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Richmond Hill councilman says he isn't resigning
Fesperman responds to request for resignation over residency issue
The letter send by Richmond Hill councilman John Fesperman

Richmond Hill City Councilman John Fesperman said Monday he isn't resigning despite a request to do so made Saturday by Mayor Russ Carpenter and councilwomen Jan Bass and Tara Baraniak, who say he no longer lives in the city. 

The three said Fesperman, a golf pro who now works and lives in Columbus, can't effectively represent his constituents. 

However, Fesperman, a longtime Richmond Hill resident, said his wife continues to live and work in Richmond Hill and he's done nothing wrong by taking employment elsewhere, work that requires him to be away from home during the week. 

In a statement sent by email Monday, Fesperman said he's "always accessible via phone or email and I do regularly attend the monthly council meetings."

He also claims the request may be due to his questioning of expenditures. 

Here's the entire statement from Fesperman.

"Let me set the record straight. Recently there was an article in the Bryan County News in regards to Mayor Russ Carpenter asking for my resignation due to the fact that I have to work out of town. Many elected officials are salesmen or have jobs that takes them away from home for many nights during the month. I too have such a job but nevertheless I am always accessible via phone or email and I do regularly attend the monthly council meetings. There is much more to this request for my resignation and I will explain in more detail. I have usually been the lone council member that questions capital expenditures {city manager's new Tahoe}, wants to explore ways to combine services with the county that could save both governments money instead of duplicating services {study to consolidate fire services), and recently questioned whether we really need a new bridge built on Timber Trail Rd. I was elected by the citizens of Richmond Hill to do what is right and to insure that tax monies are spent for goods and services in the best manner possible. I make no excuses for my actions and will continue to be the people's representative even if some of my other elected council people treat me as the "odd man out". They might try not to include me in many discussions but I made a pledge to represent the people and that is what I am going to do. Proudly serving the people John Fesperman."

Carpenter said he confirmed Tuesday that Fesperman was moving and "wanted to stay until June, which I didn't really like. Then he changed his mind and texted yesterday that he planned to stay the remainder of his term."

Carpenter said he thought about waiting to make the announcement Monday, "but didn't want it to look like the city was withholding information." 

Carpenter said the city's charter says one must have legal residence for two years before running for office, a requirement Fesperman met. 

"He obviously did when he ran.  Residency requirement in charter is ambiguous, something I will seek to change. He may not be operating outside the charter, but, in a real, practical, and fair way, he should not work/live 250 miles from the city and expect he can serve the residents," Carpenter said.

Fesperman is in his second term, which expires in 2019, according to the city website.

Here's a link to the initial story. 

Richmond Hill officials calling for councilman's resignation over residency

John FespermanWEB
Richmond Hill City Councilman John Fesperman
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