July 22, 2014

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Village administrator resigns in Grafton

GRAFTON — Patrick Mudge resigned Monday as Grafton village administrator.

Mudge

Mudge, who was on the job less than a year, said while he wishes the village well, he disagreed with some of the things that were happening there.

“I didn’t feel that certain things were going the way they should have been going,” he said late Monday. “I feel like I was doing a lot for that village, and I felt like I wasn’t being listened to.”

Mudge said he successfully pushed to have leaf collection implemented in the village. He also wasn’t pleased with how the village was handling discussions about having the county’s 911 Call Center take over police dispatching duties.

The Call Center already handles dispatching services for the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office and several fire departments.

Mudge said he understands the concept, but didn’t feel the discussions between the county and Grafton were handled as delicately as they should have been, given that the current dispatchers’ jobs were on the line.

Grafton Mayor Megan Flanigan said she was unaware of any tensions between Mudge and others in village government.

But Mudge said he didn’t see eye-to-eye with some of the elected officials in the village, including Flanigan.

“I’m not saying she was wrong, but it wasn’t my view,” he said.

He also said that he thought some of the issues facing the village should have been addressed sooner.

“We shouldn’t be waiting for budget time to address issues, we should have addressed them when they came up,” he said.

He said his own secondary role as safety-service director, a role traditionally filled by the mayor in Grafton, was likely to have ended soon as part of the village’s efforts to save money. He said he didn’t necessarily disagree with that reasoning.

Flanigan said Mudge sent an email formally leaving his job on Monday, although she indicated that Mudge had expressed his plans to do so in the days beforehand.

She said she isn’t certain what prompted Mudge to quit.

“He didn’t really give a reason,” she said.

Mudge’s departure comes in the wake of several controversies that have swirled around the village in the past year.

The village’s police chief, Lonnie Carroll, was fired by Flanigan with the backing of Village Council in August and has filed a lawsuit seeking reinstatement. Flanigan has declined to say why Carroll was fired and replaced with Dan Clark, who was a part-time patrolman for the village until being elevated to the chief’s job after Carroll was ousted.

Mudge also was involved in a controversial proposal that the village offer extra police protection in Eaton Township, something that was condemned by Lorain County Sheriff Phil Stammitti, who is responsible for law enforcement in the townships and whose deputies Eaton Township paid for extra patrols.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or bdicken@chroniclet.com.