By Frank Lewis
The mood was a mixture of memories and a vision for the future as New Boston Village Council held its first meeting with William “Junior” Williams as the official mayor of the village Tuesday night. Longtime mayor Jim Warren passed away last week after an extended illness, and Williams, who had been serving as acting mayor, was sworn-in as mayor on Monday.
Williams opened the meeting with a call for a moment of silence in memory of “our beloved mayor, Jim Warren.” He took the opportunity to thank all of the people in the community who had been involved in last week’s celebration of life for Warren, held at Glenwood High School, and proposed naming the annual village Christmas event “The James Warren Breakfast with Santa.”
“We’re all going to miss him,” Williams said. “Some of the people here (New Boston Community Building) in the last few days have said the building does feel empty. It does feel empty. It certainly does.”
Councilman Dan Fetty reiterated those comments.
“It’s a very somber time for all of us, a busy time for a lot of us and when we were doing the swearing in yesterday (Monday), my wife came in and said it felt sort of strange coming in the building and it was. It’s a different atmosphere since the mayor is not here,” Fetty said.
When council got down to business, they passed the projected 2016 operating budget and gave first reading to a resolution authorizing participation and ratifying prior participation of the village with the Corps of Engineers, for the design and construction of the combined sewer system improvements, phase 3 and authorizing Village Administrator Steve Hamilton and other appropriate village officials, to act on behalf of the village in executing, accepting or otherwise approving all documents.
After business was conducted for the evening, Williams made further comments on the current circumstances in the Community Center.
“I want to thank the community for all the folks that have come in to visit me the last couple of days and offer me their best wishes and their kind words for the future,” Williams said. “There has been some friends and people I have never met; former Council members. I’ve had members of the clergy come in a pray for me. I just want to thank all of the well-wishers.”
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.