Anna L DeMint The garden that got us through the winter months Virginia L Fricker JV Devils top Northwest 51-34 Senior Profile: Caitlin Young North Adams moves to 7-5 with 16-point Homecoming win over Northwest Held to a higher standard Claudia J Purtee Shaylee E Prewitt Questions still linger in Stuart explosion Richard Holsinger J Ruth Madden Frank E Swayne Robert Bechdolt Sara D Hatfield Barbara Goodwin Jeffrey Frederick Grace E Myers Johnny A Sullender Sr. Senator Joe Uecker sworn-in for second term Wenstrup sworn in for third term in House Ronald L Chochard Patrick P Clift Samuel W Freeland Senior Profile: Casey Mullenix Lady Dragons win ugly, taking Classic consolation game over Manchester, 48-45 Greyhounds roll by West Union to take Classic consolation game, 82-58 History made as Ward takes oath of office Peter A Bennington Tangela R King McDonald’s Classic crowns 2016 champions MVP Arey leads Peebles to McDonald’s Classic title, Indians outlast North Adams 82-76 in double overtime thriller Lady Devils get Classic three-peat, make it 10 of 11, 14 titles for Coach Davis Senior Profile: Raegan Dick Teaching students the power of giving Kids at Children’s Home gifted with shopping spree Marion Liming Dorothy Huff John R Murphy Michael L McAninch Rita Rogers Edward L Combs Ronald W Staggs Mary H Grooms Gladys Wilson Donald Barnhill Monda Van Vorren Deborah Spires Senior Profile: Andre Wolke Indians pull away in second half, get past Manchester 71-58 in Classic semis On home floor, Lady Indians move to Classic title game North Adams handles West Union, Devils move to Classic finals with 68-53 victory Lady Devils roll into Classic championship Beth E Rowley Leatrice Lewis Senior Profile: Justin Aldridge Mary Helterbridle Wanda Huffman PES Performing Arts entertains at Hometown Christmas Adams County Manor sends holiday wishes Peebles Lions Club hosts Christmas breakfast Elusive Elf on a Shelf makes a return visit to PES Santas in blue spread Christmas cheer in a very special way Senior Profile: Aubrey McFarland WUHS holds Hall of Fame induction ceremonies WUHS Academic Team has undefeated season Serving those who served their country From Pearl Harbor to ‘America’s Got Talent’, 93-year-old WWII vet is still going strong Yester Years brings a touch of old to the new Merry Christmas to you all North Adams Elementary announces Spelling Bee winners Peebles High School hosts Homecoming ceremonies Children in need receive gifts at PES Adams County Manor holds annual Door Decorating Contest WUHS celebrates with numerous Christmas activities Halftime lead quickly vanishes, Dragons fall to Northwest 73-62 in Saturday night non-conference match up Tammy S Scott Oscar Hilterbrandt Neil R Swayne Beulah M Daniels McDonald’s Classic begins Dec. 27 Letters to Santa Senior Profile: Tyler Swearingen Leadership Adams donates to local outreach programs North Adams student/athletes are part of Holiday Sharing Event Senior Profile: Kylie Lucas West Union Elementary holds Academic Fair on Dec. 2 WUES holds annual Spelling Bee NAHS Art students help out the Humane Society Peebles Elementary announces Spelling Bee winners CTC FCCLA / Culinary Arts class holds Cancer Awareness Drive Amen receives Distinguished Service Award ‘Tis the season for family-past, present, and future MHS Computer Class aces MOS Exam WUES recognizes November Bus Riders of the Month NAHS Beta Club sponsors canned food drive Peebles Elementary announces November Students of the Month Crisis text line reaches out during the holidays Paul Wesley Ailshire Joan Cockrell

Manchester village council holds first meeting of the new year

The Manchester Village council met Tuesday evening, Jan. 5 before a full house of concerned citizens at the village’s Community Building. The evening’s agenda included the swearing in of two council members who won seats in the Nov. election: Christine Henderson and C.L. “Skip” Wagner were given the oath by newly-elected mayor, Robert Hilderbrand.

Following the completion of regular business, members of the community were invited to address their questions and concerns to the council.

Linda Rossman expressed her concern about the council’s decision to make cuts to the village’s police force. “I’m very concerned about our police protection,” she told the council. “I think we should cut other things instead of our police protection.”

Mayor Hilderbrand explained that the town’s general fund was empty. “We can’t move money around, we’ve been borrowing money from Peter to pay Paul for too long,” the mayor told those assembled. “We’ve taken money from the general fund for 17 years to meet expenses, but we are no longer allowed to do that.”

He assured those present that he and Chief Jeff Bowling were searching for alternative solutions to bolster the police department throughout the coming year. “By 2017 we will be out of the hole,” he told those present. “If we don’t make these cuts now, come May, we won’t have any funds for the police department.”

Another community member, Liz Fernandez, raised the issue of overgrown trees and shrubs on private properties that were obscuring street signs and creating safety hazards for drivers. “This is a safety hazard,” she stated. “These bushes hide oncoming traffic, we’ve even had complaints from bus drivers and I’d like to know why the problem hasn’t been taken care of.”

Following several minutes of discussion, the council asked Police Chief Bowling to deliver letters to the home owners warning that conditions on their property represented a danger to the general public and were to be cleaned up.

There was also discussion concerning potholes in village streets that were not being repaired. Once again Mayor Hilderbrand explained that the town simply didn’t have the money to make the necessary repairs.

Earl “Buster” Ruark, head of the Manchester Street Department told those present, “The issue has been brought up before, but there is no money to fix the potholes, I can only spend what they allow me to spend, at the end of the year, the department is broke.”

Manchester’s street department is funded solely by a gas tax. In recent years the number of gas stations in Manchester has dwindled from six to one. Mayor Hilderbrand said, “It is vital that we all buy gas in Manchester because that money funds the street department, it’s the only way we have to generate revenue. If we buy gas out of town, we aren’t supporting our street department.”

The mayor also spoke at length about the need to continue cleaning up properties in the village. “We have a beautiful town here, we all grew up here, and we take pride in it. We need to get it cleaned up and the only way we’re going to do it is to push the issue and show people that we mean business, clean it up or else.”

The mayor and council intend to take stern measures against those who fail to clean up their properties.

Once a clean up order is issued, the town will step in if the owner fails to abide by the order. “We will clean it up,” Hilderbrand said, then, we will bill them and if the bill isn’t paid within a specified period of time, we will foreclose on the property to get our money back.”

He also acknowledged that it would take time and cooperation to accomplish their goals, “Manchester needs a Beautification Committee, and every citizen of the village is a member, it’s going to take everyone working together to get things done. No one is going to invest a nickel in this town if they wouldn’t live in it. We can ask for businesses to come, but until we bring back pride in home ownership, they won’t. It’s going to take volunteers,” he added, “you can’t do a lot with $5, but you can with volunteers.”

Newly elected Manchester village council members, C.L. “Skip” Wagner and Christine Henderson being sworn into office by Mayor Robert Hilderbrand.
http://www.peoplesdefender.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/web1_Meeting13.jpgNewly elected Manchester village council members, C.L. “Skip” Wagner and Christine Henderson being sworn into office by Mayor Robert Hilderbrand. Patricia Beech | People’s Defender

Several residents raised issues with Manchester’s mayor and village council members at their Jan. 5 meeting.
http://www.peoplesdefender.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/web1_Meeting23.jpgSeveral residents raised issues with Manchester’s mayor and village council members at their Jan. 5 meeting. Patricia Beech | People’s Defender
Mayor calls for cooperation from village residents

By Patricia Beech

pbeech@civitasmedia.com

Reach Patricia Beech at 937-544-2391 or at pbeech@civitasmedia.com

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2016 People's Defender