POMEROY — Pomeroy Village Council held a special meeting last Thursday to discuss employee discipline.
The council went into executive session to discuss displinary action against Sonya Wolfe, who served as clerk-treasurer for the Village of Pomeroy.
After exiting executive session, the council took a vote, with three council members voting to fire Wolfe, three abstaining from a vote, and Mayor Jackie Welker breaking the tie with a yea vote, terminating Wolfe immediately.
“It’s unfortunate,” Welker said after the meeting was adjourned. “We all like her. It’s just that I think she’s overwhelmed and she can’t do it right now — and we know it reflects back on us if we don’t get there.”
Welker said that Robert Payne reached out to Wolfe in an attempt to help, but that nothing changed. He also noted that all three department heads — Fire Chief Rick Blaetner, Pomeroy Police Chief Mark Proffitt and Village Administrator Paul Hellman — had all expressed concerns with Wolfe’s performance of her duties.
Wolfe was not present at the meeting, and in a Monday phone interview stated she was absent because she was off that day on medical leave and had a medical excuse due to work-related issues. Wolfe said she was aware of the July 31 meeting, but was told it was only to discuss her performance, and that she would return to a meeting Aug. 18. She said she assumed the Village Council had their meeting and decided to discharge her, but as of Aug. 4 had not heard from the mayor or any council members regarding her termination.
“No one called and told me,” she said. “No one has the courtesy or professionalism to call me and tell me. I heard it on Friday, the day after the meeting from Pomeroy individuals who attended the meeting, and I felt that was very unprofessional on the mayor’s part. He should’ve called and told me.”
Welker could not be reached for comment as he left for vacation with his family early Friday morning. Finance Committee chair and council member Robert Payne, in a statement, said Wolfe was aware of the nature of the July 31 meeting and went on medical leave after learning about the meeting. He added that Wolfe was actually in charge of notifying the public and media outlets about the meeting, so there was no way for her to not know the nature of it.
“We continue to stand by the decisions we made during the meeting,” he said.
The meeting was also called to pass Amended Village Ordinance No. 753, which gave the village permission to add an addition surcharge to every water and sewer bill for the village in order to help with necessary repairs. This money will be used to first repay all current Federal Emergency Management Assistant projects, as well as for “any and alll infrastructure improvements.”
The council also passed the Resolution Authorizing Expenditure, which is essentially the village paying their bills, Welker said. With interest included, the village owes Pullins Excavating $41,754.28 and Drier & Mallard $10,651.78.