Bethlehem May Change Municipal Election Timing

Bethlehem Village Council continued discussions Monday regarding the village’s general municipal election to coincide with state and county elections to cut down on costs.

Village Solicitor T.C. McCaarthy said, he drafted a proposed ordinance according to directions from council members during a past meeting. He said this will allow council to move forward with the drafted ordinance, make amendments to it, or dismiss the issue.

“This matter has been discussed numerous times,” McCarthy said. “The purpose of all this is to save the village $6,000-$8,000 each election. … It would cost nowhere near what it costs now,” he added.

McCarthy said other than the municipal election being held in conjunction with the state and county election system and the length of the first term being 18 months, if council would decide to move forward with the proposed ordinance, everything else would remain the same. He said candidates would still file at the Bethlehem Municipal Building and the voter precincts would stay the same.

Councilman Stephen Harasuik said he would like more time to consider the matter, while Councilman Mark Saseen asked if council could be provided the exact expense and turnout figures by Village Recorder Steve Gulajski from the village’s 2017 election.

In other business, Bishop advised council that Bethlehem Clerk Erin Roth continues to discuss with the Ohio County Emergency Management Agency what it would take for the village to be included in the county’s boil order notification system after a water break. Bishop said she learned Bethlehem would have to build its own database in order to be tied into their system.

The next council meeting is scheduled for 8 p.m. Feb. 20, due to Presidents Day following on Feb. 19.