SARDINIA — Starting on July 1, Sardinia will have a new solicitor.
Sardinia Village Council unanimously approved an ordinance to hire Thomas Mayes of McConn-Cutrell to be the village’s new solicitor, taking over for outgoing solicitor Jay Cutrell. Mayes was hired for a term starting July 1 through Dec. 31, 2016. He will be earning the same base salary, $9,000, that Cutrell is earning under his current contract.
Mayes worked for two years at the law offices of Danny Bubp before taking a job last November as the dean of admissions at Faulkner University. However, his time at his alma-mater in Montgomery, Ala., didn’t last long and Mayes is back in Brown County, this time he says for good.
“I’m really excited. I’m happy to be back in Brown County serving the citizens here. I enjoyed it when I was here before and I’m really excited to be back. I’m moving my family here and it’s a great place to raise a family,”said Mayes.
Mayes, of Bowersville, Ohio, graduated from Greeneview High School in 2005 and three years later, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in history from Ohio Valley University in Vienna, W.Va., just across the Ohio River from Ohio.
Mayes received his J.D. from Faulkner University in 2013, and then moved back to Ohio, where he joined Danny Bubp’s former practice. Mayes also in 2013 joined the Army National Guard, formerly serving as a combat medic for six and a half years and now he serves as a Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG) officer in Columbus.
Mayes also has family that lives in Lake Waynoka.
“I think he’ll be a good fit for Sardinia,” Cutrell said. “We just think alike about a lot of things. Same worth ethic, and I’m just confident he’ll do a good job. I’ll do as much as I can to help him along.”
After discussing the financial details of the new contract, council then suspended the rules and unanimously passed ordinance 1209-15 approving the hire
“Jay’s done a great job for us and I know Jay’s hired him because he’s quality,” Sardinia Mayor Todd Bumbalough. “When I saw his resume, I could see why Jay would hire him.
“I’m happy with this choice council has made. I think this young man will be a great fit for us here. We’ll keep him busy.”
Also of note at the meeting, Bumbalough discussed the possibility of re-bidding the old Sardinia reservoir. The village recently had the property appraised and Bumbalough said the appraisers have put the value of it at $45,000.
The Sardinia reservoir has been unused since 2001, when a drought in the region shrunk the village’s reservoir so low they only had 23 days of water left to use. The Environmental Protection Agency ordered the village to find an emergency water hookup, which they did with Brown County Rural Water Association.
The village soon discovered though that buying water from BCRWA was cheaper than maintaining their own reservoir, so it was soon closed down.
Around three years ago, the village put the reservoir property up for bid, without appraising it first, at $350,000. There were no bidders for the property.
Since the village doesn’t use it anymore, Bumbalough sees no need in keeping it under the village’s control.
“It’s kind of a liability for us if someone gets hurt out there, the way times have changed,” he said. “Plus, we have a huge water debt from 20-30 years ago that we’re still trying to pay off. So by getting rid of this, we get rid of our liability plus we get to pay down some of our debt.
“There’s nothing we can do with it, so if it’s not going to help the village any, we might as well get rid of it.”
Early in the meeting, Jan Crawford from the Sardinia Historical Society invited members of the village administration and council to a private event the society is hosting on July 18 at Washington Township Park. The event is to celebrate the fence around the Sardinia cemetery.
Another major topic of discussion at the meeting was the controversy of overcrowding at the Brown County Adult Detention Center, which was highlighted in a recent story.
Sardinia Police Chief Jim Lewis said that the current jail facility in Georgetown was already outdated 10 years into its existence, and that the state struggles to keep up with the rising rates of incarceration.