Wauseon Council resolves agenda quandary


By David J. Coehrs - dcoehrs@civitasmedia.com



Wauseon City Council on Monday approved the inclusion of new language on its meeting agendas that resolves the question of adding last-minute items.

Council members passed a motion to incorporate wording that allows them to carry a meeting into an unscheduled executive session when deemed appropriate. The language also allows no obligation to take action on items appearing on an agenda and the discretion to act on items that don’t appear on it.

The new language goes on to state that agenda items are subject to change, and that the council will make its best effort to notify interested parties of agenda changes prior to a meeting.

The motion was passed in answer to an Aug. 25 incident in which Mayor Kathy Huner unexpectedly called for an executive session at the close of a council meeting. Councilor Shane Chamberlin objected, saying council members should have been advised of the agenda addition at the meeting’s start. Chamberlin said the sudden addition was also unfair to the viewing public.

Huner countered that she was apprised of the need for an executive session only moments before the meeting began. She and Law Director Tom McWatters III, who also was privy to the information, apologized for failing to disclose it sooner.

In other business, a Park Board report suggested an approximately $50,000 project to cover 25,000 square feet of Dorothy B. Biddle Park with blacktop. The board pinpointed several areas conducive to blacktopping, including established parking spots and the park’s drive entrance.

No action was taken. Public Works Superintendent Dave Murry was encouraged to request budgeting for the project, which would be completed in 2016.

At the Sept. 15 Park Board meeting, Murry reported that a blacktop project in Reighard Park will be completed this week. He also reported improvements in Rotary Park, including new siding and outside LED lights for the shelterhouse and new stone around the pond.

At that meeting the board approved an Oct. 10 fundraiser in Imagination Kingdom in Reighard Park for a new community swimming pool.

The Finance Committee reported its approval Sept. 17 of Police Chief Keith Torbet’s recommendation to purchase two LED flashing stop signs for the east and west sides of Walnut Street near the Fulton Street intersection. Torbet said injury accidents have occurred at the intersection because the present Walnut Street stop sign is difficult for motorists to see.

The $2,550 total cost can be covered by a state highway supplies fund. The stop sign purchases must also be approved by the Streets Committee.

Finance Director Jamie Giguere reported at the Sept. 17 meeting that a city employer paid city payroll income tax from 2012-2014 on behalf of individuals not residing in the city. Therefore, a resolution was required to amend the budget to include an approximately $16,000 refund.

Giguere said she needs to verify whether income tax was collected by the proper party before action is taken.

And Regional Planning Director David Wright said Tuesday he will host a meeting concerning downtown revitalization, specifically business and building owner private rehabilitation in the Pride and Preservation target area, on Oct. 7 at 6 p.m. in the fire training room at 230 Clinton St.

In department reports:

• Fire Chief Rick Sluder said the department will assist the city police department with a Safety Day Demonstration during the Chili Cookoff held Sept. 26.

Sluder also reported an upcoming meeting with Fulton County commissioners to discuss the future of emergency medical service contracts.

• Public Service Director Dennis Richardson said the digester lid replacement project at the Water Reclamation Plant is essentially completed.

He told council members preliminary work is being done for the Linfoot Street renovation project. Ohio Gas is replacing some gas mains, and Toledo Edison has relocated some utility poles.

And an electrician is installing aeration and mixing equipment at the city’s Shoop Avenue water tower.

The council also approved motions to suspend the rule of three readings and approve on emergency:

• A resolution to accept “the amounts and rates as determined by the Budget Commission and authorizing the necessary tax levies and certifying them to the county auditor.”

• A resolution authorizing the mayor to enter into a real estate transaction for the sale of property located at 540 W. Linfoot St.

By David J. Coehrs

dcoehrs@civitasmedia.com

David J. Coehrs can be reached at 419-335-2010.

David J. Coehrs can be reached at 419-335-2010.