Cadiz Hears Proposal For Court Contract

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By JD LONG

jim@harrisonnewsherald.com

CADIZ – The contract the village has with the county prosecutor’s office may see some competition this time around. Local attorney Lauren Knight requested she be considered to represent the village for their prosecutor contract.

Clerk Treasurer Amy Ossman stated that the prosecutor’s office has handled their misdemeanor cases for years but now that the yearly contract is nearly up Knight is throwing her hat in the ring for the village to consider.

“I’ve been an attorney for three years [and] I hope to put in a bid for this,” Knight told council. McCann acknowledged her statement that tickets have nearly “tripled” and she hoped she could be the one to handle those cases.

“We can entertain anybody we want,” Village Solicitor, Costa D. Mastros said. He added that they had to know that the volume of work could be handled and Knight had the proper amount of staff for the work. She told them she did and Mastros answered that from his experience, staffing was important and that the complaints needed to be taken care of in a timely manner and that he just wanted her to understand all of that.

Council Member Terry Capers said a certain criteria would need to be met, which led to Mastros repeating his earlier comments on staffing and handling the volume of tickets received from the police department. He told council that Knight could submit her request, but the village would also reach out to the prosecutor’s office to make sure they were again interested and then council would make a decision.

In other items discussed property issues and the responsibility for sidewalks were raised once again. Mastros informed council after a particular property was briefly discussed that it was the responsibility of the property owner to maintain the sidewalks. He explained that a certain amount of notice would need to be given to the owner before the village could take action themselves.

Mastros said the village could then fix the problem and “charge that as a lien to the property.” He said if it was a matter of health and safety then the village should go in and fix the problem. Mastros said the next step would be to hire a process server in order to find the owner, which is the same problem the county had before taking over the gas station remediation on U.S. 250. That owner never was located and through the proper channels the county took over and leveled the property.

“I think we’ll have the right person because we know who that person is in the secretary of state’s filings but the address we have for service at that agent is not good,” Mastros explained regarding one property.

Council eventually approved for the hiring of a process server in the amount of $300.

Also, Council Member John Vermillion raised the question of a possible new stage being built at Sally Buffalo Park. He questioned whether the $4,000 they set aside for drawings would still be for that considering all the people he felt were involved in the project, which included the subcommittee, the village Community Improvement Corporation (CIC), as well as Mark Puskarich’s group.

“So I don’t want our $4,000 wasted when someone else is doing something else,” Vermillion told Village Administrator Ted Andrzejewski, referring to varying estimated costs of a new stage, which he said ranged from $30,000 to $150,000 with two different groups. Andrzejewski said the money would not be wasted but that the group headed by Puskarich was also looking at fundraising and donations for the stage.

“The committee is looking at ways to raise that money…” he told Vermillion. “They have a great committee and the four thousand dollars will not be wasted.” Vermillion appeared frustrated in that a subcommittee was set up but left out of certain things by the other groups. Ken Mason of the CIC was present and stated that they “missed that opportunity” to deal with the subcommittee when he and others mistook Scott Porter from the village park board, as a member of the subcommittee.

Council Member Chace Smith said they were grateful for the extra help but only wished for better communication between all parties. Mason told council that they hoped to have an overall cost estimate in the very near future.

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