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Falls sets ward recall

NEWTON FALLS — Village council at a special meeting Monday officially set a recall election June 1 for the 4th Ward council seat.

Council voted 2-1-1 with council members John Baryak and Tesa Spletzer voting “yes,” Adam Zimmerman voting “no” and Sandra Breymaier abstaining since she is the current 4th Ward council woman.

More than 30 residents attended the meeting, with many thanking council for letting residents of the 4th Ward get to vote after they circulated a petition with enough signatures which were verified by the Trumbull County Board of Elections.

The council’s action came after several delays at meetings due to council members walking out and not having a quorum.

Residents of the 4th Ward want to recall Breymaier concerned that she is not representing the residents based on her actions and comments at previous meetings.

Council, also by a 2-1-1 vote, accepted the resignation of former Councilman-at-Large Tarry Alberini who resigned May 4 after near eight years on council.

Council will accept applications and letters of interest through May 19 to fill the at-Large position at the office of the village clerk Kathy King. Because the seat is at-Large, residents from any village ward can apply.

Kline said if there are many applicants, interviews could be set May 21.

Alberini said last week it was time to move on due to his job and wanting to spend more time with family,

Breymaier abstained from voting on all three agenda items. Mayor Ken Kline said Breymaier did the right thing in not voting on something that had to do with herself such as setting the recall event. He said there was concern that if she did vote against it, it would be an Ohio Ethics Commission violation.

Resident Rick Kerlin said setting the recall is what the residents want.

“Setting the recall date has been put off for too long. This should have been done a long time ago. The residents of the 4th Ward did the petition and now want the right to vote,” Kerlin said.

Council had until July 8 to set a recall date.

Resident Julie Lemon said she was pleased by the recall vote and allowing the residents to vote.

Before the start of the meeting, a police officer asked resident Brian Kropp, a candidate for councilman at-Large, to put on a mask while inside the municipal building. Kropp complied and put on a mask but then after the officer walked away, lowered the mask below his chin, which prompted the officer to return and ask him to put it back on or he would be escorted out. Kropp, who was allowed to stay without wearing the mask, questioned the law requiring people to wear a mask.

Kline said Village Manager David Lynch has orders that all people in council chambers must wear a mask although when they are at the podium to speak, they are permitted to remove or lower it so people can hear them. Police officers at the meeting indicated they will take the matter up with the law director on what they need to do when people do not wear masks.

Kline said he will be making motions at Monday’s meeting to remove the mask policy because it is encroaching on an individual’s 1st Amendment rights.

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