A city ban on locally-sold products that can skew drug testing was proposed during a light session Monday of Wauseon City Council.
Councilor Shane Chamberlin, who works full-time as a Fulton County adult probation officer, said his concern developed after an attempt was made to supply synthetic urine for an individual’s random drug test through his office. The supplier later said the product was sold by a local retailer.
Chamberlin read through a list of detoxification products sold to falsify drug tests, and said he would refer it to the city’s Safety and Code Committee for consideration. The list included urine testing devices and additives that allow a person to pass a drug screening.
“I can’t think of one legitimate purpose for anybody to have these other than to pass a drug screen that they would ultimately fail,” Chamberlin told Council members. “This doesn’t help the process at all when it comes to accountability.”
Mayor Kather Huner said city and county law enforcement representatives should be included in discussions to offer education on the subject before legislation is proposed. She added that Ohio’s Second District Senator Theresa Gavarone is currently sponsoring proposed drug-testing regulations.
Council members agreed to table a Park Board recommendation that elected officials and other individuals serving on various city boards and committees be granted a half-price discount once each year on renting a city shelter house. All full-time city employees already receive the perk.
Assistant Law Director Kevin Whitlock said he consulted with the Ohio Ethics Commission on the recommendation. “The concern we had was that the elected officials were taking benefits perhaps improperly,” he said.
He said Council members are free to offer perks to city employees or volunteers as a fringe benefit of their positions. “I don’t know, however, that it would be appropriate for you to extend this to yourselves,” he said.
The council agreed to table the subject until further discussions were held.
Park Board member Harold Stickley reported that member Dave Carroll became upset over a report in the Expositor that Chamberlin is pushing to transfer recreational planning duties from the Wauseon Recreation Association (WRA) to the board. Council previously voted to have Law Director Tom McWatters III draft legislation for the transfer.
Carroll told board members at the board’s June 11 meeting that he was unaware of Council’s action, and wants to be included in discussions about the legislation.
Stickley said he informed Carroll the legislation is being drafted with the understanding by Council members that it will be thoroughly reviewed and discussed by them before any action may be taken.
Carroll also reported that he is aware of complaints by parents of children involved in city recreational activities that their concerns with WRA policy sometimes fall on deaf ears. Stickley said he hopes a meeting between the board and the WRA can be scheduled to resolve the problem.
Street Committee member Jeff Stiriz said a city resident requested that a crosswalk button be installed at the intersection of Shoop Avenue and Linfoot Street, and at Shoop Avenue at the city bicycle trail. He said Public Service Director Dennis Richardson was asked to research the cost of a study prior to action being taken.
In a brief Tree Commission report, member Rick Frey said three acres of land has been donated to create a corridor for the Indian Hill Trail project adjacent to Homecoming Park.
In department reports:
• Police Chief Keith Torbet said 68 preschool children participated in this year’s Safety City program. He said the program’s budget is still shy approximately $1,000, and that donations are still being accepted. Donors can contact the police department at 419-335-3821.
Torbet also reported that eight youth recently completed the department’s annual Youth Police Academy.
Richardson said Courtsmiths, a Toledo contractor hired to upgrade Wauseon’s tennis courts in Reighard Park, have power-washed the court surfaces in anticipation of a resurfacing project. He said a week will be necessary to complete the project.
Under new business, Chamberlin asked if the city is close to beginning a sidewalk project scheduled for Leggett Street. Richardson said the city has yet to find a contractor for the job.
Huner said the city has contacted local contractors but, like many contractors, persistent inclement weather has delayed their current projects and made them unavailable.
“They’re having the same problem we’re having. It’s just not enough days to be able to get out there and do it,” she told Chamberlin.
Richardson said the city will consider contracting with an outside company in order to complete the work.
Before the meeting ended, Huner encouraged attendance at the city’s Homecoming event, to be held Thursday through Saturday. The mayor said she realizes the event’s abrupt move to June this year may interfere with other summer plans.
“The Homecoming, to keep it a success, is one of those things that you have to make sure to take the time out to participate in, if you can. This was a last-minute change, and we hate to see it hurt,” she said.
Reach David J. Coehrs at 419-335-2010.