Bellaire Councilman Wants To Put Issues to Rest

Photo by Shelley Hanson Councilwoman Nikki Liberatore takes notes during Thursday’s meeting.

Bellaire Village Councilman Mike Doyle said Thursday he wants to put recent controversy related to council rescheduling its meeting to rest.

“I don’t care if it’s the mayor’s job or council’s job,” Doyle said. “Let’s find out exactly what it is, set our meetings and move forward. It doesn’t have any relevance to me whether council sets the meetings or the mayor. What matters to me … is that we do our jobs and pass on whatever we’re supposed to do in the best interests of the village.”

Councilman Jerry Fisher, along with fellow council members Doyle, Dan Brown, Nikki Liberatore and Gay Lucci, recently rescheduled council’s regular meeting for Thursday so council and the public did not have to also sit through a mayor’s court proceeding.

However, Mayor Vince DiFabrizio said only he could change meeting dates, not council. He still held a regular meeting Aug. 16. DiFabrizio said last week that his intent was for council to see the mayor’s court proceedings and then have a regular meeting. However, the majority of council did not show up, but did last night.

Doyle said he and other council members have asked Village Solicitor Joe Vavra to research whether there is state code that specifically addresses changing meetings. Vavra could not attend Thursday’s meeting, Doyle said, but still is looking into the matter. Also not in attendance Thursday were DiFabrizio; Mary Nixon, who recently had surgery; Treasurer Tom Sable, who told council he could not attend; Councilman Donny Maupin; police Chief Richard “Dick” Flanagan, who is off work for a few days and could not attend; and Village Administrator Scott Porter.

Today is Porter’s last day on the job in Bellaire. He starts his new job as service director for the city of Martins Ferry on Monday. In the interim, DiFabrizio said last week he would fill the role as village administrator until he finds a replacement for Porter.

Fisher said previously that council has canceled meetings in the past, and it only takes three council members to do so. During the meeting, Fisher expressed some concern about not having a full-time administrator in the interim.

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