South Jacksonville welcomes new trustee and village attorney

By Ryne Turke on August 6, 2015 at 9:00pm

A new trustee and village attorney were appointed during Thursday’s South Jacksonville meeting.

Taking over for former trustee Sonnie Smith will be village resident Paula Stewart, who was recently named a co-chair of the upcoming Concert in the Cornfield Celebration. After a brief discussion, trustees agreed that Stewart should conclude her work with the Concert in the Cornfield before taking on her role as trustee.

Village President Steve Waltrip was impressed with Stewart’s desire to work with South Jacksonville.

“Paula brings a lot of energy. I hope this will keep her interested until the next election and have her run and to bring some more talent to the board. I’ve seen what she has done with the Concert in the Cornfield with her thought pattern and contacts. It is really refreshing and a great addition to the board,” says Waltrip.

A special meeting will be held on September 14th to make the transition official. Smith announced her resignation on July 2nd, as questions regarding the legality of her catering business began picking up.

Waltrip welcomed attorney Daniel Wright of Brown, Hay and Stephens, LLP as the new legal representation for the village. Wright will be taking over for former village attorney Allen Yow of Rammelkamp Bradney.

Waltirip was enthusiastic about the new representation and explains why the change was made.

“Well the transition came out of a meeting we had in closed session. Trustees discussed and weighed the pros and cons. With some of the previous issues that had transpired, they thought it would be a good idea at this point to change law firms,” says Waltrip.

“We had some experience with them (Brown, Hay and Stephens) over some very tough issues and they handled it in a very professional manner.”

Brown, Hay and Stephens, LLP will charge an hourly rate of $175, which is down $35 from the firms normal rate.

Two ordinances regarding the annexation of property owned by the Strang family were unanimously approved by trustees. The Strang family owns approximately 8.42 acres listed at 1721 Orlando Street. They have addressed trustees during numerous Plan Commission meetings  and expressed their interests to construct a building on their property.

Concert Chair Paula Stewart emphasized the great work and progress being made for the September celebration. Stewart thanked her co-chair Kevin Eckhoff and the volunteers who have helped to prepare for the event. The Charlie Daniels Band has been named the headline performer.

The South Jacksonville Police Department is adding four new officers to the force. Chief Broaddus welcomed Tyler Griffen, George Vanieter, Tyler Airing and Samuel Lohman during the village meeting. Emily Lyons will also serve as an intern for the police department.