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Published: Tuesday, 6/6/2006

Delta council to fill vacant seat Monday

DELTA, Ohio - Village Council will fill its vacant seat in a special meeting next Monday, likely choosing between the two applicants for the job, both of whom are former councilmen.

Applying for the seat that Jerry Edwards left last month because of health reasons are Dan Miller, a truck driver who is 43, and Allan McQuillin, office manager of McDonnall Farms Inc. in Fulton County's Pike Township, who is 54.

Mr. Miller was on council from 1997 to 2000 and from 2003 to 2004. He said he applied again because "there's a lot of things that should be changed." He said he had not run for council in recent elections because he wanted more time to watch his daughter compete in college sports.

Mr. McQuillin was on council from 2002 to 2005.

"I'd like to see somebody get on who knows the issues that are at hand and has had experience," Mr. McQuillin said. "I feel an obligation to continue to serve."

Both men are Republicans, although village council candidates do not declare a party when they run.

Mr. McQuillin, who in 2001 was the top vote-getter among five candidates running for four council seats, was voted out of office last year. In a slate of seven candidates for three seats in November, he was the fifth highest voter-getter.

Mr. Miller was the lowest vote-getter to get a seat on council in 2001. In a bid for mayor in 2003, he was the second-highest vote-getter in a three-way race with Mayor Don Gerdes, who won, and then-village councilman Helen Jones. He was defeated in a race for council in between his two stints.

The departure of Mr. Edwards, 69, a Democrat who was on council for just under two and a half years, marked the sixth vacancy on the six-member council in less than two years. It is thought to be the most turnover on council in 20 years.

Last night council spent about two hours in an emotional discussion with representatives of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Poggemeyer Design Group of Bowling Green, and about 20 audience members on the topic of a footbridge across from Delta High School that does not comply with state and federal requirements for a floodway.

The village administrator was asked to get quotes for hydrology analyses, which are thought to cost tens of thousands of dollars.

Keeping the bridge is likely to cost the village money it does not have, leaders said. But audience members said the bridge, which is used by youths to walk from the Panther Estates subdivision to the village park or high school, is much safer than walking along Taylor Street, which does not have sidewalks.

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