The Weekly Informer (5/9/16)

On Monday, May 2nd, 2016, at 7pm, the following transpired:

The only absent members was Mr. Marmie (as well as the Mayor). Only 7 citizens attended, myself included.

There was a public hearing which had not been declared via the agenda available online, nor had it been discussed at length in the recent committee meetings. In fact, both Ordinances had just come out of committee a week beforehand. Despite it being claimed that this was the “second reading”, it was only the first. That is, unless Council is looking at the fact that both pieces of legislation were follow-ups to resolutions of intent passed last year as somehow representing a “first reading”. No one spoke up for or against either, and each of the following two ordinances were passed unanimously with any further discussion:

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

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

Under the first section for citizens’ comments:

A couple citizens spoke, one of which was a local business owner – Kay Little of Yesterday’s Pub – and she expressed her concerns about the trash on a property across the street from her restaurant as well as some “less desirables” being visible to her prospective customers.

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

1) Ordinances (2nd Reading):

a. None

Commentary: None

Result: None

b. None.

Commentary: None

Result: None

2) Ordinances (1st Reading):

a. None.

Commentary: None.

Result: None.

3) Resolutions (2nd Reading): a. 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: Passed unanimously without controversy.

b. 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: Councilman Fraizer mistakenly thought this was for the upgrade to our city’s servers.

Result: Passed unanimously without controversy.

c. 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: Passed unanimously without controversy.

d. 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: Passed unanimously without controversy.

4) Resolutions (1st Reading): a. Resolution No. 16-38: With the emergency clause, Allowing Auditor Johnson to pay the police division’s bills.

Commentary: None.

Result: Passed unanimously without controversy.

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.

Commentary: None.

Result: Held for a vote in two weeks.

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

* $2,422 for Vehicle Maintenance. Director Spurgeon reported that the Command vehicle for “Battalion 1” had an accident recently. The insurance company paid the city – not the Service Provider -, it was financed by the Fire Department, and this is a request to replace funds.

* $3,098.07 for Vehicle Maintenance. Fire Department sold some old supplies and would like to put the fund in their maintenance account.

Commentary: None.

Result: Held for a vote in two weeks.

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

* $61,286.40 for Temp Services. From the Job and Family Services Summer Youth Grant.

* $142,661.83 for Health Insurance in the General Fund. Director Buskirk reported that the Administration is presently in talks with the unions representing our city employees and are looking for a premium increase of 7% with the city and employee share remaining where it is at 88% to 12% respectively. A request for more money to help pay the health bills could be coming later in the year.

* $142,661.83 for the Budget Stabilization Fund.

* $1,547.39 for the Storm Water Fund.

* $11,521.50 for Health Insurance in the Sewer Administration Fund.

* $22,957.15 for Health Insurance in the Water Administration Fund.

* $2,511.11 for Health Insurance in the Com Dev Fund.

* $13,201.92 for Health Insurance in the Street/Traffic Fund.

Commentary: None.

Result: Two day reading rule waived unanimously, Floyd rationalized the necessity of doing so by pointing our how this legislation deals with the apparently immediate need to adjust our health insurance spending. Afterwards, it was passed unanimously with no controversy.

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

* $16,000 for Hardware/Software to upgrade city servers for the first time in 12 years.

* $80,000 for paving and bridges.

Commentary: None.

Result: Held for a vote in two weeks.

f. 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.

Commentary: None.

Result: Rath explained that this was an “emergency” because publication requirement deadlines for the upcoming auction necessitated it. It then passed unanimously without controversy.

g. 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”.

Commentary: None.

Result: Passed unanimously without controversy.

Under the second section for citizens’ comments:

The business owner who spoke earlier took note of how few citizens were in attendance and highlighted the need for the media and perhaps even council to do more to encourage participation.

Under Miscellaneous comments:

From the Administration, nothing.

Law Director: Nothing.

Mayor Hall: nothing.

Council:

A few members thanked the business owner for visiting and for her comments. Fraizer highlighted that it would be great if all (or most) of Newark would do more to keep our neighborhoods clean. He even offered to visit the area of her place of business and help pick up the trash that she spoke of. There were some other comments that are typical of every meeting – remarking on community events past and future, and recognizing the work of others -, but nothing else of substance.

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

1) Finance, to consider:

a. Resolution No. 16-46: with the emergency clause, allowing Auditor Johnson of the city’s tax department.

b. Resolution No. 16-47: with the emergency clause, allowing Auditor Johnson to pay the Police Division’s “bills”.

c. Resolution No. 16-48: spending money.

d. Resolution no. 16-49: allocating revenue collected from the hotel lodging excise tax.

2) Street, to consider:

a..

b..

3) Rules

a..

4) Service

a..

5) Capital Improvements

a..

6) Personnel, to consider:

a. Ordinance No. 16-13: making changes to the Safety Department’s (specifically in the Police Division) “position classification, pay range and department authorization tables” in replacing one police officer position with an Information Technology Specialist.

Final Thoughts:

The meeting lasted just over half an hour. Of all 9 pieces of legislation which were supposed to be technically on their “first reading”, meaning they were just voted out of committee a week earlier, only 3 did not pass at this meeting.

See you all next week. Thanks for reading.


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