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Several named to various boards

The Henry County Commissioners have appointed several people to various boards and positions, one over the strong objections of a concerned citizen.

The commissioners met Wednesday in regular session; making several appointments was one of the matters of business they addressed.

Sandy Wright’s term on the Memorial Park Board was set to expire Dec. 31, 2017. It was reported she expressed an interest in continuing to serve and the park board recommended she be allowed to do so. The commissioners followed that recommendation and re-appointed Wright to another term.

Middletown Fall Creek Township Public Library Director Teresa Dennis recommended Debbie Harry be re-appointed to another four-year term. Harry has been serving on the board since the summer of 2015, completing Paula Ramsey’s term following Ramsey’s resignation. The commissioners took Dennis’ recommendation to heart and re-appointed Harry. Her current service on the board was set to expire at the end of this year.

Current Henry County Planning Commission members Olene Veach, Dale Cole and Larry Brayton’s terms on the commission are all set to expire at the end of the year. It was reported all three are willing to continue to serve and that was the recommendation of Henry County Zoning Administrator Darrin Jacobs.

Before the commissioners voted on these re-appointments, local businessman and Henry County resident Gary Rodgers voiced his opposition to Veach being allowed to continue serving on the planning commission.

“I object to having Olene Veach be on the planning commission. She has a conflict of interest … and waited months, and depending on how you read the emails and such, potentially years, to declare that conflict of interest and didn’t declare it until she was publicly outed. This is not a person you want to have on the planning commission and so I would like to note a strong objection to having Miss Veach on the planning commission.”

Rodgers was referring to emails Veach was involved with regarding potential development of a “wind farm” in northwestern Henry County.

According to a conflict of interest document filed with the Henry County Clerk’s office in May of this year, Veach had an email communication in 2015 with former Henry County Zoning Administrator Rachel White regarding Calpine Wind Company and she later received a draft contract. Veach stated in the conflict of interest disclosure that she reviewed a portion of the draft contract and then discarded it.

Rodgers asked other audience members present at Wednesday’s meeting if they also opposed Veach’s re-appointment and most of them stood up to indicate they did not want Veach to continue serving.

Following Rodgers’ comments, a motion was made and seconded to re-appoint Veach, Cole and Brayton; that motion passed on a vote of 3 to 0.

Veach has volunteered her time with several local organizations. She serves on the ICAP Board of Directors and the Henry County Community Corrections Board. She also serves as a volunteer educational coordinator and instructor at the Henry County Sheriff’s Department and is a volunteer coordinator for the ICAP A.R.I.E.S. group. She volunteers for activities with the probation department, court system and Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Henry County and she is the volunteer co-chair of the Henry County Child Fair with New Castle-Henry County Public Library.

In a final appointment, the county leaders also reported both Cathy Hamilton’s and Dan Roach’s terms on the Henry County Board of Zoning Appeals were set to expire at year’s end. Both indicated a willingness to continue to serve and Jacobs recommended they be allowed to do so. Both were re-appointed to new terms.