January 2021, In the News...

January 2021, In the News…

In the News…

Golf Cart Tax Motion for Reconsideration Falls Short!

In September, the Ohio Supreme Court unanimously affirmed the Sixth District Court of Appeals, which found the Islander Inn and golf cart rental company owner Mark Mathys had to pay the village license fees for renting golf carts for use on the Village roads. The businesses had challenged the Village’s fees on vehicles for hire. Shortly after the Court announced its decision in favor of the Village, the ruling was challenged with a motion for reconsideration filed by Mathys.

The Village filed a written opposition to the motion and The Ohio Supreme Court came back in what seemed like record time with their decision to deny the motion for reconsideration. This officially concludes this challenge to the Village’s ordinance.

The Village must now go to all the golf cart rental companies and collect the fees that were not paid while the case was in court. The figure is in the tens of thousands of dollars.


Riddle Retiring as PIB Chief of Police

Steve Riddle, Put-in-Bay’s police chief until he was put on administrative leave with pay last June, officially retired at year’s end after coming to a negotiated agreement with the Village.

Riddle, chief since 2017, was put on paid leave by PIB Mayor Jessica Dress a few days after a controversial arrest on June 6th involving a group of mostly black people pulled over for a minor golf cart violation. The incident snowballed out of control and several people were shocked with Tasers.

The Village then hired an independent agency to conduct an investigation of the incident, the conduct of Riddle’s officers and the operations of the police department. The investigation was completed this fall, but the report has not been released to the public due to the Village’s solicitor claiming the report was exempt from Ohio public records law because it’s a “trial preparation record” among other things according to the Sandusky Register.

In the Village’s agreement with Riddle, his employment ended December 31st. He will be paid $36,000, half his yearly salary, over the next six months as an independent contractor for the Village.

After Riddle was put on leave, a former Wood County sheriff deputy, James Kimble, was hired as interim chief.

According to reports in the mainland press, Mayor Dress reportedly plans to recommend to Council that Kimble be hired as Riddle’s replacement.


The previous piece is published in this month’s Put-in-Bay Gazette. The Gazette has been producing incredible independent Put-in-Bay island news for over 40 years. If you have any interest at all in what is happening on South Bass Island, we urge you strongly to subscribe to the Put-in-Bay Gazette. One-year online subscriptions are only $15, and print subscriptions are available as well. To subscribe please visit the Put-in-Bay Gazette subscription form.

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