Bridgeport Council Plans to Meet

BRIDGEPORT – A meeting of Bridgeport Village Council is set for Wednesday, and members attending could vote to hire a new fiscal officer that night, according to Village Solicitor Mark Thomas.

The”makeup” meeting of council is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday at the village municipal building, 301 Main St., Bridgeport.

The last regular meeting of council, slated for Aug. 20, was canceled after Belmont County Probate Judge J. Mark Costine issued a restraining order temporarily suspending Councilmen David Smith and Ben Lenz from their elected positions as council members. One of the four remaining council members – Marvin Husarik – could not attend the Aug. 20 meeting, which then lacked a quorum.

Ten Bridgeport residents have joined in a lawsuit alleging that Smith and Lenz – in their role as council members – voted on legislation that benefited them financially.

Thomas said he expects all council members to be present Wednesday night.

“I have touched base with each of them collectively and individually, and the mayor (John Callarik), and they have all told me they will attend,” he commented.

“I told them it is imperative that we move forward and continue the regular business of the village, and I asked each of them to ‘make yourself available’ for a meeting this week.

They all cooperated, and I expect them to be at the meeting.

Thomas added the council agenda is lengthy for Wednesday’s meeting..

“What will not happen is there will be no discussion of the pending case in any shape or form,” he said. “I will not tolerate that. This meeting is for regular business for the good of the village. That’s it. Period.”

Thomas noted there may be a hiring of a new fiscal officer for Bridgeport. The past fiscal officer, Judy Oberdick, resigned earlier this summer.

The Bridgeport Board of Trustees of Public Affairs also is slated to make a storm water management proposal to council, according to Thomas. He expects members will ask council to enter into an engineering agreement to begin upgrades to the village’s storm water system.

Improvements are being mandated by the state of Ohio and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, according to Thomas.

He added representatives of the Ohio Department of Transportation also may be present to discuss rehabilitation of bridges on Interstate 70 and Ohio 7 in Bridgeport.

The next regularly-scheduled meeting of Bridgeport Village Council is scheduled for Sept. 17.