PERRY TOWNSHIP — Perry Township trustees met Jan. 6 to reorganize for the year ahead.
The new three-person board is made up of Melissa Mears and Jason Hartshorn, both re-elected in November, and newly elected Zach Music, who edged out incumbent trustee Mindi Wynne,
Hartshorn, nominated by Mears and seconded by Music, will be the new president. Mears was elected vice-president, nominated by Hartshorn and seconded by Music.
The new board’s first act was to approve salaries for the trustees and Fiscal Officer Charity Grill, as set forth by the Ohio Revised Code. The amounts of the salaries didn’t appear on the resolution.
With that done, trustees moved on to approve items under Change of Signatories, including removing Wynne’s name from LCNB signature cards for the township’s checking accounts and lock box, effective Dec. 31, 2021. Trustee Music’s name was added to the signature cards and lock box, effective Jan. 1.
The board approved 2022 meeting dates and times as follows: Monthly meetings will be held at 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month and work sessions will be at 6 p.m. preceding the regular meetings, as needed.
Following a short discussion, Hartshorn requested a resolution setting regular meetings at 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month and work sessions at 6 p.m. before the regular meetings on the second Tuesday of the month, as needed.
“During the last year, we had a handful of work sessions — we didn’t need as many as we thought we did,” Hartshorn said.
Notification of times, dates and locations of meetings will continue to be posted in the Brookville Star, on the township website at www.perrytownship-mcoh.gov, on Facebook and outside the administration building.
Committee assignments were approved, with Trustee Mears to represent the board at Western Regional Council of Governments meetings. Music will serve as alternate.
The trustees are charged with approving a fire prevention officer, as prescribed by the ORC. They approved continuation of the fire chief of Brookville Fire Department for the northern region of the township and the fire chief of New Lebanon Fire Department for the southern portion.
That left the trustees to discuss an official mask policy that will be in effect until April 1.
“Now that we’ve had Covid go through the administration building and a number of employees have been sick and we’ve had to close the offices, I’ve been working with the prosecutor’s office to draw up a draft resolution that requires masks for entry into the administration building,” said Hartshorn. “We had not been burned by it (Covid), and now we have.”
Hartshorn emphasized the need to protect the health, welfare and safety of township employees and residents, especially now that the World Health Organization has declared an emergency, including not only Covid 19, but particularly the mutants and variants spreading throughout Ohio.
The resolution requires that all who enter the township building, regardless of vaccination status, will be required to wear a mask or face shield over their mouth and nose. Exceptions include people with certain health issues.
“We’re not trying to impose a will; we’re not trying to say, ‘You shall not pass.’ We’re trying to state there is a need to protect the space for our residents and employees,” Hartshorn said.
Police Chief Tim Littleton expressed concern that some situations could possibly lead to a lawsuit.
Hartshorn stated that 97 percent of people coming into the administration building remain in the entryway where there is a protective glass at the counter, so there is no need for a mask there.
Although trustees approved the mask resolution, Hartshorn noted that the content could be tweaked, if necessary.
The next regular meeting of Perry Township Trustees will be at 7 p.m. on Jan. 11 at the Administration Building, 3025 Johnsville Brookville Road, Brookville. Visitors can also attend by Zoom. For more information, call 1-937-833-3045.
By Marilyn McConahay Contributing writer