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Published: Friday, 12/1/2006

Audit advises policy shift by Ridgeville Corners panel

RIDGEVILLE CORNERS, Ohio - A state audit of the Ridgeville Township Water and Sewer District in northwestern Henry County found that two of the trustees are also employees of the board and cast votes on establishing their own positions.

The audit, released yesterday, also said the five-member water and sewer board used public funds to cover an alcohol tab of $61 and $140 for meals for the board members' wives or other guests at two Christmas celebrations at Mohre's Restaurant in Bryan. The trustees repaid the money on Oct. 19.

But the matter of board members serving as employees of the water and sewer district and voting on their positions remains in dispute.

Auditors recommended that the district develop a formal policy for conducting business in which board members may have a personal interest.

The board issued a written response: "Due to the reluctance of Ridgeville Corners citizens to be involved in any group politic, and considering that the present arrangement works to the district's board of trustee's satisfaction, the board disagrees with this finding and will do so until a legal opinion otherwise may be obtained."

Board President Carl Rosebrock said yesterday that he was awaiting that opinion from the board's lawyer, Mark Hagans of Archbold. Mr. Hagans declined to take a call from The Blade.

Board members who are also employed by the water and sewer district are:

•Marlin Wyse, who was paid $6,855 in 2005 and $7,901 in 2004 as operations manager.

•John Shotwell, who was paid $12,144 in 2005 and $11,790 in 2004 as office manager.

In 2002, both men voted on establishing the positions to which they were then appointed, according to the audit.

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