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Published: Wednesday, 7/24/2002

Brubaker approved for Fayette council seat in public vote

BY JANE SCHMUCKER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

FAYETTE - In a public vote to replace a secret ballot vote earlier this month, the village council this week unanimously approved Roger Brubaker for the council seat left vacant by the death of Doris Price.

Mr. Brubaker, 57, moved to Fayette from Napoleon in 1976 when he became chief of police in the village. He retired as chief in 1994 at age 50 and is now a deputy sheriff with the Fulton County Sheriff's Department.

He had been on the council in the late 1990s, but stepped down when his work shift did not allow him to attend evening meetings.

Council member Paul Shaffer was appointed to replace him. Mr. Brubaker now has a different work schedule.

He took Ms. Price's place on council's public safety and government affairs committees and is to serve through her term, which expires at the end of 2003.

In his earlier stint on the council, he was on the finance and public works committees.

Mr. Brubaker said he was a Republican, but declined to talk about goals he has for the village or his term on council.

In the secret ballot election on July 8, Mr. Brubaker was chosen 4-1 on a ballot that also had the name of former village mayor Ruth Marlatt.

Council member Anita Van Zile said she voted for Ms. Marlatt then because she had nominated her.

But this week when a motion was on the table to approve Mr. Brubaker, she supported it.

“I think both Roger and Ruth are very capable candidates,” she said after the meeting.

Originally when asked by The Blade, interim village administrator Tom Spiess said the village had no record of how council members had voted because the ballots had been secret.

The village's lawyer, Mark Hagans, agreed with The Blade that the vote should be public. The Blade's counsel, Fritz Byers said, “Ohio law is clear: Deliberations, and especially votes, on public business are to be done in public. The idea of a secret ballot by public officials on a matter of this importance violates not only the explicit language, but also the entire theory of the Ohio Open Meetings Law.” Interim village administrator Tom Spiess has said the secret ballot idea had been his.

Ms. Price died of cancer June 14.



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