By: Shar Dimick
THE VILLAGE REPORTER
Wauseon Mayor Kathy Huner administered the “Oath of Office” to her replacement on city council at the November 17th meeting.
Jon R. Schamp, the former finance director for the city, was appointed November 13 to fill Huner’s unexpired term on city council. He unsuccessfully ran for council last November. His term expires December 31, 2017. Huner also administered the Oath of Office to Wauseon Police Auxiliary Sergeant Kevin Knierim.
In other Council business, Martin Estrada from the Safety and Code Committee reported that they recommend removing specific breed language (regarding pitbull-type breeds) from its vicious dog ordinance. The state of Ohio amended its vicious dog law in 2012 to remove breed-specific language and many other cities in Ohio followed suit. The reason behind the change, Estrada said, is that the law is difficult to enforce because without a DNA test it is difficult to legally identify pitbull-type breeds. A vicious dog would be defined as a dog whose aggressiveness could cause injury or death to a person. Police Chief Torbert said that Wauseon does not have a major problem with vicious dogs. With the new wording, citizens would no longer have to register pitbull-type dogs and cannot be punished simply for owning a specific breed of dog. The recommendation passed 5 to 1. Councilor Rick Frey was the dissenting vote.
Heather Kost, chair of the finance committee, reported that they had no recommendations for council. She said that they had a meeting with Glenwood landowners regarding their concerns on the assessments made on their property. The assessment is based on the total project cost for the new Glenwood Ave. Landowners have 20 years to pay the assessment, which comes due in January 2025. Thomas McWatters, City Law Director, said owners then have 5 years after it is due to make the payment. He also said that they are looking into extending the pay-back period an additional 8 years. This would make the assessment due January 2038.
Kost also reported that the finance committee also meet with Fred Lord from Clemens & Nelson in regard to revising the city’s job descriptions and wage and compensation services, who will be providing a proposal. They were last updated in the early 1990s. Kost also said that the committee also meet with Dennis Richardson, Director of Public Service to discuss Public Works succession planning and with Fire Chief Rick Sluder to discuss strategic planning for the Fire Department.
Shane Chamberlin, Chair of the Parks committee reported that in order to save on utility bills the shelter house at Home Coming Park will be closed for the winter as it was last year. He also said that they recommend turning the north-east corner of Biddle Park (previously designated for fast-pitch softball fields) into soccer practice fields to alleviate wear and tear on the playing fields. Chamberlin also said that depending on weather they plan to create an outdoor ice-skating rink near Home Coming Hill. Chamberlin also indicated the pool survey results are now in but have not been presented to the park board.
Finally, Councilor Estrada mentioned that the U.S. flags that lined the sidewalks in downtown were removed a few years ago because they were broken and stolen. He said they are gathering quotes and proposals for installing flag poles at a 45 degree angle on the utility poles instead. The flags would be lit by the utility lights and fly from Memorial Day through Labor Day. He said that they are hoping Public Works will be able to install the flag hardware at the same time they remove the holiday lights.
Shar may be reached at