PC Recorder Shepherd Resigns Amid Controversy
Though nothing official was read into the minutes, Paden City Recorder Larry Shepherd tendered a resignation letter to Mayor Bill Fox and the city council on Monday evening amidst controversy and rumors.
Charlie Racer, a resident of Paden City, posed a couple questions to the council regarding the city’s budget and the status of accounts that are allegedly delinquent. “I have two questions,” Racer stated. “Is it true that the council brought Ginger Wilcox in to straighten out the city’s financial books because they are not correct and council does not know what accounts are deficient or where all the money is located?”
“I’m not at liberty to talk about that right now,” Fox interjected. “We do have a recorder who has resigned.”
Racer continued, “Is it true that in the past several months several bills have been delinquent and past due notices have been received with pending loss of service or shut off if they are not paid?”
Racer noted these circumstances would require the city to pay unnecessary late fees.
“Charlie, I’m not going to comment on that right now,” the mayor answered.
“How can the finance committee allow this to happen? Isn’t it their responsibility, as much as the recorder?” Racer added. “As a citizen, I believe the city should hire a certified public accountant to conduct an audit to see if any funds are missing. I want the record to show that I have made this request.”
At the mayor’s suggestion, the decision was made to hold a special meeting for the finance committee to review the city’s bills. “I think the finance committee needs to meet to get the bills approved,” he said.
The council moved to set a meeting.
In other matters, Councilman Tom Trader gave the fire report for the month of November. According to the report, the Paden City Volunteer Fire Department had one structure fire, two motor vehicle accidents, three EMS assists, four service calls, and two mutual aid standbys. There were no false alarms or mutual aid calls reported during the month.
Also, Sue Flesher spoke to council regarding the issue of outdoor wood burners. “Mayor Fox, I had a meeting with you in September regarding outdoor wood burners and you said at that time you would see if the ordinance was in place. It’s now December and I have not heard anything,” she said.
Flesher responded, “I just want you to know that I have contacted the Attorney General’s office in regard to the City of Paden City not following an ordinance. They are sending an inspector from the EPA.”
“That’s fine,” Fox said. “That’s a right you have.”
The issue was first brought to the attention of the Paden City Council in January 2009 when Flesher and others expressed concerns. The issue was tabled, but the council addressed the issue again in February 2009 when an ordinance entitled “Outdoor wood burning stoves/furnaces; and providing specific penalties, article 1761” was introduced.
Aside from the impending inspection, Flesher said she plans to schedule a meeting with Police Chief Michael Billiter and Mayor Fox to discuss the issue further.
A special meeting of the Paden City Council will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 9. All meetings are open to the public.