Commissioners Discuss Request From Sheriff, Local Resident

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Athens County Sheriff Pat Kelly says his department needs a new deputy.

Kelly approached commissioners with the request on Tuesday and said his department will be short-handed if they're unable to make a hire soon.

Two current deputies are scheduled to retire within the next few months, and Kelly says he would like to fill the spot soon because the new deputy will require training.

"You cannot take care of a county with only two deputy sheriffs. That just won't work," said Kelly.

Tuesday wasn't the first time commissioners heard Kelly's request. He approached commissioners about his department's need at a Februrary meeting.

Commissioner Lenny Eliason said the city will have to look at the budget to see if allocating $37,000 toward the position is feasible.

Commissioner Chris Chmiel said the commissioners are researching the budget and plan to give Kelly an answer next week.

An Athens County resident also approached commissioners at the meeting Tuesday. 

Janet Polzer expressed her disapproval of the recent NumberFest, an event that attracted more than 17,000 visitors this past weekend and is held near her residence.

Polzer said the event was noisy, caused traffic and left the roads covered in trash.

Chmiel said the commissioners do not have jurisdiction over the party.

"It's unincorporated, private property and currently there's nothing in place to regulate this type of activity," he said. 

Eliason recommended that Polzer take a different approach to express her concerns by boycotting the property owner's local businesses.