On Monday, the Gambier Village Council met to discuss concerns surrounding the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, parking on Wiggin Street and more.
During the section of the meeting that was open to the public, the Council heard from William Shaffer, captain and jail administrator from the Knox County Sheriff’s Office. Shaffer, who has worked at the Sheriff’s Office for 20 years, told the Council about growing substance abuse and mental health problems in the county. “We need help,” he pleaded. Shaffer is concerned with the number of “dual-diagnosis” cases — people suffering from both drug addiction and mental illness — at his facility but remains hopeful that the problem will get better with help from the community.
Shaffer also announced that he is running for County Sheriff in the upcoming cycle and believes he can keep the Knox County community safe if he is elected to office.
Council member Natalie Wright brought up various issues related to parking on Wiggin Street. Wright brought forward the idea of potentially eliminating some of the angled parking spots due to the impaired visibility they cause. The Council was concerned with turns onto Wiggin Street, where students often cross, especially when large parked vehicles block the view. Wright also observed that many cars parked in these spots for the entire day belong to Kenyon students, who should not be parking there in the first place.
Following parking discussions, the Council later discussed ways to ensure that Gambier residents are aware of various Village-sponsored events, such as 43022 Day. What began as a once-in-a-century celebration on April 30, 2022, has now become an annual spring event for Gambier. Though still a few months away, the Council explained that events like these can only happen with volunteer efforts, and help from students and community members makes a large impact on their success.
The next Village Council meeting will be held on March 4.