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Oakwood Hills to hold meeting Thursday to fill vacancies

OAKWOOD HILLS – The Oakwood Hills Village Board is set to fill vacancies left by the resignation of three officials last week including former village president Melanie Funk.

A special meeting will take place at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Oakwood Hills Village Hall on 3020 North Park Drive to formally elect trustee Paul Smith as acting village president and appoint a new village attorney and trustee to fill open positions.

Smith has taken on a leadership role since Funk submitted her resignation on Sept. 10, but cannot act in any official capacity as acting president until he is voted in by fellow trustees. He could run for a 2-year term in the April 2015 election to fulfill the remaining years.

Oakwood Hills resident Amanda Wagner is up for appointment to fill the vacated trustee position left by Beth Gorr who also resigned with Funk. Wagner has the support of the Power Plant Opposition Group that pressured Funk to step down with public calls for her resignation.

""I believe the appointment of Amanda Wagner would be an excellent choice," group co-leader Ryan Noonan said. "We hope that any new trustee as well as current officials will take into consideration the very publicly displayed overwhelming sentiment among Oakwood Hills residents and the surrounding communities against the proposed power plant."

Funk, Gorr and attorney John Cowlin stepped down from their positions Sept. 10 after months of a contentious relationship with the public. Funk and Gorr cited a toll on their health from the constant criticism they received for supporting a hosting agreement that could result in the construction of a $450 million natural gas power plant.

Noonan said he is hopeful the new leadership can be a new start with village residents who have vowed to fight the project proposal until it is officially withdrawn.

"The Power Plant Opposition Group is looking forward to establishing a positive working relationship with the new officials under new leadership," Noonan said.

Wagner was not immediately available for comment. Smith was also unavailable and it is unknown who trustees could appoint to fill the village attorney position.

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