Stepping down: Two long-time village officials set to retire

CRIDERSVILLE — Two Cridersville officials, who have served village residents for decades, announced their plans of retirement.

At Monday Cridersville Village Council meeting,  Village Administrator John McDonald and Fire Chief Ron Mertz made public their decisions  to retire from their respective positions.

On Monday, Mayor Lorali Myers released McDonald’s letter of intent to retire to the councilors.

“Thirty-three years ago, I started working with the village,” Myers said, reading McDonald’s letter. “... with a heavy heart, I decided to step down.”

McDonald, who was present at the meeting, noted his last official day will be Dec. 31, 2012.

“I want to thank the residents for the privilege to serve the community for the past years,” McDonald said in his letter.

Myers, along with other councilors, thanked McDonald for his dedication to the village.

“You’ve been an asset to the village,” Myers said.

As each of the councilors went around the table and approved McDonald’s letter of resignation, each showed their appreciation to a man who served the village for decades.

“John has helped me with problems in my own home, when I didn’t have anyone to turn to,” Councilor Shirley Anderson said, “and I want to thank him.”

Earlier in the year, McDonald announced to stay with the village for another year, but at recent committee meetings, he noted his retirement was approaching sooner than thought.

“He will be sadly missed,” Myers said. “He knows the village inside and out. We wish him the best.”

Councilors will be in charge of hiring a new village administrator.

As Cridersville Fire Chief Ron Mertz was giving his safety report at Monday’s meeting, many did not realize that this was going to be one of his last reports.

Before he concluded his report, he said in short term news that he was planning on retiring within the next 30 days.

“I don’t have a firm date set yet,” Mertz said during the meeting.

He has served approximately 40 years on the fire department and decided it was time to step down because of personal and health reasons. He noted it was time to let someone else serve as fire chief.

“This was the first notice that we had,” Myers said after Monday’s meeting.

The Cridersville Fire Department will select a new chief and will present their choice to councilors when chosen.

“I want to wish him the very best,” Myers said.

Councilors thanked Mertz for his time and dedication to the village.

“There are a lot of changes occurring in a short period of time,” Myers said. “Changes occur during life, and we will embrace what’s to come forward.”