Although the annual Eagles Christmas Parade in Greenfield has been cancelled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a group of citizens have come together to organize a special Christmas afternoon Saturday.
As previously posted on the village’s Facebook page, the Greene Countrie Towne Holiday Fest is set for Dec. 19 from noon to 4 p.m. outside around the City Building. Santa Claus will make an appearance from 1-3 p.m. in a little green truck. Parents will be able to take pictures of their children with Santa in the background. Vendors will be on hand, and there will be an Ugly Sweater Contest for all ages and with prizes awarded.
In the the village’s final council meeting of the year, recognition was at the forefront as village employees were honored for their service.
The village’s longtime finance director, Carolyn Snodgrass, was named December’s Employee of the Month.
City manager Todd Wilkin, who joined the meeting remotely, said Snodgrass is not an employee many citizens see or someone citizens consider when thinking of the village’s day-to-day workings, but without Snodgrass, Wilkin said, “the village would be in trouble.”
It’s not just that Snodgrass keeps all of the village’s finances in order, but that she steps up to other roles in the village offices when needed to help ensure services to the citizens of Greenfield do not falter. An example, Wilkin said, was last week when Snodgrass “single-handedly” kept the water office going during bill collection and posting, all while doing her own job as well.
Also recognized was Lt. Brian McNeil of the Greenfield Police Department. Though a village employee, McNeil was recognized as December’s Citizen of the Month for his “enormous impact on many individuals’ lives and the community in which they live,” Wilkin said.
The city manager noted that McNeil could have been named Employee of the Month, but the administration “wanted to recognize him for the positive impact he has made within the community.
“Thank you, Lt. McNeil, for caring and giving your all to a community that loves and cares for you,” Wilkin said.
Roberta Karnes, who has worked for the village for more than 40 years and served as council clerk for 33 years, was present as council clerk a final time as she has retired. A proclamation honoring her was read during the meeting naming Dec. 16 as Roberta Karnes Day in the village.
Council chair Phil Clyburn said he relies on Karnes and that when the third-floor council chambers were being set up, one of his first questions was where was Karnes’ seat going to be as he said he is always looking to her during council meetings when there is a question of procedure. Clyburn thanked Karnes for her years of dedicated service to the village and the community.
In Wilkin’s report to council, the city manager again thanked Karnes, saying she will be “sorely missed,” and that the village “will never be able to replicate the positive impact she has had on this community.”
Also recognized was Brian Zets, who as served as Greenfield’s law director since 2009. Tuesday’s meeting was his last appearance before council in that role.
A proclamation was also presented to Zets, who joined the meeting remotely. Former city manager Ron Coffey, who worked with Zets during his tenure, presented the proclamation, which spoke about the attorney’s hard work and his always ensuring that actions taken by the village were “legal, ethical, and in the best interests of the community.”
Zets, who wasn’t expecting to be honored, thanked council for the proclamation.
It has been traditional through Zets’ time with the village that prior to his once-a-month reports before council that he and the city manager have dinner at a local restaurant. He recalled that Tuesday, also talking about when he first came to Greenfield when he was considering the position and being shown around by then-city manager Betty Bishop.
“Eleven years, it’s been a great run,” Zets said. “I appreciate the confidence put in me to do the work.”
In other business, several pieces of legislation came before the council that dealt with the village’s water and sewer system improvement needs and allowing the city manager to continue to seek funding for the projects.
On the matter of projects, Wilkin reported that state Rep. Shane Wilkin (R-Hillsboro) in a press release identified several projects in the region that should be approved on the state level. One of those projects is the Mitchell Park Trail connector, which would connect the park to the bike trail and ultimately to Felson Park. Another project noted was one by the Greenfield Historical Society, though no further details were offered. With these two projects, Wilkin said, there would be more than $350,000 in state dollars coming to Greenfield.
Two public meetings are scheduled over the next couple of weeks for input and comment on Greenfield’s new zoning code. The first meeting will be on Dec. 22 from 4-5 p.m., and the second meeting will be on Dec. 29 from 6-7 p.m. Both meetings will be held in the council chambers on the third floor of the City Building. The zoning code update can be found on the village’s Facebook page and on greenfieldohio.net.
Angela Shepherd is a correspondent for the village of Greenfield.