Prior to Johnstown Village Council's Nov. 19 meeting, members held a going-away party to bid farewell to longtime council member and former mayor Kevin Riffe, who is moving to nearby Liberty Township.

Prior to Johnstown Village Council's Nov. 19 meeting, members held a going-away party to bid farewell to longtime council member and former mayor Kevin Riffe, who is moving to nearby Liberty Township.

Council then honored Riffe in an official proclamation that outlined his accomplishments and recognized him for his service and "for his dedication to the residents of this community, to his fellow Council Members and for his willingness to serve."

Riffe, a 1977 graduate of Johnstown-Monroe High School, had served as a council member since 2000 and was mayor in 2004, 2008 and 2010.

"I've enjoyed working with this group," Riffe said when he resigned Oct. 1. "I'm a big supporter of our employees. I'll stop in and visit."

On Oct. 15, council voted unanimously to select Robert Orsini to fill Riffe's vacancy. Orsini was chosen out of eight candidates after council held an executive session to interview applicants, and he was sworn in Nov. 5. He will serve out the remainder of Riffe's term, which expires Dec. 31, 2015.

New law on animal waste

Later in the meeting, council passed an ordinance requiring "cleanup of animal waste."

The ordinance came out of necessity, Johnstown Clerk of Council Teresa Monroe said, noting that the city and council members had received a number of complaints -- both formal and informal -- about those who were not cleaning up after their pets.

Monroe said city crews already had put cleanup stations and bags in various locations but that this ordinance made it possible to punish those who did not comply with a minor misdemeanor.

Ordinance 505.08 was approved unanimously after its third reading Nov. 19.

The ordinance goes into effect 30 days from passage (Dec. 19), and the fine is $129 for failure to clean up after pets.

New commission members needed

The term of two members on Johnstown's Planning and Zoning Commission are up at the end of the year, and the village is looking to fill the two seats.

Johnstown is asking any current village resident with interest to send a letter of interest by noon Nov. 25.

Letters to Monroe will be accepted by email at tmonroe@villageofjohnstown.org or by mail to Teresa Monroe, P.O. Box 457, 599 S. Main St., Johnstown, OH 43031.