor Jo Deskins said, “I don’t think any recommendation should come personally from us. If we are the ones interviewing them, and are going to be talking to these potential candidates, then let those who are interested on their own apply. I think we stay out of it, and whoever comes forth comes forth.”

Council, in general, agreed, then discussed posting the position on the village’s website, and in other local media outlets, establishing a deadline of Monday, July 13, for the submission of letters of interest.

In other business, council:

• authorized hiring firefighter Ryan Wannemacher, contingent upon the successful completion of a physical exam.

• authorized hiring Kyriea Schroeder for the position of Accounting/Payroll Coordinator contingent upon the the successful completion of a physical exam.

• authorized closing of Oak Street from Main Street to the alley on July 3 from 6 to 10 p.m. for an event at Rex Center Park to be hosted by Faith Baptist Church.

• approved a resolution accepting a quote in the amount of $89,505 from Fawcett, Lammon, Recker, and Associates, Insurance Agency, Inc. for general liability, automobile liability and damage, law enforcement liability, public officials wrongful acts and employee practices, excess liability, property, equipment breakdown, and employee dishonesty insurance.