New Bloomfield faces new changes and big challenges

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NEW BLOOMFIELD - It’s citizens against the city for some residents of New Bloomfield.

The city’s mayor, Greg Rehagen, resigned Wednesday night. His resignation came as a surprise to many, according to New Bloomfield resident Cheri Wilson.

“It was a shock, none of us had heard anything about that or even thought about resigning,” Wilson said.

She said Rehagen stepped down due to health issues, but thinks there are other reasons for his resignation. These other reasons stem from citizens being upset with the city’s leadership lately, she said.

Wilson, along with other citizens, came together after the city let go New Bloomfield’s only police officer in February. The city no longer has its own police department. Wilson said some citizens are not happy with that.

“We’ve had people stealing packages off people’s porches and cars getting broken into. We need our police’s presence,” Wilson said.

Before Rehagen’s resignation, the city agreed to pay Holts Summit to police the city of New Bloomfield.

These actions sparked a battle between people and the city. Wilson formed the Facebook group “Committed Citizens of the City of New Bloomfield” because of the council’s decisions. The page is used for people to share their concerns for the city’s future.

Wilson said she, along with others, have attended city council meetings since March to voice their opinions and ask the council questions. However, she said the council rarely answered their questions or responded with remarks such as, “We can’t answer that, but we’ll get back to you,” but never hear back from the council.

Jennifer Graves lives in New Bloomfield, and said she fears the future of her hometown under the city’s current leadership.

“What’s going on is not right, and it’s been that way for years,” she said.

Martha Siegel was appointed as interim mayor of New Bloomfield Wednesday night.

She said having the Holts Summit Police Department in town will make the city safer for citizens, with full time police patrol, animal control and a resource officer for the New Bloomfield School District.

Siegel said someone had to step up and take on the job as interim mayor. She also said citizens could step up to take on the mayor role.

Siegel is unsure how long she will serve as interim mayor, but she said the city will appoint a new mayor as soon as possible.