DELTA, Ohio - By a split vote, Delta Village Council last night chose Dan Miller, a truck driver who was a frequent "no" voter when he was last on council, to fill the seat Jerry Edwards left last month for health reasons.
The choice of Mr. Miller, 43, over council's other applicant, Allan McQuillin, also a former village councilman, was made in a 3-2 vote, with Marcy LeFevre and Paul Fournier voting no.
"It was a tough decision," said Councilman Keith Lantz, who made the motion to appoint Mr. Miller.
Though Mr. McQuillin had run for council in November and Mr. Miller had not, Mr. Lantz said Mr. Miller's voting record on council better represented Mr. Lantz's views and those of his constituents.
Mr. Lantz said he took at least 30 phone calls from residents with an opinion on the vacancy; almost all favored Mr. Miller.
"I don't get that many calls on any issue," he added.
Mr. Miller, who was on council from 1997 to 2000 and from 2003 to 2004, said he hadn't run for council recently because he wanted more time to watch his daughter compete in college sports. He applied this spring, he said, because "there's a lot of things that should be changed."
Mr. McQuillin, who was on council from 2002 to 2005, was the fifth highest vote-getter in a slate of seven candidates for three seats in November.
Also last night, council discussed a proposed charter amendment for the November ballot that would prevent council s salary from automatically increasing.
Without making changes, council s salary, which is $3,000 now, might automatically increase to $5,400. That s because Delta s charter calls for councilmen to be paid the minimum amount that qualifies them for one year s credit in the Public Employees Retirement System.
And there is a proposal in front of the Ohio Legislature that would increase that minimum amount to $5,400.
The issue is expected to come up at next Monday s council meeting. And there s much interest in it among some village residents. If council doesn t put a charter amendment on the ballot, several citizens have promised they will address the issue with a referendum that would prevent council s salary from automatically increasing, Mayor Don Gerdes said after the meeting.