Council Approves Charter Revision Committee Recommendations

IMG_4209 WEBBy: Shar Dimick
THE VILLAGE REPORTER

City Council approved the Charter Revision Committee’s recommendations to make five changes to the City’s Charter to be placed on the ballot in the November election.

Councilor Jon Schamp explained the changes at the May 18 council meeting. He said that the first change revises Section 201(B) and redefines the qualifications for council members (elected and appointed) to not only be a registered voter in the municipality, but also a resident of Wauseon for one year. Schamp said the second change adds a new section (3.02(C)), which provides a means for removal (an immediate removal of the position on a majority vote of the remaining councilors) if a council member does not meet those qualifications at the time of filling or ceases to have those qualifications. Schamp went on to say that this addition, then allows them to remove the lack of qualifications as a basis for the removal of a public official under Section 11.01, which requires the mayor to bring forward the charges and hold a public hearing.

They fourth change, he said, would eliminate an acting-mayors ability to vote twice (once as the acting-mayor and once as a council member) to break a tie vote. Finally, Schamp said that the last change was to clean up some old language in section 9.01 regarding the Director of Finance, because this is no longer an elected position.

Director of Law, Tom McWatters said that he would bring the official legislation before council for first reading at the next council meeting scheduled for June 1 at 5:00 pm.

In other committee reports, Councilor Rick Frey reported that Buildings and Grounds Committee reviewed a quote that was on the high-end, regarding new benches and trash receptacles as part of the downtown streetscape project. Frey said that the committee wants more input before making a recommendation. Councilor Shane Chamberlin gave the Park Board Committee report. He said the Park Board is considering installing a soccer kick wall at Biddle Park on request from citizens. Chamberlin also reported that the recycling containers were installed a Biddle Park and the four diamonds at the north end of Biddle Park should be ready for opening day.

In department head report highlights:
•Fire Chief Rick Sluder said they loaned their reserve fire engine to the Edon Fire Department.
•Police Chief Keith Torbet reported that both the Police Department and Fire Department would be at the Wauseon Primary School on May 22 for Career Day, the Memorial Day Parade is on May 25 at 9:30 am and Safety City begins June 1. He said that they currently have 51 students enrolled and 26% of the donations needed.
•Tom Hall, Zoning and Housing said that they have been busy sending out grass letters and ended up mowing the lawns of one-third of those residents that received letters. He reminded council that the city ordinance states that if the grass is above six inches tall it must be mowed and if the resident does not mow it, then the city will mow at a cost of $50 an hour, which goes on the homeowner’s taxes.
•Dennis Richardson, Public Service reported that construction has begun on the Water Reclamation Plant improvements and the contractor offered a $4000 reduction if they use a different gate than specified, which engineers are evaluating. He said that he met with Clinton Township and settled on installing the sidewalk on the north side of West Elm St. Finally, the received state clearance to award the Linfoot St. project to the lowest bidder.

Finally in other council business, council approved the first reading of a resolution authorizing the mayor to grant a permanent and temporary easement to Rover Pipeline, LLC for the purpose of constructing and maintaining a gas pipeline across the Rails to Trails bike path. They also approved the emergency first reading of a resolution to authorize the mayor to enter into a contract with Bowser-Morner for materials and compaction testing services for the Linfoot St. project and it became effective immediately.

Shar may be reached at
publisher@thevillagereporter.com

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