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The Nerk Informer (7/10/16)

On Tuesday, July 5th, 2016, at 7pm, the following transpired:

Members in attendance: 0 absences. Approximately 30-40 citizens attended.

Appointments: None.

Rule 11 Legislation:

a. Resolution No. 16-58: spending money, with a request to vote on the measure on the 5th.

* $25 for “Termination Sick Pay”.

* $90 for “Termination Vacation Pay”.

Commentary: This was brought up at the end of regular legislation.

Result: Two day reading rule was waived and the measure was passed, both unanimous without controversy.


Under the first section for citizens’ comments:

A number of citizens spoke on Ordinance 16-18. It was almost evenly split between supporters and opponents. On the one hand, an organized effort from some churches in the area spoke out against banning discrimination based on sexual orientation. On the other hand, members of at least one other church – alongside other unaffiliated audience members – advocated for the effort at hand. Also, in a passionate rebuke of Ordinance 16-17, David McElfresh – speaking as President of the Firefighters Union (IAFF Local 109) – pleaded for the proposal to be tabled until the bargaining process for the new contract completed in the coming months.

On to the legislation:

1) Ordinances (2nd Reading):

a. Ordinance No. 16-17: amending the position classification, pay range and department authorization tables of the Department of Safety, Division of Fire by creating the classification of Deputy Fire Chief, and setting the compensation therefore, and abolishing one Assistant Chief position by attrition.

* The newly created officer would serve as a stand-in for the Chief when he or she is unable. Also, the proposed salary would “split the Chief and Assistant Chief salaries”.

Commentary: Councilman Rolletta made it clear that he opposed this proposal especially since it would – at a time when the department is badly understaffed - remove someone who could help maintain daily staff requirements.

Result: The final vote was 8-2 in favor, with Rolletta and Hall dissenting.

b. Ordinance No. 16-18: “prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation”.

Commentary: The measure was amended to remove “transgender” with “sexual identity or expression”, with only one “no” vote on the amendment (Fraizer).

Result: Then, after a show of solidarity, Council passed it unanimously.

c. Ordinance No. 16-25: changing regulations of downtown parking.

* Privately-hired Part Time officer to patrol and enforce parking laws from 8am to 12:30pm.

* Reducing the time limit from 3 to 2 hours.

* Reducing the warnings from 3 to 2.

* $50 ticket.

* Also, desired that city provide a change in parking signs and a handheld device for the officer.

Commentary: None.

Result: Passed unanimously without controversy.

2) Ordinances (1st Reading):

a. Ordinance No. 16-26: “changing the zoning classification of…965 Mt. Vernon Road from…Single Family Residence Medium Density Zoning District…to…General Business Zoning District”.

Commentary: None.

Result: Sent to the planning commission.

b. Ordinance No. 16-27: with an emergency clause, issuing a bond anticipation note of $1,120,000.00 to “[pay for] the cost of various street and parking lot improvements, sidewalk construction and lighting improvements”.

Commentary: None.

Result: Passed unanimously without controversy.

c. Ordinance No. 16-28: with an emergency clause, issuing a bond of $1,730,000 for “east main street improvement refunding”.

* Requesting a 20 year bond in addition to the previous 25 year bond.

Commentary: None.

Result: Passed unanimously without controversy.

d. Ordinance 16-29: a proposed income tax increase of .25 – which would set the income tax rate at 2% - to pay for streets and the “capital improvement needs” of our safety forces. To be accompanied by a resolution, as required by State law, to put this to a ballot question for the people of Newark to consider.

* Can not be used for buildings.

* Of the .25 increase, .15 is to go towards streets, .05 to the fire department, and .05 to the police department.

Commentary: None.

Result: Held for a vote in two weeks.

3) Resolutions (2nd Reading): a. Resolution No. 16-53: spending money.

* $500 for General Services, specifically for the police division. Money came from a “local financial institution” donation.

* $3,248 for General Services, specifically for the police division. Claim is that this is from “seizure money”.

Commentary: None.

Result: Passed unanimously without controversy.


Commentary: None.



Commentary: None.

Result: .

d. .

Commentary: None.

Result: .

4) Resolutions (1st Reading): a. Resolution No. 16-54: with a request to waive the two day reading rule, spending money.

* $1,012 for “Law Enforcement Supplies” to replace a device stolen from a defendant’s vehicle. Defendant repaid the city, the money from the repayment is to be used.

Commentary: None.

Result: Reading rule waived and measure passed, both unanimously.

b. Resolution No. 16-55: with an emergency clause, allowing Service Director David Rhodes secure an “ODOT winter contract” in order to prepare for salting our roads.

Commentary: None.

Result: Passed unanimously without controversy.

c. Resolution 16-56: with a deadline hanging overhead, the ballot issue of the proposed tax increase lifting the rate up to 2%.

Commentary: None.

Result: Held for a vote in two weeks.

d. Resolution No. 16-57: spending money.

* $450 for “General Services” out of the NSP Revolving Loan fund to help pay for demolition.

Commentary: None.

Result: Held for a vote in two weeks.


Commentary: None.

Result: .

f. .

Commentary: None.

Result: .

g. .

Commentary: None.

Result: .

Under the second section for citizens’ comments:

Some follow-up commentary on Ordinance 16-18, as well as a brief remark by Tim Waldren about the tax increase proposal, the roundabouts, and a call for city employees to contact him if they are experiencing problems rectifying issues in the workplace.

Under Miscellaneous comments:

From the Administration,

Law Director: Nothing.

Mayor Hall: Nothing.


Members expressed gratitude to Councilman Blake for having the courage and showing leadership on Ordinance 16-18. Mr. Blake was very grateful for the support. All were pleasantly surprised with the respectful tone by both sides of the issue.

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

1) Finance, to consider:

The website is having issues with loading the file holding the meeting’s agenda.

2) Safety, to consider:


3) Street, to consider:



4) Rules


5) Service

Spending money.

6) Economic Development


7) Capital Improvements

Dealing with a proposed annexation.

8) Personnel:


9) Ways and Means:

The website is having trouble sharing the document containing this meeting’s agenda.

Final Thoughts:

Earlier in the night, a special committee meeting was held for Ways and Means wherein opposing ideas were offered by Councilmen Blake and Fraizer for alternatives to the proposed tax increase. Fraizer underlined – complete with a comprehensive packet and presentation thereof – his concerns with the poverty level (purportedly standing at 22.1% in Newark), his belief that increasing the rate above 2% would mean less newcomers, his desire for a three-pronged approach (raising the income rate to 1.9%, imposing a 1 mill property tax increase for a decade, and reducing the municipal tax credit by 10% and his claim that the overall revenue would ultimately be $2.48 million per year), his feelings that the current proposal is a “permanent fix for a temporary problem”, and that we need to have “realistic solutions”. One criticism of his proposal expressed the concern that his proposals – particularly with respect to the property tax – would hit seniors with a $35 increase per year in the cost of living.

Blake’s proposal didn’t involve a packet, but he highlighted how discussing an increase in taxes was difficult for anyone in government. He also pointed out how we need a more detailed debate about our needs: more officers and firefighters, consider an increase to 2.25%, and taking this directly to the people to ask what they want in/from their city. Contrary to Mr. Fraizer’s insistence on comparing Newark to other cities in the region, Blake stated plainly that all he cares about is what’s best for Newark, period. It was noted that two proposed amendments to the tax plan will be offered at the next committee meeting on the 18th.

Some complained about the complexity of Fraizer’s plan (saying it wasn’t fit for taking to the voters door-to-door). Fraizer shot back that there was “no plan” if the income tax proposal fails. Another criticism – charged by the city tax administrator – was that the property tax proposal could actually decrease the income tax revenue as certain corporate interests sought to use the property tax as a write-off from their income taxes. It was also noted that reducing the tax credit most drastically impacts impoverished citizens who work outside of Newark. Councilman Marmie declared that he opposed any tax increases, adding that he doesn’t trust the provisions earmarking funds. In the end, this special session lasted about 50 minutes and the regular council meeting lasted an hour and 38 minutes.

See you all next week. Thanks for reading.

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