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The Weekly Informer (4/25/16)

On Monday, April 18th, 2016, at 7pm, the following transpired:

The only absent members was Mr. Marmie. Only 4 citizens attended, myself included.

Council first discussed the piece of legislation – 16-41 – which did not go through committee. According to council Rule 11, both the minority and majority leader have to approve of skipping the committee to bring a measure before the full council. Some changes to a previous piece of legislation forced it to be written as a different resolution, and with Marmie’s consent via text message, the Council was thereby permitted to bring it for a vote on this night.

Council considered and approved by acclamation Mayor Hall's appointment of Kim Lust to the Heath-Newark-Licking County Port Authority Board of Directors for a four-year term.

Under the first section for citizens’ comments:

The only citizen comment came from William Butcher on the streets. President Ellington was kind of shocked that I had nothing to say.

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

1) Ordinances (2nd Reading):

a. No. 16-29: allowing Service Director Rhodes “to enter into an amended agreement with the Newark Development Partners as its agency and instrumentality for commercial development in the City of Newark”. * Allows the City of Newark to transfer property over to the Newark C.I.C. so that said entity can dispose of such. * Allows the city to recognize a piece of property as potentially having an economic development purpose and will transfer it over to the C.I.C..

Commentary: Blake, with the support of only Mr. Rolletta, wanted to amend this measure to put a member of Council – as appointed by the Council President – on the Newark Development Partners Board which oversees the C.I.C. His feeling about this is that it would help make the Board more accountable to the people of Newark if one of the four city-appointed members (of the total ten members) was a Councilmember. Ultimately, after the Mayor and some administration members chimed in to oppose this change, Council voted the amendment down with only Blake and Rolletta supporting it.

Result: The council approved the measure 9-0 with no further debate after the amendment was defeated.

b. No. 16-30: allowing Mayor Hall to secure a “Community Development Block Grant funded subrecipient agreement” with a number of organizations (to be named in the legislation) so as to perform the “activities” listed as part of the grant’s “one year action plan”. * Sub-recipients of the grant will be: Behavioral Healthcare Partners, Salvation Army, St. Vincent DePaul, St. Vincent Haven, Coalition of Care, Newark Development Partners (receiving $60,000), Denison Garden of Hope (receiving $1,000), Licking County Coalition of Housing, Canal Market District, Together We Grow (receiving $2,000), and New Beginnings, with most receiving $5,000 and a total of $98,000 being distributed

Commentary: Mr. Blake had to abstain because he sits on a board of one of the organizations benefiting from this.

Result: The measure passed 8-0-1 with no discussion.

c. No. 16-31: permitting Mayor Hall to apply for a NatureWorks Grant from the state.

Commentary: None.

Result: The measure passed unanimously with no discussion.

2) Ordinances (1st Reading):

a. None.

Commentary: None.

Result: None.

3) Resolutions (2nd Reading): a. None.

Commentary: None.

Result: None.

b. None.

Commentary: None.

Result: None.

4) Resolutions (1st Reading): a. No. 16-32: with a request to have a vote on the 18th, spending money. * $67,900 for the Division of Police: 9,500 for “Termination Sick”, 33,000 for “Termination Vacation”, and 25,400 for “Termination Comp”. * $67,480.96 for “Workers Comp” from the General Fund. * $6,484.25 for “Equipment/Supplies”.

Commentary: As requested, the two day reading rule was waived unanimously after Floyd explained that this had some urgent payouts.

Result: Measure was passed unanimously with no further discussion.

b. No. 16-33: spending money. * $2,582 for “Non-Health Ins”. Service Director Rhodes reports that an air conditioner was stolen from the city at the Civil Air Patrol Everett Park location.

Commentary: None.

Result: Held for a vote in two weeks.

c. No. 16-34: spending money. * $7,200 for “Hardware/Software” from “Siemens Traffic Software”. An update to our traffic software which will permit the system to update itself with a monthly fee.

Commentary: None.

Result: Held for a vote in two weeks.

d. No. 16-35: allowing Mayor Hall to apply “to the Ohio Department of Public Safety Office” for a set of “Ohio Traffic Safety grants…: Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) and the Impaired Driving Enforcement program (IDEP)”.

Commentary: None.

Result: Held for a vote in two weeks.

e. No. 16-36: allowing Mayor Hall “to apply for funding from the United States Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance under the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program”.

Commentary: None.

Result: Held for a vote in two weeks.

f. No. 16-37: allowing Service Director Rhodes “to enter into an agreement with the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) in carrying out the LIC-Newark SRTS project”.

Commentary: Had the emergency clause which somehow skipped my “radar”.

Result: Rath explained that ODOT’s timeline necessitated the emergency. It passed unanimously.

g. No. 16-41: Allowing Mayor Hall to apply for a Community Housing Impact and Preservation Grant from the Ohio Development Services Agency.

Commentary: There was a motion to waive the two day reading rule as the grant writer requested changes to a measure passed in February, that motion passed unanimously.

Result: The measure passed unanimously with no further discussion.

Under the second section for citizens’ comments:

Again, only Mr. Butcher spoke about the streets.

Under Miscellaneous comments:

From the Administration, nothing.

Law Director: Nothing.

Mayor Hall: discussed the workload pending for the tax office and recognized their hard work.


Fraizer’s birthday was recognized. He recognized the thorough recordkeeping of the HHCA of veteran’s records, Johnson acknowledged the anniversary of the Boston Tea Party, Rath recognized a friend’s participation in the Boston Marathon, and called for the city to adopt a business incubator and a dog park. Bubb recognized the unfortunate news about a police officer recently learning that they have cancer, and Mr. Blake was notably unwilling to comment.

What to expect at the next Committee Meeting, when the following committees meet at 5:30pm on :

1) Finance, to consider:

a. Resolution No. 16-38: With the emergency clause, Allowing Auditor Johnson to pay the police division’s bills.

b. Resolution No. 16-39: Allowing Mayor Hall to apply for the Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grant from the Ohio Governor’s Office of Criminal Justice Services.

c. Resolution No. 16-40: spending money.

d. Resolution No. 16-42: spending money.

e. Resolution No. 16-45: with the emergency clause, allowing an increase in the City’s “premium rate for health insurance contributions in order to properly fund the city’s insurance reserve account”.

2) Street, to consider:

a. Ordinance No. 16-11: vacating an alley “between properties at 108 and 112 West Main Street”.

b. Ordinance No. 16-12: vacating an alley “between properties at 301 and 303 Clinton Street”.

3) Rules

a. Discuss Council Rule 8, which pertains to voting and presently reads as follows:

“The action of Council shall be by ordinance or resolution and/or the passage of every ordinance or resolution the vote shall be taken by "yes" or "yea" or "no" or "nay" and entered in the Journal.

When demanded by any member, and seconded, the "yeses" and "nos" shall be taken on the adoption of any question or proposition submitted to the Council; and in taking the "yeses" and "nos" in any case, the Clerk shall call the names of the members in alphabetical order. However, the alphabetical order of voting shall be rotated on a monthly basis. The President shall announce the result of said vote. The Clerk may be required to read the vote taken upon the demand of any member.

The language to be used in moving the passage of both ordinances and resolutions shall be to “move adoption of” or “move to adopt”.”

4) Service

a. Resolution No. 16-44: with the emergency clause, allowing Service Director Rhodes to accept bids and sell City property deemed as “surplus” and not essential.

5) Capital Improvements

a. Resolution No. 16-43: spending money.

Final Thoughts:

Mr. Blake had good reason to pass on his opportunity for miscellaneous comment. In the first measure of the night that council dealt with, he had the assurances of at least one additional councilmember that they would support the amendment that he proposed. However, when the Mayor and everyone else except Rolletta and Blake spoke in opposition, this particular member decided to switch their support although such had been pledged just minutes prior to the meeting.

It had been suggested during the discussion of this legislation that Mr. Blake’s proposal be presented as a separate measure altogether. Interestingly, the Mayor had originally told Mr. Blake that he was in support, but he changed his position in public perhaps because the amendment’s language was adjusted to guarantee both a member of council AND a member of the Downtown Newark Association would have a position. That latter addition to the amendment was requested by the member of council who changed their mind during the meeting.

One last point, and this is where one can definitely understand why Mr. Blake felt betrayed, the Democrats on Council – due to Marmie’s absence – had an effective majority in this meeting. So, they could have passed the amendment here, but chose to wait on Blake’s proposal until it comes up separate and is far less likely to even get out of committee given the current majority.

See you all next week. Thanks for reading.

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