ARCANUM – Arcanum Mayor Judith Foureman has delayed her resignation until the village council’s organizational meeting, set for Jan. 8.
Foureman had one more year to serve out her second term in office, with the mayoral election slated for November 2019.
The Jan. 8 date, she said, could change if council does not form a quorum for the organizational meeting.
During council’s December meeting, Foureman announced she was leaving, effective Dec. 31.
Foureman said Monday, Dec. 31, she would wait until a new mayor is appointed before leaving.
The position, she said, was to go to Vanessa Delk, council president pro tem. However, Delk has said she does not want to give up her council seat, Foureman explained, adding if Delk is nominated for the mayoral position on Jan. 8, she has said she would decline, opening the floor to other nominations.
During an interview with Foureman at her office on Monday, she provided a written statement to The Early Bird, outlining several reasons for her resignation, including what she considers village council members’ “disrespect towards myself, among themselves and village employees. There are too many self-serving issues versus the welfare of the whole village.”
Other issues Foureman cited include council members’ “trying to strong-arm the village fiscal officer to make a false statement regarding finance availability for a project or directing her to the exit door,” Foureman writes. “This document needed to be signed by myself, in which they did not have the choice to show me the door.”
Village fiscal officer Darcy Woodell is the employee Foureman said was told to exit the door. Woodell resigned in early December. That position is yet to be filled.
Also, since she announced her resignation, Foureman said “a councilman bypassed me being the chief executive officer and went directly to an employee to place an ad in the local paper to fill a vacancy on council, which does not exist.”
Foureman added that one council person cannot authorize placing an advertisement, that it takes consent of the entire council. She called the advertisement “a false ad since no one has resigned from council to date.
Now I am left with the option of reprimanding the employee for placing the false ad.”
Foureman told The Early Bird she believes “it takes my resignation to be able to let the residents of this village know what goes on behind the doors of council. The Sunshine Law is not recognized (by Arcanum officials). It is so easy to follow the Ohio Revised Code requirements, but not so easy if there is a special purpose to accomplish or shall I say take a back door route to do so.”
Foureman added she believes it was “time the residents start attending meetings and ask questions.”
PHOTO CAPTION: Judith Foureman has submitted her resignation as Arcanum Mayor after serving the village seven years. (Susan Hartley photo)