By Megan Alley
The village of Amelia’s mayor has appointed another new council member to the governing body.
Delores Daniel was sworn in on Jan. 17. She fills the seat left vacant by former councilman Brandon Hatton, who resigned on Sept. 20, 2016, because he moved to Pierce Township.
Hatton’s four-year term expires on Dec. 31, 2017.
Daniel is the fourth council member to be appointed to the village council in the past eight months.
Regina Dietrich Rumke and John Hyder were sworn in on May 17, 2016, to fill the two seats left vacant by former council members Renee Gerber and Chris Dickerson, who both resigned during the April 19, 2016, council meeting. Gerber resigned over disagreements she had with the council regarding police coverage.
Rumke replaced Gerber, whose four-year term expires on Dec. 31, 2019, and Hyder replaced Dickerson, whose four-year term expires on Dec. 31, 2017.
Then, on Aug. 30, 2016, Hyder resigned his position to become the village’s administrative coordinator. He was replaced by Javier Melendez, who was sworn in on Oct. 11, 2016.
Mayor Todd Hart was tasked with making the most recent appointment because the council failed to do so within its allotted 30 days.
He selected Daniel because she’s a longtime resident – she’s lived in Amelia for 10 years – and because “she has plenty of time to do special projects for the village” – she’s retired from 30 years as a nurse for the federal government.
“She’s well-rounded, and she wants to give back,” he added.
Daniel grew up in Norwood and has lived in many different places throughout Cincinnati and northern Kentucky.
She has experience serving on “a lot of committees,” during her professional career.
“I’ve always been involved, trying to improve the process with whatever particular thing was not working,” Daniel said. “I’m a fixer.”
She’s also part of the village’s charter committee, the all-volunteer 15-member commission tasked with drafting the village’s municipal charter.
This year, voters in Amelia will decide whether or not to adopt the municipal charter and become a charter village under Ohio law.
This is pertinent because data from the 2010 census shows that Amelia is on the cusp of transforming from a village to a city, which is defined in Ohio as a municipality with more than 5,000 residents. Amelia had 4,801 residents at the 2010 census.
The state requires so-called “statutory” municipalities to maintain specific levels and types of staff. When a statutory village becomes a city, for example, the new city would be required to hire a full-time engineer, city manager and attorney.
Charter municipalities are afforded greater degrees of self-governance and are exempt from some staffing requirements.
Amelia is growing, and officials are concerned that the village’s costs, including payroll, will rise dramatically if it becomes a statutory city after the 2020 census. The new charter will give Amelia more flexibility when it comes to spending.
“Before Norwood kind of went by the wayside when [General Motors] left, it was a very small, homey town kind of a feeling, and that’s the kind of feeling I get here,” Daniel said. “When we bought the house, the neighbors gave us a welcoming; it’s got that small town kind of feel.”
She added, “Because we’re about to become a city, I wanted to keep that hometown feel but still grow responsibly.”
Daniel, who now serves on the recreation committee, also looks forward to help making Amelia a more walkable community.
“Walking along Main Street is taking your life into your own hands,” she said. “I want to incorporate more walking trails and improve our parks.”
Daniel also suggested forming village-sponsored day camps for kids.
“They could come and do crafts; that’s something from my childhood,” she said.
Daniel plans to “absolutely” run for election when the seat’s term expires later this year.
She also plans to be a mentor to young girls, and to encourage women to get involved in local politics.
“Government roles are more male-oriented,” Daniel said. “I think [women] bring a different mindset to the process. I just think that the more women who are involved, the better.”