Delaware News

Second Weatherby joins Sunbury Village Council

Scott Weatherby only applicant for vacant seat

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It's "like father, like son" on Sunbury Village Council.

The newest member of the group is council President Len Weatherby's son, Scott Weatherby, whom the current five council members appointed to a vacant post Wednesday, Jan. 30.

Scott Weatherby takes over for Bill Metzler, who resigned a month ago due to poor health. Weatherby's father, who also is a former longtime Sunbury mayor, has been active in local politics for more than 25 years.

Weatherby will serve out the remaining year of Metzler's four-year term. That seat, along with those held by councilmen David Miller, Joe Gochenour and Tom Zalewski, are up for election in November. Weatherby was the only applicant for appointment to Metzler's seat on the six-member council.

"I know most of you," he said during council's Jan. 30 meeting. "I grew up in Sunbury and lived here all my life, except when I went away to college. I want to be involved in the community I live in."

Weatherby is an official with OhioHealth and works on strategy and business development for that group of hospitals and its affiliates.

He said one of the reasons he sought the appointment is because of the pride he took in his father's involvement with the community over the years.

"I have three boys," he said. "I want them to have the same pride (in me) I have in my father," the younger Weatherby said.

Councilwoman Jennifer Witt asked him how he would perform on council since he would be working with his father.

"I have my own opinions. I don't believe it is a problem," he said. "There is no hidden agenda behind this."

Mayor Tommy Hatfield joked that his biggest problem will be keeping track of which Weatherby is doing what during meetings.

Year in crime

Also at last week's council meeting, Sunbury Police Chief Pat Bennett gave council an annual update on crime and other police activity in the village last year. Police received 3,580 calls for service in 2012.

He said drugs continue to be a problem and that a lot of the burglaries, thefts and similar crimes are fueled by drug addiction.

Police had 123 theft calls in 2012 and 32 burglaries or burglaries in progress.

The Delaware County Drug Task Force, of which Sunbury police belongs, made 78 felony arrests through October 2012. Eighteen cases were in or around Sunbury, with 15 convictions.

"The heroin problem has gotten so bad, that's about all the the drug task force is dealing with," Bennett said.

He noted that outsiders with drug addictions, often criminals from Columbus, come to Sunbury and similar small towns because they think the pickings are easy.

Also last year, police made 1,210 traffic stops, had 121 suspicious-person complaints, 74 auto accident injury calls, 53 animal calls and 66 domestic disturbances.

Hatfield said the police department is doing a good job despite being down two full-time officers. Currently, the department has nine full-timers. There are several part-time officers.

"We'll be looking to address (police staffing) as the year goes by," the mayor said.

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