Councilman who moved says he'll resign
Council had begun the process of removing him from office.
By MARY GRZEBIENIAK
NEW MIDDLETOWN -- Curtis Massey said Tuesday he will resign from New Middletown Village Council.
This follows council action Monday to begin the process of removing him because he is no longer a village resident. He indicated he plans to send a letter of resignation to council immediately.
Massey is a first-term council member, having taken office in January 2006. There six members on the council, elected as nonpartisans to four-year terms.
Mayor Robert Carson and council members have said Massey is living in a home on state Route 170 outside the village limits.
Massey said he thinks Carson should have contacted him and discussed whether there was a way Massey could fulfill residency requirements.
Carson said that after trying numerous times to telephone Massey, he sent a police officer to Massey's residence to tell him Carson was trying to reach him and to call him as soon as possible. He said Massey never called him.
Carson also pointed out that at the December meeting, Council members Bill Douglas and Harry Kale were authorized to contact Massey and determine his residency status. He said it is the duty of council, not the mayor, to determine residency requirements, and Carson said that at this point, it would not have been proper for him to interfere.
Massey acknowledged that Douglas had phoned him three days before Monday's meeting, but Massey said he did not return the call because he was waiting for Carson to call.
Draft of letter
In a draft of a resignation letter Massey provided to The Vindicator on Tuesday, he stated that at one point during his term as councilman: "After asking questions regarding the police department and mutual aid medically with ... [Springfield] Township, I was told by the mayor ... 'Your job as a councilman is to pass resolution and ordinances and OK the bills to be paid, not ask questions.'" He said since then, he has felt "out of the loop."
Carson said Tuesday that he does not remember the conversation.
Massey said that he moved from an apartment he formerly rented on Sandy Court to a house on Route 170 outside the village because the owner asked if he would finish remodeling it and Massey said he was potentially interested in buying it. Massey said his temporary residence there did not prove he wasn't a village resident. He said he still had some ties to the Sandy Court residence because his sister-in-law is now living in it and he believed the utilities were still in his name.
Carson said that should Massey leave council, Carson would recommend a candidate, but council would have to approve.