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Palestine councilman steps down

August 23, 2012
By KATIE SCHWENDEMAN - Staff Writer ( , Morning Journal News

EAST PALESTINE - Another member of village council has quit.

Scott Rauch on Tuesday announced his resignation from the seat he has held the last 11 years.

The move comes less than three months after Raymond "Sunny" Hull left his council seat, and only four months after Gary and Cindy Clark left their full-time administrative positions.

Rauch did not offer a reason for the decision, although he indicated that his work as a postmaster sometimes made it difficult to attend council meetings.

"I'm very disappointed that I didn't finish my term. I was voted in by popular vote three times. I really did work for the voters and for the people of the city. If I have one regret, that regret is that I'm unable at this time to finish my term," he said.

Rauch was first elected to council in 2001, and his most recent term was through December of 2013. Over the course of the last decade he has served as chair of the police, fire, utility and park and cemetery committees. Prior to being elected, he spent 10 years working as a part-time firefighter and part-time EMT for the village.

He said resigning from the two positions to take the council seat was difficult but he did so because he wanted to better the village through the political work. Elected officials are not permitted to hold another public office.

"I wasn't chasing anything other than trying to better the city. My resignation from the fire department was extremely hard for me," he said.

He added that he ran for council because he felt at that time "a lot of things weren't happening that should have been happening."

Looking back over his years on council he said the village made several improvements, including repairs to an aging infrastructure, attracting business in a lagging economy and multi-million-dollar upgrades to the sewer treatment plant.

"The thing I am most happy about is when communities and private businesses fell into bankruptcy East Palestine remained stable. It was difficult. There was a very stringent budget that we kept to," he said.

Rauch made the resignation announcement during the legislative committee meeting at the police department Tuesday night. He said he had been weighing the decision for a short time.

"At this time I'm not going to give a reason why. I asked council to accept my resignation and leave it at that," he said.

He told council members of his intentions prior to the meeting.

Councilwoman and legislative committee chair Ellen Beagle said it was clear his "heart was heavy" over the decision.

"I'm a firm believer in following where the Lord takes you and I think that's what he's trying to do," she said. "My biggest concern is the amount of upheaval we have had in the last six months. That's something we have to work on now."

She said council will immediately began accepting applications for the position that pays $100 a month.

According to the village charter, council now has 30 days to fill the seat vacated by Rauch, and his resignation is effective immediately. A majority of council vote is required for the new member to take office.



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