Alderman search begins

As it looks to replace one of the individuals who represents residents on the city council, the city of Vandalia may also have to replace one of its squad cars.
Mayor Rick Gottman said at Monday’s council meeting that he has begun a search for a Ward III alderman, someone to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Terry Beesley.
Beesley submitted his resignation about 90 minutes after walking out of the Nov. 3 council meeting.
Beesley left the meeting when two other aldermen, Russ Stunkel and B. John Clark, tried to end the discussion on the council’s decision last month to add two liquor licenses.
Beesley criticized those who voted in favor of allowing those two licenses, saying that they voted for special interests instead of the common good of Vandalia’s residents.
“They are more worried about ‘fair’ than ‘right,’” Beesley said in his resignation letter to Gottman.
Also at Monday’s meeting, Police Chief Jeff Ray told aldermen that one of his department’s squad cars sustained major damage in a Saturday evening accident.
Ray said that officer Todd Emerick responded to an motor vehicle incident on a bridge at the 63-mile marker on Interstate 70 to secure the scene until a county officer arrived.
He said that a vehicle traveling on I-70 slid on the ice-covered bridge and hit the squad car, spinning it into another vehicle.
Ray said that Emerick was not injured, as he and the motorist that he was assisting had moved to the other side of the bridge guardrail prior to the squad car being hit.
Ray said that the ice on the bridge caused five vehicles to wreck at that location in a short period of time.
He said that the damage to the squad car has been estimated at more than $10,000.
Also at the meeting:
• Gottman thanked Jay and Staci Carroll for the donation of this year’s city Christmas tree at Seventh and Gallatin streets.
• The mayor, along with the family of Fayette County Hospital paramedic Ryan Cunningham, thanked area law enforcement agencies and fire departments for their participation in Cunningham’s funeral services last week.
• The council observed a moment of silence for: Russell Hewitt, a retired teacher and coach who served on a city committee; Cunningham; and Dorsey Feller, a former businessman in the city.

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