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The Weekly Informer (3/12/16)

On Monday, March 7th, 2016, at 7pm, the following transpired:

All members were present.

On the appointment - for a five year term - of Mary Billy to the Combined General Health District Board, after the Mayor described Mary’s experience in serving the people of Newark, Council approved such by acclamation (in other words, not speaking in opposition).

Council received and filed into the record a communication from the Ohio EPA notifying the City that Tectum Inc. had been granted permission to “discharge into Raccoon Creek”.

Under the first section for citizens’ comments:

William Butcher spoke up yet again about street conditions near his home, asked about the opening of the new Cherry Valley exchange, and about the plans pertaining to the next Strawberry Festival.

David Greene extended an invitation to the community for a Freedom School-hosted event at the Library featuring Dr. Fadhel Kaboub of Denison University with a special emphasis on the need for a living wage. He noted the importance of remembering the rise in poverty despite recent job numbers.

On to the legislation (descriptions as seen at my facebook page):

1) Ordinances (1st Reading):

a. No. 16-02: with an emergency clause, a measure objecting to the annexation of a two acre portion of Newark Township.

Result: Motion by Rath, seconded by Bubb. During the discussion, there was some obvious – and understandable – confusion about the purpose of the legislation before council. Law Director Sassen reminded council that they approve the annexation by rejecting this legislation. Failed 10-0 (which means that the annexation was approved).

b. No. 16-03: a measure to amend our Property Maintenance Code for the purpose of "provid[ing] standard fees for certain abatement actions".

Result: Held for a second reading (vote in two weeks).

2) Resolutions (2nd Reading): a. No. 16-14: allowing Mayor Hall to apply for a Local Government Safety Capital Grant from the Ohio Development Services Agency.

Result: Marmie motions, seconded by Floyd, no discussion. Passes 10-0.

b. No. 16-15: spending money:

* Allowing the JAG Grant - which comes from the State - amount of $6582.29 to be allocated towards the Police Department's Overtime budget for use in the downtown area. According to Barbara Gilkes in her testimony before the committee, Police Chief Connell plans to use these funds in our warmer months due to all the activities in the area at the time.

Result: Marmie motions, seconded by Floyd, no discussion. Passes 10-0.

c. No. 16-16: allowing Director Rhodes "to enter into a Master Land Reutilization agreement with the Licking County Land Reutilization Corporation to facilitate the reclamation, reutilization, and rehabilitation of vacant, abandoned, tax-foreclosed real property".

Result: Rath motions, seconded by Cost, in discussion, Rath remarks that the measure has been discussed at length and that it will be a “great deal” to partner with the County in “clean[ing] up some property”. Passes 10-0.

2) Resolutions (1st Reading): a. No. 16-20: a money-spending measure, with a request to vote on this early.

* Pemitting the transfer of $2,500 for a trailer - according to Safety Director Spurgeon -, relative to donations that his department has been soliciting for an "all purpose vehicle".

* Permitting the expenditure of $87,500 from the Intra-/Inter Governmental fund for distribution of 2015 income collections: $85,000 to JEDZ1, $1,000 to JEDZ1 2016 "Refunds", and $1,500 to JEDZ2.

Result: Agenda didn’t note expedite request, so Marmie had to speak up so it wasn’t held for two weeks. Marmie then motions to waive two-day reading rule, seconded by Floyd. Marmie explains that there are obligations for the JEDZ to “get the money where it needs to go”. Waived 10-0. Motioned by Marmie, Seconded by Floyd, no discussion. Passes 10-0.

b. No. 16-21: with an emergence clause, a measure which would state "what services, if any" that our city would provide for afore-referenced annexation.

Result: Motion by Rath, seconded by Cost. Rath explains that this is to service the property just annexed. Passed 10-0.

c. No. 16-22: with an emergency clause, a measure which establishes "a buffer zone" for the annexation.

Result: Motion by Rath, seconded by Fraizer. No discussion. Passes 10-0.

d. No. 16-23: a money-spending measure, to be voted on without the second reading.

* From the Infrastructure (Bond Note) Fund, spending $15,077.78 for West Church Street "land improvements". City Engineer Morehead said that this is just "a re-appropriation of funds that was on a purchase order that was inadvertently closed at the end of 2015".

* From the Sewer Department Fund, $275,000 for "engineering services" in funding the "design of an anaerobic digester".

* From the Storm Water Projects Fund; Storm Water Utility Fund, $650,000 for "a stream bank restoration project at the diversion ditch out by Granville Road at Raccoon Creek" with half of the amount paid for by a grant from the Muskingum Water Conservancy District.

Result: Despite the annotation in the agenda as well as in the previous committee meeting’s minutes for an expedited vote, it was held for vote on March 21st.

Under the second section for citizens’ comments:

William Butcher expressed his wishes for downtown music festivities.

Joseph Hopkinson spoke up about motorist violations of traffic signs on Londondale Parkway – including speeding and not stopping -, asked for the police to monitor traffic in some way, including using a solar-powered “radar reminder unit”.

Under Miscellaneous comments:

From the Administration, no comments.

Law Director Sassen passed.

Mayor Hall passed.


Floyd commented on her involvement in downtown area and encouraged citizens to partronize the businesses affected by the project underway.

Fraizer expressed excitement for the Land Bank. He also noted citizen-suggested possibilities for the now-vacant basket building left by Longaberger.

Marmie discussed the return of “pothole season” and encouraged the public to use our internet tool called “See Click Fix” to report potholes to the city..

Rath simply called for a meeting of the Service Committee.

Rolletta praised the work of our safety forces in dealing with a standoff earlier in the day on Moull Street. He spoke on behalf of concerned citizens for the preservation of our downtown gazebo and condemned the use of “undesirables” as a term used to reference citizens; particularly the homeless. Suggested the use of police foot and bike patrol to keep the square safe.

Blake remarked on a recent conference he attended with our police chief on helping people with mental health issues deal with such as well as helping to alleviate issues of addiction. Also praised Safety Director Spurgeon for his representation of the city at same said conference. Expressed support for the event mentioned earlier by David Greene and encouraged attendance for such as well as for a United Way event being held that same day at the same location. He also praised the Works Museum and its contributions to our community. Finally, he noted his appreciation for the Mayor provided background information on the nominee considered earlier and reminded everyone of his previous concerns about voting on nominees without knowing the credentials of those considered.

Bubb took a moment to remember a recently-deceased citizen by the name of Lewis Claggett.

President Ellington noted the next meetings.

See you all next week. Thanks for reading.

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