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Thursday, December 01, 2005

Batten absent since election

by Mike Lesko,
Staff Writer: Bedford Sun Banner
Thursday December 1, 2005

BEDFORD- Warner Batten is a no show.

Batten the newly elected Bedford Ward 1 councilman, has not attended any of City Council's three meetings since election day in which the city budget for the upcoming year was discussed.

His fellow council members are not pleased.

"I'm concerned that he hasn't been here," Vice Mayor Greg Pozar said.

"Warner is doing himself a disservice," Councilman Don Saunders said. "This is a critical part of the job. You need to be involved in these kind of discussions."

Batten, who defeated incumbent Ron Lisy in last month's general election, cannot vote because he will not be sworn into office until January."

Still, city leaders always invite newly elected council members to the weekly budget sessions in November and December.

Mayor Dan Pocek sent Batten a letter that read, in part: "It is customary to invite the newly elected officials to attend all work sessions of council prior to their being sworn in."

Batten said, "I got the letter saying I couldn't take part (in the decision making), but there is no particular reason (for not attending)."

Saunders said Batten said that if he couldn't have any input he wasn't coming.

"Granted, Warner can't vote, but he still is an integral part of it," Saunders said. "You can make comments. He may see points that were of a similar nature from the past where he could add insight. Everybody's opinion counts."

Pocek said he would ask Batten his opinion if he showed up, addind "It's simple protocol."

"Warner should know that," Councilwoman Marilyn Zolata added. "He saw a lot of people come on council in 20 years."

Batted, a 20-year council veteran, lost his seat four years ago to Lisy. Leading up to the last election, council members endorsed Lisy.

"Ron (Lisy) worked hard," Pocek said. "He has been a good member of council."

Batten said the lack of an endorsement by council did not affect his decision to stay away.

"That's the first time I've heard that," Batten said.

Told that other council members were annoyed by his absence, Batten said, "I can't help what they think."

"I might attend," Batten said Sunday night. "I don't know."

However, when Monday night rolled around, Batten was absent for the third consecutive week.

Contact Mile Lesko at or call (216)986-5869

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Blogger RonL said...

For the record I attended all budget meetings, and regular meetings of Council after my election in 2001, and I will continue to attend all meetings until the conclusion of my term on Dec. 31st.

6:18 PM  
Blogger Truth in Bedford said...

This is terrible news for Bedford Tax Payers. I am using this as an entry to my blog as well. I have my own things that I would like to add!

4:28 AM  

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