GEORGETOWN — A long-time village councilman announced his resignation last Thursday.
At Georgetown’s August 13 Village Council meeting, Mayor Dale Cahall announced that councilman Drew Watson had handed in a letter of resignation, citing Watson’s recent purchase of property outside the Georgetown city limits.
It’s the third time in the last nine months that a village council member in Georgetown has resigned. First, Sarah Eagen left last November after moving to Clermont County, followed by RaeLena Morrison’s departure in May. Dave Guenther and Jason Highlander were appointed in place of Eagen and Morrison, respectively.
Village Council has until Sept. 12 to appoint a new council member before that power is transferred to Mayor Cahall to appoint a new member of village council.
“I will be moving about one mile outside of the Georgetown Corporation limit,” Watson wrote in his resignation letter. “This opportunity will benefit my family, and give my children the opportunity to learn to become more self sufficient through the practice of agriculture. This has been a dream of mine since I was a child, and now the time has finally come to fulfill that dream.”
Watson’s term on village council was set to expire at the end of 2015. He is not seeking re-election.
“We all hate to see someone make a decision like that (because) we’re kind of a family inside of these four walls,” Cahall said during the meeting. “He’s doing what he feels best and we have to honor his wishes, of course.”
Watson isn’t the only village councilman on his way out. Councilman Dennis White’s seat is up for election this November and he has decided not to run, citing a desire to work more at Georgetown Marble and Granite.
“It’s been really a great experience,” White said. “I think everybody should try to be on council. A lot of people put down the council people, not knowing exactly what we have to go through.
“A lot of people say ‘how come I can’t pass this, how come I can’t change this?’ Well you’re governed by the state laws and the governor and there’s certain things you can’t do and people don’t realize that until they see what you can and cannot do.
White joked with village council during the meeting that a piece of him will be staying involved in village governance as his sister Virginia Colwell is running for a village council seat. As of press time, Colwell is the only person listed on the ballot for a village council seat, save for a write-in candidate. The deadline to submit an application to be a write-in candidate is Aug. 24.
“I just think it’s time for me to step down but I talked my sister into running, so part of me is still going to be here,” White said.
White said that he believes he’s accomplished plenty during his time on village council, including the village sidewalk project and the skate park, but he is disappointed that so many businesses have left the town.
“The only disappointment is that more businesses are leaving,” White said. “I think people want to blame council for that, but people don’t understand, if you don’t have the support from the community, the business can’t stay here. There’s only a few council members here, and if the community doesn’t want to help support the businesses, what else can they do.”