Village Council

Hempfling to leave Council

Due to what she said was an increasing demand on her personal time, Village Council President Judith Hempfling announced that she planned to leave Council before the end of her current term. Hempfling said she would resign once the Village approved the final draft of the zoning code revision, likely sometime in January.

“I have enjoyed being on Village Council and I’ve enjoyed being Council president,” she said during Monday’s Village Council meeting. “I believe in democratic governance. It takes participation for it to work well. It’s been an amazing experience for me, and I feel sorry I have to leave before my term is up.”

Council member Karen Wintrow said she had enjoyed serving on Council with Hempfling  for the past seven years.

“You’ve really grown, and your leadership has really grown, and I’ve enjoyed working with you,” Wintrow said at the meeting. “Serving on Council is a big commitment.”

Hempfling was first elected to Council in 2006, and in 2010 she was re-elected for a second four-year term, which is set to expire at the end of 2013. It will be the responsibility of the remaining four members of Council to appoint a fifth member to replace Hempfling for the remainder of her term. In the past Council has sometimes asked the candidate who received the next highest number of votes in the most recent Council election.

In an interview on Tuesday, Hempfling said she has been thinking for some time about needing more time to manage her personal life and job. Working as a full-time Hospice nurse in Springfield and taking care of aging parents and now a new grandson has caused her to have to choose between her family and her responsibilities as a Council member. And as a person who approaches commitments as “all or nothing,” she hated having to choose.

Hempfling considered stepping down as president of Council and staying on as a member, but she decided resigning would be better for both her and the village.

Being a member of Council was very time consuming and “took up a lot of mental space.” For as small as the town is, Village government does a lot, which requires a significant amount of work from both Council and Village staff. Hempfling quoted former Yellow Springs school board member Richard Lapedes, who said that being a Council member was like “school board on steroids.”

But in addition, Yellow Springs citizens have very high expectations of Village Council, which requires Council members to do even more work.

“It’s great that citizens have high expectations, but I don’t know if people realize how much work we do.”

Hempfling, 60, plans to stay in the village and said she would perhaps consider running for Council again in the future.

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