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Boston sends off Rev. Bonnie Bates

BOSTON — At its most recent assembly, the Boston town board bid farewell to the Rev. Bonnie Bates of Faith United Church, who had served for five years. Later this month, Bates will head out of state to be a member of the Eastern Ohio and Western Reserve Associations, leaving behind her position with Boston as chairperson of the ethics board, which Bates was instrumental in starting. At the Feb. 6 meeting, Bates was presented with a proclamation from Supervisor Martin Ballowe.

The proclamation stated, in part, “Let it be resolved that the town of Boston, with the town board of the town of Boston, on behalf of the residents of our community, wish to express our warmest wishes and thankfulness to Rev. Bonnie Bates on making our community a better place and providing so much time, knowledge and care to all who have the opportunity and privilege to cross your path. God speed you in your new position in Ohio.”

The proclamation included some of the reverend’s efforts, such as holding monthly worship services at Baker Manor and Fox Run, counselling students at Hilbert College and being a member of the Dunkirk Camp and Conference Center board, where she will remain on a committee. Bates was also instrumental in developing a boundary awareness training that is used in the state of New York.

“She did a great, great job putting [the ethics board] together, with no help from the town,” said Ballowe. “We just felt it necessary that the town have an ethics board and to oversee everybody who works for the town. It’s been implemented; it’s been used. They’ve done a fantastic job.”

Ballowe also noted Bates’ ongoing project of clothing distribution for the town. “She collects clothes over there, just as a distribution for people in our town. They’re able to go over and help themselves to coats, jackets, shoes – whatever is needed – for free. So we do appreciate that.

“I didn’t want her to go unnoticed. I thought it was important. I touched base with the other councilmen; we all thought it was important. She definitely helped myself out, in the first four years of being here, and hopefully everybody else in this building.”

“Bonnie [has] been a great asset to the town,” said Councilman Jeff Genzel. “Four years ago or five years ago, we started the ethics committee, which we thank you very much for putting all your time in and making that committee so special, here in Boston.”

In the wake of her departure, Bates resigned from her position on the ethics board, which was accepted by the board. In her place, by her recommendation, the board appointed Erin Keding as the board of ethics chairman.

In other board news:

– Genzel gave an update on the water project on West Hill. “We sent out our income survey,” Genzel said. “We sent out 195 of them; 51 have been returned, so far. We need 131, to make it a valid survey. Friends and family up there, please return your income surveys. I’m going to follow up with a second letter and then I’m going to follow up with phone calls, to try and get this validated.”

– Councilman Larry Murtha reported on two ice jams by bridges in town, including one south of the bridge, on Patchin Road, and another north of the Hillcroft bridge. “Some trees are blocking the way and ice is building up,” said Murtha. “It’s difficult to get to it, right now. We’ve got some cold weather coming, so we’ve got a little bit of time, but we’ve got some calls in to the experts and, as soon as we get a chance, we’ll try to get some estimates, to see how to get those things taken care of.”

– Ballowe reported that the town is “always looking for help” for Meals on Wheels, the planning board and the zoning board.

The next board meeting in Boston is scheduled for Feb. 19 at 7:30 p.m. During that assembly, a public hearing will be held, regarding the special permit for a proposed bed and breakfast establishment on Ward Road at 7:40 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Boston Town Hall, located at 8500 Boston State Road in Boston.

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