Wauseon City Council will move quickly to replace its longtime Clerk of Council, who has announced plans to retire this year.
Personnel Committee member Heather Kost said the city wants to hire Margaret Murphy’s replacement prior to her retirement date so the person can work alongside Murphy to acclimate to the position. Kost said the preemptive planning is necessary “because we really want to find somebody who can try to fill her shoes, although it will be difficult.”
Following a discussion at the committee’s June 19 meeting, the members agreed the Clerk of Council position should remain full-time, Kost said. The meeting’s minutes describe the position as requiring attendance at meetings during various hours of the day and as a back-up when the city’s administrative assistant is out of the office.
Murphy has not officially announced her retirement date. Law Director Tom McWatters III suggested she submit a letter of resignation before the city advertises the position.
The Clerk of Council is an appointed position with a two-year term.
In other business, McWatters reported that, in a joint effort with the city’s Public Works Department, Andre Land Forming, a Wauseon excavation business, built a maintenance trail from the Homecoming Park lot to the entrance of a new walking trail planned by the Wauseon Rotary Club in an adjacent wooded area. McWatters publicly thanked the business owner, Paul Andre, for donating the work, valued at about $4,000.
In department reports:
• Wauseon Police Sgt. Jose Gonzales, standing in for Chief Keith Torbet, announced that the department has since 2007 sold just under $200,000 worth of its outdated items on GovDeals.com, an online site used by government entities. The revenue is returned to city coffers.
Gonzales also advised citizens to lock their vehicles when not in use, due to a spate of recent break-ins.
• Public Service Director Dennis Richardson said the city’s Public Works superintendent position has been advertised in-house.
He said the bid process to pave city streets will be advertised July 5 and bids will open July 24. The project is scheduled for completion in September.
Richardson said the engineering cost for a bio-solids project at the city’s Water Reclamation plant will be $186,000. That project will last a couple of years.
And he said work on the new community swimming pool will begin in mid-July.
Kost mentioned that outside visitors to sports tournaments held at Dorothy B. Biddle Park have parked partially on a grassy area around the baseball diamonds. She suggested “no parking” signs be placed there, and a temporary barrier set up until a permanent solution is decided.
“These people come in, and they do spend a lot of money here, so we’d like to keep them coming back, because there are other tournaments they could choose to go to,” she said. “It is a good revenue source for our local businesses, and it’s also a good money-maker for the concession stand.”
Councilor Shane Chamberlin suggested a regulation banning pets from the park be more strictly enforced.
The council passed 5-1 a second reading of an ordinance amending Section 1114 to include a ban on medical marijuana cultivators, processors, and retail dispensaries within city limits. Councilor Scott Stiriz cast the negative vote.
Council members also passed a motion 6-0 to schedule a public hearing Monday, July 19, 5 p.m., in the council’s chambers for an application to rezone a 7.4-acre parcel of land on North Ottokee Street from B-2 – a highway service district – to B-4 – a community mixed use district. The change would allow the construction of a residential/pole barn facility that would also be used for law enforcement canine training.
Reach David J. Coehrs at 419-335-2010.