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Councilman claims complaint 'fruitless'

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OVILLA - Place Three Councilman James Wade has been facing criticism over a Main Street sewer development project for the past several years.

“I am being criticized for something that will help all commercial business here in Ovilla,” said Wade.

Wade, upset over a council ethics policy, had a complaint filed against him by Mayor Pro-Tem Tom Leverentz stating Wade and his family have a personal and financial gain over a waste water project Wade is pushing to pass in the city.

Leverentz, a volunteer with the fire department, stated Wade wants to bring back the policy where you can’t be a volunteer if you are sitting actively on city council.

Wade, in order to get his waste water project pushed through, said the only thing in his way is the Ovilla Fire Chief Donnie Pickard.

“All other property and business owners would like to have a sewer line down Main Street,” said Wade, whose family owns property on Main St.

“The only one against it is the fire chief.”

According to Wade, the resolution to allow volunteers on board was passed three years ago for Leverentz.

“Everyone agreed to be unbiased but now I believe he [Leverentz] is,” said Wade.

Wade claims when asked, he was told there were no engineering drawings made up for a sewer line in Main Street.

“I don’t know if the current administration just didn’t know or what but, when I did a PIA request for all the sewer drawings in the city, I got one that was done about 8-10 years ago.”

In his complainant to the city, Leverentz stated he “ felt that James Wade was trying to influence my vote on the Waste Water Project by threatening to reevaluate the matter of the Volunteer Ordinance.”

According to Mayor Bill Vansyckle, all complaints have to be taken seriously.

From city council agreement, a subcommittee comprised of Vansyckle and Place Five Councilman Richard Dormier will oversee the complainant based on their Code of Ethics policy.

Leverentz is on board, but since he is part of the complainant, Dormier will fill his vacancy to not impose any kind of conflict of interest.

The committee will met with Leverentz Monday, Jan. 31 and will meet with Wade Thursday, Feb. 3 in hopes of a resolution.

Action will be taken at the next regularly scheduled council meeting on Valentine’s Day, Monday, Feb. 14.

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