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Ordinance officer, utility board member resign

Friday, September 14, 2012

BAINBRIDGE -- The Bainbridge Town Council has put a priority on keeping the town clean and appealing in recent years.

A large part of the process has been issuing fines to town members who are in violation of ordiances. But this has angered a lot of people.

Eric Gibson, the town ordinance officer, resigned from his position on Wednesday, citing the difficulties he's faced by issuing fines and requests to his friends and neighbors.

"You have to uphold these ordinances," Gibson said, "but you also have to live with these people."

Council member Joel Thompson appeared to be among the people Gibson has had to serve during his time in the position.

When Gibson requested he be allowed to continue serving as a town employee with the utility board, the council agreed and Thompson and the other board members spoke praise for the work Gibson has done.

Then Thompson said he disagrees with town's role in residential maintenance.

"I want to live in a small town where I don't have to live by all the rules of a big town," Thompson said. "I'd rather go and talk to somebody and see if I can get something to happen without having to get an ordinance officer."

The town council will look into writing a new job description for the ordinance officer position, but they also discussed the possibility of leaving that responsibility to members of the marshal's office.

Gibson recommended that the position be given to someone with arresting powers who would be less likely to hear verbal abuse for doing his or her job.

One other city employee resigned his positions at the meeting on Wednesday.

Utility board member Dennis Lents will be leaving on Nov. 1 because he and his wife are moving out of town.

Utility board president Jeff Kiger said he has already hear some interest in the position and will make a recommendation for the appointed spot to the town council during its October meeting.

In other business:

- The council held a public budget hearing. The 2013 budget will be voted on at the October meeting.

- After receiving a new police cruiser last month, Bainbridge is looking for a home for the town's old car. The council discussed selling it to the North Putnam School Corporation.



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