POMEROY — Following a more than hour-long executive session regarding employee discipline, the Meigs County Commissioners, in a split decision, terminated the employment of their clerk.
Commissioners Tim Ihle and Jimmy Will voted in favor of the action to terminate the employment of Betsy Entsminger. Commissioner Randy Smith voted against the action. Prosecutor James K. Stanley was included in the closed door session.
None of the commissioners would comment further regarding the action. Entsminger was not present at the meeting and has been absent the past two weeks as well. Under Ohio Revised Code, Auditor Mary Byer-Hill has been serving as clerk.
Under Ohio Sunshine Laws, public bodies, such as the commissioners, may enter into executive session for specific reasons as specified in the Ohio Revised Code, including select personnel matters such as discipline. Matters discussed in executive session are not required to be made public. The boards are required to take any action resulting from the discussion in open meeting.
The position of clerk for the board is appointed each year during the board’s reorganizational meeting in January. It is unclear how the commissioners will proceed with filling the vacancy.
In other business, the commissioners approved a letter of support for the creation of the Mid-Ohio Valley Port District as recommended by Buckeye Hills Regional Council.
According to information presented at Thursday’s meeting, in late 2017, Buckeye Hills, along with other regional councils in Ohio and West Virginia, began coordinating with the Ohio Department of Transportation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to create a statistical port district for areas not currently represented by the Pittsburgh or Huntington districts.
Counties included in the proposed Port District include Meigs, Athens, Washington, Monroe, Belmont, Jefferson and Columbiana in Ohio and Jackson, Wood, Pleasants, Tyler, Wetzel, Marshall, Ohio, Brooke and Hancock in West Virginia. This covers from mile 40 of the Ohio River in Columbiana County to mile 256.8 of the Ohio River in Meigs County.
“The proposed creation of the Mid-Ohio Valley Port District from Ohio River mile 40.0 to river mile 256.8 will provide significant marketing awareness and may result in investment opportunities leading to job creation and economic growth for our area,” stated a portion of the approved resolution.
The commissioners meet each Thursday at 11 a.m. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the meetings are being live streamed on the Meigs County Commissioners Facebook page.
Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.