Nelsonville City Council carries on

Nelsonville City Council held its regular Monday night meeting April 10, as if last week’s resignations (and rescissions of those resignations) — never happened.

NELSONVILLE, Ohio — Nelsonville City Council held its regular Monday night meeting April 10, as if last week never happened.

Four council members resigned last week — then three of them rescinded their resignations. Although the resignations were passed on to the board of elections, council proceeded as if the resignations hadn’t happened. 

Council President Tony Dunfee resigned Thursday, March 30; council Vice President Gregg Clement and recent council addition Neil Sommers resigned Friday, March 31. 


Council member Nick Smith resigned Tuesday, March 28, and has no plans to return to the seat. Sommers said he was advised that because rescissions came in before the body had formally accepted the resignations, the council could proceed as normal.

One council seat remains open. Letters of interest may be sent to or by April 23, according to the city’s website.

During the meeting, new City Manager Bernard “Bernie” Roell presented drafts of city mission and vision statements. Sommers had suggested creating the statements at a previous meeting. 

Roell’s mission statement draft stated:

“The city of Nelsonville, its council members and the administration of the city of Nelsonville are committed to excellence in the provision of quality municipal services designed to protect the lives and the property of the visitors and citizens; who encourage business to invest, families to live, growth promote the natural beauty and tourism activities of the area provide, and provide for responsible and orderly growth.”

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The draft vision statement calls on the city to “highlight/note on our historic assets; invest in our community infrastructure; seek out entrepreneurial businesses, organizations and institutions; leverage technology and grant resources to expand our economic base; provide services for citizens and visitors; keep the environment and safety of our community and employees always in the forefront. “

Roell also addressed the resolution of a hot topic among city residents in recent weeks: a “trailer” temporarily parked in city limits. Roell said the trailer has been sold and is to be moved this week.

Roell has been hired on a 90-day basis. According to the Athens Messenger, he was a finalist in 2020 for the position, which went to Scott Frank, who resigned in January.

Roell has a background in chemistry and according to his LinkedIn, owns multiple businesses including 1st Choice Chemical Consulting, LLC, 1st Choice Property Management LLC and Adventure Pro Outdoors LLC, located at 1299 E. Canal St. in Nelsonville

In other business, the council heard first reading of an ordinance that would enforce a $30 fee for check or credit card payments to the city that bounce. After three bounced payments, the ordinance authorizes the auditor to require individuals to pay with cash, cashier’s checks and/or money orders, for up to two years. The council also discussed the status of some $1.4 million in funding allocated for downtown beautification from the nonprofit Survivors Advocacy Outreach Program.

Additionally, interim Nelsonville Police Chief Devon Tolliver shared statistics from the department’s March report:

  • 403 calls for service.
  • 61 traffic stops, 22 of which resulted in citations.
  • 10 criminal arrests.
  • 16 warrant arrests.
  • Charged 18 individuals with trespassing. 
  • Four vehicle accidents.
  • One officer resigned.

Additional reporting by Dani Kington

Nelsonville City Council meets every other Monday of each month. Its next regular meeting will be Monday, April 24 at 7 p.m. in Nelsonville City Council Chambers, 211 Lake Hope Drive. Meetings are also livestreamed on YouTube. Find more at

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