Chief, officers resign

By Mindy Kearns - Special to the Register

MASON — Members of the Mason Town Council accepted the resignations of three police officers, including Chief Rich Gilkey, when they met at their most recent meeting.

Mayor Donna Dennis said she received a verbal resignation from Gilkey on May 12. Specific details of the resignation were not discussed at the meeting.

Upon contacting Gilkey, he declined to comment, other than to say he appreciated the time he had in Mason, and especially working with Recorder Christy McDonald, and council members Emily Henry and Ricky Kearns.

Other officers whose resignations were accepted were Shaun Coleman, who had recently been hired as a full-time patrolman, and Matt McCormick, a part-time officer who also works at another department. It was announced that Coleman had received a higher paying job, and McCormick said he was needed more at his full-time position.

Sgt. Colton McKinney was appointed the interim chief, and will serve a 90-day probationary period before a final decision is made. He will receive $17 per hour.

Council member Emily Henry, who also served as the police commissioner, abstained from voting on the resignations, as well as the appointment of McKinney. She said following the meeting that she did not vote because she had seen no formal resignations.

Following an executive session for personnel, the mayor announced Henry would be joining council member Ricky Kearns on the recreation committee, while councilman Marty Yeager would take over as police commissioner.

Plans for a cornhole tournament were announced during the meeting by Kearns. The event will be held June 23, beginning at 10 a.m., at the Stewart-Johnson V.F.W./Lottie Jenks Memorial Park. Open to all ages, there will be no entry fee to participate.

Prizes will include $300 for first place, $200 for second place, and $100 for third place. June 16 is the deadline to register, and those wishing to enter can call the town hall at 304-773-5200 or Kearns at 304-812-0648. The councilman said there will also be inflatables, karaoke, and at least one food vendor at the park during the event.

In other action, the council:

Purchased 29 picnic tables for the park, senior citizen center and town hall;

Heard a report that new locks had been installed on all doors throughout the town hall;

Approved a wastewater project draw down in the amount of $184,248.50, as submitted by Kathy Elliott of Region II;

Held the second reading of a needle ordinance;

Agreed to secure a new flag pole for the town hall, after the former one was hit and knocked down;

Set the Independence Day celebration for July 4, with a parade at noon and festivities to take place at the park after;

Agreed to pay CSX $7,800 for a permit to go under the railroad in Clifton with a 6-inch water line;

Agreed to approach Garrett Watterson and make an offer on an 80 x 200-foot lot, located at 138 Brown Street;

Hired Scott Casto for an “as needed” position to cut grass, with pay set at $9 per hour;

Agreed to hold an auction for various items, including approximately 25 picnic tables, computers, golf cart, and other items, with an ad to be placed in the paper; and,

Agreed to purchase gravel and cold patch for repairs to streets and alleyways.

Attending were Mayor Dennis, and council members Becky Pearson, Emily Henry, Marty Yeager, and Ricky Pearson.

By Mindy Kearns

Special to the Register

Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at

Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at