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MCDONALD Apologies sought by village officials



Published: Thu, August 23, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



The mayor and a councilman each think the other should resign.

By WILLIAM K. ALCORN

VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER

McDONALD -- Mayor James W. Border wants Councilman Thomas Hannon to apologize to him and the entire village for swearing at the mayor during the Aug. 8 council meeting.

Hannon, former mayor, said he should and will apologize. "I was wrong."

But, he says Border should also apologize for breaking the rules of council by not allowing Hannon five minutes to speak and for ignoring Councilman Thomas Hart's call for a "point of order."

Border, speaking after Wednesday's special council meeting, said he wants council to discipline Hannon for calling him [Border] a "gutless son of a b----."

Hannon, in a telephone interview after the meeting, agrees he should be disciplined by council for his words. But, he also believes Border should be disciplined.

Resign: Border further suggested that Hannon should resign for the "good of the village" if he can't keep personalities out of village business.

Hannon's response: "I think Border should resign." The mayor is not attending finance and other important meetings.

Border and Hannon have been at political and personal odds for several years, and occasionally the feud erupts at public meetings.

But, at the Aug. 8 meeting, Border believes Hannon went too far during an ongoing argument over an old subject: whether the village should have spent money to hire Ohio Local Government Services in 1998 to reconstruct village financial records so they could be audited by the state.

Hannon, during the public comments portion of the Aug. 8 meeting, removed himself from his council chair to speak as a citizen and respond to Border's comments earlier in the meeting.

Argument: Border had said that it was necessary to use the LGS to reconstruct village financial records because village employees had been working on the job for a year and they still were not in condition to be audited.

Hannon said that under Border's leadership, the village spent $62,000 for reconstructing and auditing the books, which he believes should have cost only $17,000. Hannon contended that a volunteer committee of government officials and private citizens could have done the same job as LGS for no cost.

"If we couldn't get it done, then pay someone to do it. But, until the day I die, I will believe it was wasted money," he said.

After several more comments back and forth, Border cut the former mayor short, saying, "You're getting personal again ... You're done, sit down.

"I have five minutes, sir," Hannon said. But Border again ordered Hannon back to his seat.

As Hannon went back to his council seat he said to Border, "You're gutless."

"No, I'm not," Border replied.

"Yes, you are. You are a gutless son of a b----," Hannon said.

The rest of the Aug. 8 meeting continued without incident, but the war is still on.

Addressing comments: Wednesday, Border said he plans to address Hannon's comments.

"You're not supposed to let these things get to you. I try to keep my composure and I think I did. But no, I'm not going to let this slide," Border said.

Hannon said he is just trying to clear his name and to get another perspective on the financial records reconstruction into council's minutes.

Border, who was on council in 1998, said he blamed himself and everybody else in the office at the time. Hannon was mayor at the time, but resigned in mid-term Aug. 31, 1998.

Border previously said reconstruction by state LGS auditors was done upon the advice of Attorney General Betty Montgomery, and he wanted to correct the impression left by Hannon that money spent on the reconstruction was an unnecessary expense.

alcorn@vindy.com




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