LAKEMORE: The Village Council is expected to name a replacement for ousted council member Lori Strittmatter at a special meeting at 7 p.m. Monday.
Council members have two applicants from which to chose, President Tammy Coontz said this week. She said she could not release those names, because others who had applied for the seat had not been notified of the council’s decision narrowing the field.
In October, the council unanimously voted to remove Strittmatter from the seat she won as a write-in candidate in the November 2011 election, because she missed more than a dozen meetings, Lakemore Mayor Rick Justice said.
“I proposed the move because of Strittmatter’s poor attendance at council meetings and because she was missing her committee assignments. We had to move on,” Justice said.
Strittmatter missed 13 of 22 meetings since she was sworn in to the office before the council took action, the mayor said.
Coontz said she could not recall a meeting Strittmatter, who chaired the council’s Historical Committee and served on the Cable Board, had attended since June.
“She was just in the learning process,” Coontz said, when she stopped attending meetings.
Attempts to reach Strittmatter for comment were unsuccessful.
Justice said Strittmatter did not attend an October hearing to discuss her attendance, and said he has not spoken with her since the council took action Oct. 15 to oust her from the six-person council.
“I received text messages from her for a while saying she couldn’t find a ride to the meetings,” he said.
Earlier this month, Justice announced at a council meeting he had received 11 applicants for Strittmatter’s vacated seat. The number of people who showed interest in filling the vacancy came as a surprise.
“In the election of 2011, there wasn’t anyone interested in taking out petitions for council seats. The two people elected were last-minute write-in candidates,” Justice said. “The interesting thing here is that I think the tide has turned and those applications tell me that people now want to get involved and keep this community moving forward.”
Although Ohio law gives the council 30 days after a seat is vacated to appoint a new member, Justice said he and other council members wanted to take their time to review the applications and conduct interviews to find the best person.
Also, Coontz said, the mayor allotted the council an extension because she was out of town because of a death in her family.
“I really appreciated it,” said Coontz, who has served on the council for nine years.
Justice said he is not aware that anyone has been able to reach Strittmatter. He believes she moved away from the village and did not leave a forwarding address.
“I can tell you, she is not living in Lakemore,” he said.
Kathy Antoniotti can be reached at 330-996-3565 or firstname.lastname@example.org.