ARCANUM – Arcanum’s new mayor is vowing to maintain “a good line of communication between myself and council.”
On Tuesday, village council unanimously approved council member Gregory Baumle as president pro tem during its 2019 organizational meeting.
In turn, Baumle accepted the nomination, resigning his council seat to become the village’s new mayor.
Baumle will serve the remaining year of outgoing mayor Judith Foureman’s term, which will end Dec. 31 of this year.
Foureman submitted her resignation to council last month, originally to become effective Dec. 31, 2018.
After learning council president pro tem Vanessa Delk was not interested in serving as mayor, Foureman extended her resignation date to the end of Tuesday’s organizational meeting.
Baumle spoke with The Early Bird between council’s organizational and regularly scheduled meetings on Tuesday.
He acknowledged there had been some issues between the former mayor and village council, but encourages Arcanum residents to move forward.
“We’re done,” Baumle said of recent issues. “We’re turning the page.”
Baumle, who works as a battalion chief with the Huber Heights Fire Department, was appointed to council in May 2017, to fill a spot vacated by Julie Willis.
Baumle holds a master’s degree in public administration and has worked for both the cities of Dayton and Huber Heights for the past 19 years.
“It makes sense for me to take it,” he said, pointing out the mayor’s position requires a specific number of hours in the office, which his work schedule allows.
Baumle also admitted there had been “informal discussion” between village council members about his nomination to the position prior to the organizational meeting.
“It’s an exciting time for Arcanum right now,” Baumle said, naming for one the village’s new administration and police department facility, slated to be constructed this year on Albright Street.
Baumle said one of his goals was to “move Arcanum into the digital age” as far as the village’s technology and communication options.
Baumle also said he had yet to decide if he would run for the mayor’s position, which will be on the ballot this coming November, but is considering this coming year as “a good trial run.”
During the regular meeting Tuesday, council formally accepted Foureman’s resignation. They also approved Bonnie Miller as 2019 council president. Miller was not present Tuesday, with council unanimously excusing her absence.
During public comments in council’s regular meeting on Tuesday, Arcanum resident Kornelia Barnett asked why Foureman stepped down as mayor.
“That’s a question for Judy,” Baumle said.
Council member Blaine Vencill also spoke up.
“It caught all of us off guard the day she resigned,” he said. Vencill also noted what residents had read “in the press” was also all of what council knew about Foureman’s resignation.
Last week, Foureman shared with The Early Bird a written statement outlining several reasons why she made the decision to leave office with just one more year of her second term remaining.
One of the reasons, she said was 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.”
Foureman was present Tuesday to conduct the organizational meeting, which lasted approximately one minute. She did not stay to attend the regular council meeting.
Baumle said he wished the best for Foureman.
“I want to thank Judy for her long service on council and as the mayor,” he said, as well as “a happy and healthy retirement.”
Those wishing to meet with the new mayor should email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The village is now looking to fill Baumle’s council seat. An ad ran recently seeking a replacement for what council believed would be Delk’s seat – a one-year term. The village has received three applications and will be contacting those applicants to let them know of the change.
Council also will be seeking applications for a new fiscal officer and on Tuesday approved a pay range for that position between $40,000-$50,000, depending on skills and experience.
For more information, contact the village offices at 692-8500.
PHOTO CAPTION: Arcanum solicitor Nicole Pohlman swears in new mayor Gregory Baumle at the start of Tuesday’s regular village council meeting. (Susan Hartley photo)