P.O. Box 70, Woodsfield, OH 43793
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Box 70, Woodsfield, OH 43793.
Celebration Marks Forni’s Last Day on the Job
Mark Forni with wife, Luanne and son Joshua
by Arlean Selvy
Three-thirty p.m. March 27, marked more than the end
of the work day for Monroe County Commissioner Mark
Forni ... it marked his last regular board session.
However, it wasn’t a day of shaking hands in sadness,
commission clerk Allyson Cox had arranged a gathering
of county employees for four o’clock in the courthouse
lobby. It was a time of congratulations and cake -
punch and pointed comments about how much Forni will
Forni resigned his position as county commissioner
effective April 1. On April 2 he began his new job
with the Ohio Department of Agriculture.
He was in his 19th year as county commissioner.
Forni said he felt bad about leaving before his term
was up but the opportunity and challenge arose, and it
was too good to pass up.
Forni was appointed by Gov. Ted Strickland to the
Department of Agriculture’s Ohio Rural Development
“I’m proud of him as a Monroe Countian and as a
democrat to get an appointment from the governor,”
said John Pyles, county commissioner.
Pyles recalled his first day as a township trustee in
1990, and how nervous he was about making decisions.
He said he looked to the experienced trustees for
help. “My first day as commissioner, I looked to Mark
for the guidance and information I needed,” said
Pyles, adding, “Mark has done a good job.”
“I’ll miss working with him,” said Allyson Cox,
commissioners clerk. “I can ask him questions and if
he doesn’t know the answer, he knows who to call,” she
said, noting his vast knowledge of county issues.
“I’ll probably be calling him,” she laughed. “I have
every phone number he has available to call.”
Pyles agreed, he said he feels better because Mark
has given him all his telephone numbers.
“I appreciate everything all of you have done [with
regard to working together for the county],” Forni
told those gathered to wish him well. “I appreciate
you being a part of my life,” he told the nearly 50
individuals gathered in the courthouse to offer their
Forni made note of two employees in particular,
Jeanette Knuchel and Vickie English. He thanked them
for all the times they helped with the financial
issues. Knuchel works in the auditor’s office and has
a tight grip on budget matters. English spent several
years in the auditors office and continues working
with finances in the sheriff’s office.
He’ll be missed,” said Sheriff Tim Price. “He was
always good to work with if there was an issue of
concern. I wish him well.”
“We’ll miss him” seemed to be the general consenses
of all who gathered around.
“I can’t imagine who could fill his shoes,” said
Carol Hehr, who worked under commissioners as
director of Recycling and Litter Prevention. “I
appreciate the 13 years he backed my program. He’s a
“He was a great commissioner,” added Manifred Keylor
who was seated next to Hehr. He will be greatly missed
in the county.” Keylor, chief deputy in the sheriff’s
office, noted the years of knowledge and experience
Forni takes with him.
Forni, in his short remarks of appreciation to the
group, made note of the years he and a couple others
have spent working for the county. “We’re sort of the
old people in the courthouse now,” he laughed.
He expressed his appreciation to elected officials
and to Commissioners ‘Sonny’ Block and John Pyles.
“I appreciate your working with us,” he told elected
officials. He recalled how, in the beginning of his
years as commissioner, the board met once a week ...
“now we’re here two to five days a week,” he said.
He told Block and Pyles are in for tough times, and
they will have to work through them. He asked that
county employees and elected officials work with
commissioners through the years ahead.
“I truly enjoyed [the years as commissioner] and
appreciate the party,” said Forni.
“What am I going to do ...” lamented Commissioner
Block. “He has so much talent and knowledge and I
appreciate the knowledge he brings to the table. I
will miss him,” he added. “This is great opportunity
“Mark has always been a big help to me,” said BethAnn
Rose, clerk of courts. “He knows how things work in my
office and has worked with me. I’ll miss him.”
“I’ve worked with Mark for 10 years,” said Raymond
Bauer, CHIP program coordinator. “I’m going to miss
him. It’s been a pleasure to work with Mark.”
“Mark has always been a strong supporter of
Extension,” said Bruce Zimmer, OSU Extension Educator,
4-H Youth Development. He noted that even after
Extension had to put on a levy, Forni’s support for
Extension continued to be strong. Zimmer said Forni
has served on the State Extension Support Committee as
a local advocate for Extension throughout Ohio.
The Community Improvement Committee will miss Forni,
“It will be hard to replace him,” said Dean Gramlich,
CIC president. “A commissioners job is not an easy
job.” He said the CIC relies on Forni - especially
with regard to rules and regulations concerning the
Commerce Park. He noted, too, that it’s hard to get
new businesses with the school situation as it is.
“Short and sweet! We’re going to miss him,” said Chad
Hammond, Wildlife Forestry Specialist for the Soil and
“I feel like the county’s loss is the state’s gain -
as far as Mark’s contributions to the county,” said
Tammy Jones, program manager, Soil and Water
Conservation. “Mark served on our Board of Supervisors
prior to becoming county commissioner,” she said.
“I hate to see him go,” said Betty Schindler as she
left the courthouse following the gathering. “He been
in the courthouse over 18 years.”
Schindler worked directly for commissioners during
Forni’s term for nearly five years.
Forni’s son, Joshua, told the Beacon, “I’m fine with
it,” when asked how he felt about his dad taking another job.
“He’s excited,” said Forni’s wife, Luann. “We’re all
up for the challenge,” she added.
“Mark has strong ties in Monroe County,” concluded
Commissioner Pyles. “Even though he has another job -
he’s dedicated to Monroe County and to giving the
guidance and advice to help make Monroe County
Visit Courthouse, Officials Approve Budget
Photo by Martha Ackerman
First and second grade students of St. Sylvester
Central paid a visit to the courthouse March 27 and were given the
opportunity to sit in a chair at the
desk of county commissioners. Seated from left are Cassidy Rainey,
Alesha Yontz and Morgan Dick.
Standing, from left, are Joni Betts, Matt Thomas, Brooke Rainey, Allen
Christman, Alexis Dick, Colby Dierkes, Taryn Burkhart, Paige Collin,
Neilie Dimmerling, Ryan LaFollette, Jacob Hooper Ashtin Austin, Dylan
Baker and Leslie Lohr. In back are first grade teacher Marlena Kress,
county commissioners John Pyles, Mark Forni and Francis ‘Sonny’
Block, and second grade teacher Annette Duke
Visit Courthouse, Officials Approve Budget
by Arlean Selvy
Road closures, project awards and the budget were priority matters
at the March 27 meeting of Monroe County commissioners, who
entertained the company of first and second graders from St. Sylvester
The students, on the agenda for 10:45 a.m., filed into the
commissioners office in an orderly manner and quietly sat down, some
sharing the limited number of chairs.
The group was welcomed by Commissioner Mark Forni,
who engaged them in conversation. They listened intently as he shared
with them the duties of county commissioner.
Handouts concerning various county offices were distributed by
Commissioner Francis ‘Sonny’ Block, who talked to them about how
important it is to know about government.
Students also experienced the excitement of sitting in the large
overstuffed leather chairs used by county officials. Commissioner John
Pyles told them a story about his being very young and wondering how
it would be to sit in an official’s chair. When he was permitted to
do so ... “It felt so good,” he told
them, moving in his chair to impress upon them how he felt at that
time. “Would you like to sit in them?” he asked.
They were excited and took turns sitting in the three leather chairs.
Pyles explained to them that, having been in kindergarten, and now in
first and second grades, they know how learning works. He said that if
being a commissioner was like being in school, Mark would be in the
19th grade because he’s been a commissioner for 19 years, and
‘Sonny’ would be in the second grade.
“Being new”, he told them, “I would be in kindergarten.”
The children enjoyed and identified with Pyles’ analogy.
“Having the students here is the sunshine of our day,” said Block.
“I’d like to see more youth visit the courthouse offices.”
Each of the students gave Commissioner Forni a handmade card of
congratulations on his new job with the Ohio Department of
Forni assumed his new duties April 2.
Deputy Auditor Jeanette Knuchel spoke at length with officials,
offering her opinions and suggestions for
Commissioners approved 2007 permanent appropriations
in the amount of $22,242,313.81 of which $3,718,998 is in the General
Bids were awarded for two projects, culverts in Seneca Twp. and a
generator for Clarington. In both cases, the lowest bid was accepted.
The generator will be purchased from Buckeye Power Sales, Blacklick,
Ohio at $27,223.
Culverts will be purchased for the Seneca Twp. project from Ferguson
Water Works at $7,811.95.
On the recommendation of Common Pleas Court Judge Julie Selmon,
Attorney James L. Peters was appointed to the Public Defenders
Commission. Atty. Peters replaces Selmon on the commission in that
not permitted to serve in that capacity.
Clerk of Courts BethAnn Rose and Deputy Auditor Jeanette Knuchel,
spoke to officials about the need for money to hire an employee in her
office, due to
the death of Janet Keevert. Rose said she plans to replace Keevert
individual from the Titles office and will hire a new person for the
Commissioners viewed Center Twp. Rd. 2322 and at 2 p.m. a public
hearing was held to close it. Attending were Drew Dimmerling, township
trustee; and William and Hedy Simmons, property owners. Closed was
11-tenths of a mile, previously made an X road on the
Vacated also was Switzerland Twp. 2152 in its entirety, as approved by
Officials approved Woods-field Recreational Committee’s
removal of dead limbs from the tops of locust trees at the park.
Denise Potts, director, Monroe County Public Transportation, spoke to
officials about financial problems in her department. She said when
GMN took over the administration of the Senior Services, MCPT lost
Show Deemed Success
by Arlean Selvy
“The success of the ‘Know Show’ is because our
exhibitors do such a fine job and work so hard,” said Jo Eddy, New
Vision Video, event promoters. Nearly 1,500 attended the March 31-April
1 Know Show, sponsored by Monroe County Chamber of Commerce.
“Having new people there adds something to the
excitement of the show, “ commented Eddy, noting 17 exhibitors were
first-time participants this year.
The Easter Bunny, (Joe Hise) which visited Sunday, was sponsored
by Woodsfield Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Pamida, Weber’s
Pharmacy and Bellwood Drug.
Easter Time and The Bunny Is Out and About
The sun is shining, the daffodils are in bloom. It
finally seems like spring is upon us. Paul and Austin Yonak, sons of
Sara and Michael Yonak of Woodsfield, are enjoying the beautiful
outdoors with Smoke, a bunny belonging to their cousin, Haleigh
Ackerman. They want to wish everyone a “Happy Easter!”
Photo by Martha Ackerman
(read the full obituary in the paper)
<Arlene Weisend, 94, Louisville, died March 30, 2007,
in St. Joseph’s Care Center. She was born Oct. 28,
1912, in Sardis, a daughter of the late Charles and Cora Wright.
<Scott Fogle, 33, Spring Lake, NC, formerly
of Malaga, died March 30, 2007, at his home. He was born Jan. 27,
1974, in Bellaire, a son of Frank Fogle of Somerton, and Mollie
Mellott Fogle of Fayetteville, NC.
<Sandra Lou Hunt Ridgeway Buck, 63, 307
Woodland Ct., Woodsfield, died April 1, 2007, at her residence. She
was born Sept. 19, 1944, at Owings, W. Va., a daughter of the late
Theodore Wesley Hunt and Mary Lou Casto
<Herman B. Rubel, 98, 28117 TR 23,
Summerfield, died March 31, 2007, at Southeastern Ohio Regional
Center, Cambridge. He was born Sept. 20, 1908, near Calais, a son of
the late George and Mamie Ankrom
<Timothy James Piatt, 35, died March 16,
2007, in an accidental drowning in Dry Creek River, Waterford, Calif.
He was born March 12, 1972, in Barnesville.
<Kenneth D. Lallathin, 67, Peavine Rdg.
Rd., Sardis, died March 28, 2007, at his home. He was born Aug. 26,
1939, in Monroe County, a son of the late Brady and Rose Beckett
<Hazel Feldner Walker, 99, died March 27,
2007, at Essex of Springfield, and was surrounded by family.
She was born Oct. 10, 1907, in Woodsfield, the daughter of the late
Asher and Sylvia West Beardmore.
She married her husband, Clarence (Bus) Feldner, on June 8, 1929. They
resided in Woodsfield before moving to Springfield in 1943. Bus
preceded her in death in