Sunbury Council works with vacancy

By Gary Budzak -

The Village of Sunbury’s first Council meeting of 2019 saw its ranks dwindled, but still able to get some business done.

Councilman Scott Weatherby has resigned, because he has moved out of the village. He was honored for his five years of service at council’s Dec. 19 meeting. A proclamation read, “one characteristic that distinguishes Scott’s career as a public servant is his immeasurable capacity for hard work.”

His father and fellow councilman, Leonard Weatherby, was out due to an illness.

However, the other four members of council — Martin Fisher, Timothy Gose, Joe St. John and David Martin — accomplished some administrative matters on Wednesday, Jan. 2. St. John was unanimously elected President Pro Tem for 2019; as were the Council Rules, which were unchanged from 2018.

In addition, they heard from the owners of a business wishing to relocate to Sunbury. Columbus-based Vantage Logistics wants to build a new building with parking within the Sunbury Industrial Park at the end of Kintner Parkway. Partner Adam Conley said the freight broker employs 11 people, and would like to be into the 730 Kintner Parkway location in April, because their lease is up. Council approved emergency language, allowing for an immediate build.

Since there wasn’t six members of council present, committee assignments for the year were postponed. A new council person is needed, a resident of Sunbury who is not on the Charter Commission. It was hoped the seat could be filled by month’s end or early February.

Also at the meeting, Mayor Tommy Hatfield gave his annual State of the Village speech, although, he noted that with the area’s rapid growth, he was going to refrain from referring to Sunbury as a village.

“2019 is going to be another exciting year for Sunbury,” Hatfield said. “All facets of our town are going through change.” He was looking to continue the “diverse mix of growth” for Sunbury and engaging in “communication and cooperation” with its neighbors.

One of the outcomes of Sunbury’s growth, Hatfield said in his speech, was the support of voters to establish a Charter Commission last fall. The Commission, which begins meeting in earnest on Jan. 9, is charged with writing a Charter for Sunbury that would be implemented once it becomes a city after the 2020 Census. The Commission has a couple of months to determine a form of government for the city that residents will vote on in the August special election.

The Commission had an organizational meeting Dec. 13. Steve Mazzi was elected chair, and Anne Frost was elected vice chair.

Administrator Allen Rothermel said the commission members were currently gathering information from other locales for comparison. “It’s not a cookie-cutter experience,” he said.

Hatfield said he hoped the commission would be able to “get down the road” instead of “getting in the weeds” with its work.

In other matters:

  • Sunbury Police Officer Alison Castrilla was promoted from part-time to full-time to fill a position.
  • Rothermel said there will be a Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission meeting in Sunbury this spring.
  • Engineer David Parkinson said the lighting being used by the Inn at Walnut Trail was appropriate.
  • Nine of 10 pieces of fitness equipment were installed at the park beside General Rosecrans Elementary.
  • A public hearing for the proposed Sunbury Farms subdivision is scheduled for 7 p.m. Jan. 16 at the Town Hall. Sunbury Farms would consist of 161 single family lots between Interstate 71 and S. Galena Road, just south of Meadow Chase Drive. The property is currently not zoned; it is proposed to be rezoned to Planned Residential District.

By Gary Budzak

Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.

Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.