By Martha B. Jacob –
Aberdeen Village Mayor Jason Phillips says that although there have been some bumps in the road, he is extremely optimistic about the future of the village.
Most recently, Mayor Phillips called a special meeting on Dec. 22, 2016 to discuss personnel issues. The meeting was held in executive session and immediately following the executive session, Aberdeen Village Fiscal Officer Nathan Pfeffer handed council his letter of resignation, which was accepted by council.
“Since accepting Nathan’s resignation, I’ve been busy advertising for someone to take his place,” said Mayor Phillips. “We’ve been fortunate to have Jamie Eldridge, who has lots of experience as a fiscal officer, helping us out. She’s making sure everything runs smoothly, taking care of business, especially payroll. We’re not going to fall behind, and hopefully we’ll get some good applicants for the job.
Phillips said the village has also received help from other fiscal officers in the area.
The mayor said that even in the light of his search for a new fiscal officer, he is pleased with the outlook for 2017.
“We are excited about so many changes in our council and our leadership in the village,” Phillips said. “Our chief of police Fred Hampton has been a refreshing addition to our police department. He brings with him six years experience as a Marine and many years in law enforcement. He is a great fit in the department as well as our village, and we are so glad to have him on board.
“I also believe that we have the strongest council that we’ve had in many years. We had three empty seats on council and council had 30 days to fill those seats. When that didn’t happen, it was up to me to fill those seats. I’m proud to say, I couldn’t have found any better members of council than who I found.”
The newest council seats were filled by Charles Merrill, a firefighter, Bill Asbury, who brings past councilman experience to the table and Shari Lang-Stafford who has already brought a lot of growth to the Village of Aberdeen.
“Shari is an accomplished grant writer and she has had a lot of support and she brings with her a lot of experience. She started the Aberdeen Concerned Citizen’s Group a few years ago and has done wonderful things for the parks in Aberdeen. Now she has help and encouragement from Shari, Bill and Chuck,” Phillips said.
Phillips has been acting mayor of Aberdeen since 2015. Since taking over he has formed some very active committees within council.
Phillips also commended Councilwoman Billie Eitel who has served on council for several years as well as serving the village as mayor at one time.
“Billie brings so much knowledge to the table,” Phillips said. “She’s also very good with finances. If I need anything, I’ll call Billie personally for help, and she always steps up.
“Tony and Rajenna Combess have been tied in to this community in a lot of ways, and are very supportive and active on council.”
Mayor Phillips said that one of his and council’s goals for 2017 is to find funding to tear down the old school building which has been deemed an unsafe structure. He said that a police department and a city building is badly needed for the village.
“We are looking at every grant we can to help with the expenses of demolishing that old building,” Phillips said. “In my opinion I would like to build some kind of pole barn on that site some day. The village owns the land where the school building is located and if the structure is removed we would be ready to rebuild. But that’s just what I would like to do. It’s council’s eventual decision.”
Phillips said the walk path in the village has been approved and will be complete in 2020 and he said that things are looking good for the state to take over care and maintenance on the new bridge but the village will be in charge of mowing the area by the bridge.
Grants are also being applied for to fix up the village’s boat docks. He said financially the village is doing well and the upcoming year looks good.