(Special to the American Press)
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 08, 2014 4:59 PMOBERLIN — Mayor Rick Smith has resigned from office citing a lack of communication and willingness to work together that has become a stalemate between the mayor and town officials.
Smith, who has served as mayor for three years, announced his resignation Wednesday just a day after meeting with the state’s legislative auditors concerning the town’s financial crisis and pending audit.
Findings of the audit are expected to be made public Monday.
Smith said problems with the town’s finances are nothing new, but council members have refused to work with him on ways to improve its financial status, including repairing 75 non-functioning water and gas meters that have in turn caused the town to lose revenue. Efforts to address excessive overtime pay in the police department and rising insurance cost have also divided the council.
“They (council) are not willing to listen to reason or try to take anything serious about the budget,” Smith said. “They are just fighting and resisting everything I offer. I don’t want to be a part of it.”
Smith said the council has refused to work together to try to balance the budget and take care of finances.
“They are offering quick-fix solutions that are not going to solve the problems and I am not in favor of that,” he said.