HAMDEN — Hamden Village Council on Thursday voted to approve Mayor Terry Wiseman’s appointee for a vacant village council seat during a special meeting.
Stagerlee Beabout, a lifelong Hamden resident who is running for a seat on the council this year, was tapped to serve the remainder of Vicki Wiseman’s term, who resigned Aug. 1 due to health concerns.
Vicki, wife of Hamden Mayor Terry Wiseman, was elected to a four-year council term in 2017.
The four councilmembers present at the meeting — Chuck Boyer, Mike Neri, Mike Claar and Frank Hollingshead — unanimously approved Beabout’s appointment.
Beabout is a 1997 graduate from Vinton County High School. After graduation, he worked as a nurse aide for a few years and later worked at Northwest Hardwoods for a few years in Dundas. He currently works for the City of Wellston as a water plant operator, having spent almost 20 years in the position, and is a junior pastor at Truth Church just outside Hamden.
Mayor Wiseman appointed Beabout to the seat because Beabout was the only one interested in it, Wiseman said during an interview.
“I’ve always been kinda interested in running for council, so a few months ago, I put in my papers to run for council, so I’m on the upcoming ballot,” Beabout said in an interview. “I was approached and asked if I would fill in the seat that I basically would fall into if I won the election anyway, and I said yes. That would give me a three month headstart to kinda get my feet wet.”
Beabout wants to see more transparency in council, adding that members of the community typically don’t know who to go to to resolve issues in the village or know what occurs during the monthly village council meetings.
“(I would) hopefully like to see Hamden not completely go to the wayside,” he added. “It’s already a little village with nothing going for it in a lot of areas, but I’d like to see something come around that would help our community out.”
Attracting new businesses is one of Beabout’s goals, adding that he used to go to a couple of convenience stores in Hamden to pick up ingredients for dinner before they eventually closed. He also remembers a cafe diner in Hamden, which he said has sat abandoned for years.
“I’m hoping I can bring positivity to our community,” he said, adding that he hopes to be an asset for Hamden. “I’ve always been proud to be in Hamden. I like this town; I love it. I want my kids, if they end up staying around this area, to have a good town to live in.”