New council members appointed in Bethel to fill two empty seats

The Bethel Village Council met on Nov. 13, a solemn occasion after the death of council member George Schramm.

Schramm, who was close to completing his first year as a council member, died on Nov. 5. Mayor Travis Dotson read a certificate of appreciation that was to be presented to the family of the departed councilman, and other members of the council voiced their condolences to Schramm’s family.

“It’s extremely rare to find individuals who have diverted their entire lives to public safety,” said Mayor Dotson. “George Schramm accomplished that very unselfish existence by serving in the public sector for over 35 years. The village of Bethel will surely miss their retired police chief and current council member after having him in the community on a professional level since 1987. His countless friends will miss him.”

Schramm, who began his career in public service with the Milford Police Department, also served with the Clermont County Sheriff’s Department before coming to Bethel to serve as chief of police.

A few years ago, Schramm retired from active service, but decided to run for council last year to continue working for the community.

“We will miss him,” said Swarthout. “It will be a hard seat to replace.”

Council was then faced with finding a replacement for Schramm, as well as a replacement for Mayor Travis Dotson, who filled the mayor’s position after circumstances left that seat empty. Earlier this year, Mayor David Simpson died suddenly of a brain aneurysm, causing council president pro tem Kevin Perkins to step into the seat. Then, Perkins resigned to pursue a promotion out of state, leaving Dotson to fill the seat, as he was acting president pro tem. Now, a replacement for both Dotson’s and Scrhamm’s seat was needed. After an executive session, council made their decision.

“I need a motion to nominate someone for the temporary seat replacing my chair until the end of my mayor’s term, which is the end of 2007,” said Mayor Dotson. “We also need a nomination to replace the chair held by George Schramm.

The two men chosen to fill the seats were presented to council and sworn in by Mayor Dotson, beginning their first night as council members just a few minutes shy of the vote to adjourn.

“After much discussion, I would make the motion to appoint Mr. Alan Ausman,” said Swarthout. “To fill the unexpired term of George Schramm, I move we appoint Joe Houlihan.”

“Now that you’ve been sworn in, I’ll warn you that it’s not quite as glamorous as it appears on TV,” said Mayor Dotson.