Fair board accepts Lipps resignation, votes in new members

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GREENVILLE—The Darke County Fair Board held a regular meeting Wednesday evening to accept the verbal resignation of Dudley Lipps, vote for new board members, the capital improvement grant and choose the 2023 Fair Parade Grand Marshall. There were seven board members present.

Fairboard member and treasurer Dudley Lipps verbally resigned via a phone call to Board President Greg Pearson mid-afternoon.

He’s the fourth person to resign from the board in the last three months.

“As if nothing else could go wrong here, I received a phone call this afternoon at 4:15 p.m. from Dudley Lipps stating that he is resigning from his place on the board of directors,” Pearson said first thing on Wednesday.”

While Lipps verbally committed to his resignation, he assured Pearson that he would have it to the office in written form tomorrow.

The board carried a motion to accept his verbal resignation, per advice from their legal counsel.

Due to Lipps previously being the board treasurer, board member Marla Werner offered to step into the position. The board accepted the motion.

When asked if he knew why Lipps had resigned, Pearson responded with confusion.

“He did not [state why he was resigning,]” he said. “He just called me at 4:15 p.m. We’d just spent the day with him, going over the figures that you see on the wall there. We were here until probably 2:30 p.m. going over all of the paperwork we had. Just out of the blue at 4:15 p.m., he calls me and says that him and Sharon had been talking all afternoon, said he was done. He had enough.”

Next, the board discussed, the Darke County Agricultural Society Members that applied to fill the four vacant fair board seats. There were eight eligible applicants: Eddie Morrison, Tim Reck, Brian Rismiller, Krista Fourman, Curt Yount, Craig Bowman, Holly Daugherty and Russ Skaggs.

Last Wednesday, on what was meant to be the regularly scheduled meeting date, the board met for a work session, and interviewed all eight applicants.

The decided that at tonight’s meeting they would vote for the top four, with the top two of the four getting the longer terms, though all four will have to run again at the next fair.

The board voted, and chose Craig Bowman, Brian Rismiller, Russ Skaggs and Curtis Yount to fill the vacant board seats. The top two were Craig Bowman and Brian Rismiller.

Board Vice President Jim Zumbrink gave an update on the capital improvement and fundraiser funds.

As of Jan. 2022, the campaign goal is $2.5 million, and the board has $1,176,327 of that pledged. Of the pledged money, the board has received $904,634, and has $271,693 outstanding. The breakout of the pledges is as follows; Dogs: $100,050, Goats: $131,300, Swine: $721,467 and Multiple Use: $223,510.

Not included in the fundraiser money, is the capital improvement grant funds that the fair received. The board received a total of $500,000 in capital improvement, but used $200,000 of those funds for a water project that was deemed necessary.

They have until Jan. 2024 to use the $300,000 left of the grant.

The campaign goal of $2.5 million

“We’re between a rock and a hard place,” Zumbrink said. “It’s really 2020 that put us at a screeching halt.”

Lastly, the board then accepted a motion for Gail Overholser to be the 2023 Fair Parade Grand Marshall.

The Darke County Fair Board meets the first Wednesday of every month at 7:30 p.m. at 800 Sweitzer St., Greenville, Ohio, 45331, in the meeting room across from the fair office. For more information, contact the fair office at 937-548-5044.