Justin Booth returns to Nelsonville City Council

Booth rejoins the body after having resigned in January.

NELSONVILLE, Ohio — Nelsonville City Council welcomed back a familiar face Monday night and filled its seventh and final seat.

The body appointed Justin M. Booth to its seventh at-large seat, open since early April. Booth resigned from council in January — for the second time, after rescinding a 2022 resignation . Booth resigned most recently alongside former council member Cory Taylor, less than a week after the resignation of former City Manager Scott Frank

Booth’s appointment followed two tie votes on April 26, when the body could not agree on whether to appoint Booth or Jonathan Flowers, another Nelsonville resident. 


Following a lengthy executive session regarding personnel matters, council had a packed 16-item agenda, including numerous emergency ordinances.

Council voted 4-3 on an emergency ordinance creating two part-time positions: administrative assistant and code enforcement officer. The two positions were once combined. 

Members Booth, Gregg Clement and council President Tony Dunfee voted against the legislation. Booth said a personnel ordinance should have two readings; Clement noted that the city hired its administrative assistant on May 1 and the ordinance is retroactive. 

In a 5–2 vote, council passed another emergency ordinance to increase the fire chief’s annual salary by $8,190 to include a standing information technology stipend, with members Booth and Clement again voting no.

A third proposed emergency ordinance failed 3-2, with members Clement, Booth and Dunfee voting no and members Nancy Bumgardner (Sonick) and Glennda Tingle voting yes (member Neil Sommers abstained). The ordinance, to create the positions and salaries for interim police and fire chiefs in the 2023 budget, will return on first reading. 

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Two more emergency ordinances passed, both increasing the city’s K-9. Emergency ordinance 30-23 accepted a $10,000 donation from Pine Grove Kennels, with funding from donors including the Edwards family, the Baird Bros Co. Foundation, and the former owners of The Mine Tavern. Emergency ordinance 31-23 added $4,000 to the K-9 fund from the $8,000 sale of former NPD police K-9 Attila

Interim Police Chief Devon Tolliver also gave the Nelsonville Police Department’s monthly report. In April, the NPD:

  • Responded to 422 calls.
  • Conducted 70 traffic stops, which resulted in 26 citations.
  • Saw 14 trespassing complaints. 
  • Made five crash reports.
  • Made eight arrests and nine additional warrant arrests.

Tolliver added that the NPD will soon be able to write its own warrants — currently, the Athens County Prosecutor’s Office is the issuing agency. Tolliver later added that the department is now almost completely staffed, down now by only one officer. 

Nelsonville City Council meets every other Monday of each month. Its next regular meeting will be Monday, May 22 at 7 p.m. in Nelsonville City Council Chambers, 211 Lake Hope Drive. Meetings are also livestreamed on YouTube. Find more at cityofnelsonville.com.

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