By: Rebecca Miller
The sudden announcement from Bob Gilbert that he has resigned from the office of Mayor of Delta hit the news on January 15, 2021. His letter of resignation states, “At the demand of Village Council, I am resigning as Mayor of Delta immediately.”
Council President/Vice Mayor Frank Wilton declined to comment and referred questions to Lawyer Heban of Heban, Murphree and Lewandowski, LLC. Unfortunately, being Saturday, no one could be reached for comment or to answer questions. Wilton said in a phone conversation that he was not free to give the reasons that council asked Gilbert to resign, just stating that they did and referring all questions to Mr. Heban.
When Mayor Dan Miller resigned in 2019, Council Member Bob Gilbert, who had been on council for ten years (and has been a Delta resident for 28 years) decided to run for Mayor and was uncontested. A quote from the speech given to Delta council by outgoing Mayor Dan Miller, which was published in the January 8, 2020 edition of The Village Reporter, said, “I am confident the new council, under the leadership of Bob Gilbert, is up to meeting these challenges (speaking about the good growth happening in Delta).”
Gilbert was sworn in on December 16, 2019 at 5:30 pm in Memorial Hall at 401 Main Street and assumed the position on January 1,2020.
He was excited to have the opportunity to lead the village and in an article from February 12, 2020, he stated that he believed “that in a small town community, events are attractive both for the residents and anyone checking it out to consider living there.”
He was hoping that holding more events would be a healthy choice for Delta, but with the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic, he never got the chance in 2020 to see if that was true. As everything completely changed as far as what could and could not be done, the focus of the mayor needed to change from getting more events, to protecting the residents from COVID.
In his State of the Village Address at the beginning of his term, Gilbert was very upbeat, stating that he was excited and looking forward to all that would continue happening in Delta, and all that would come in the future.
On the village website, he stated, “Delta is a wonderful and thriving community located in the heart of northwest Ohio….Delta prides itself on the quality of education delivered by Pike-Delta-York Schools. Combining quality of life, education and advancing lifelong employment opportunities, Delta is the community where you are always welcome to live, work, or simply stop and enjoy the many things we have to offer. I am proud to represent Delta as Mayor, and I am confident once you visit us you will find, we are truly “the Community of Opportunity.”
With the sudden resignation from the position, and no way to get answers to questions on the weekend, one must wonder if he still feels that way. Gilbert called the January 4, 2021 meeting to order and presided with no apparent problems, which is the meeting in which council ended the long deliberations about the sale of a piece of property to Open Doors and voted to sell it to them with no restrictions. Something must have come to a head over the next week as during the week of January 10-15, 2021 Mayor Bob Gilbert resigned from office.
Wilton will be sworn in as Mayor, as he was Vice Mayor and that position flows into Mayor automatically, at the January 18, 2021 meeting. Due to COVID, the meeting will not be held in person, but can be heard on a conference call.
When asked if any of them would be in person for the meeting and the swearing in, Vice Mayor Wilton explained that it would be “strictly a conference call.” Anyone wanting to be on the call can get the information on the Delta Village Website or by calling the Administrative offices on the morning of January 18.
The agenda for the January 18, 2021 meeting had already been put out for the public, online, on January 14, 2021. Wilton explained that the council will need to amend the agenda before proceeding.
Source: The Village Reporter