Wauseon Mayor Doug Shaw announced his retirement, effective November 3, to City Council during their regular meeting on October 6. Mayor Shaw did not give a reason for his retirement but did note that he has served the City of Wauseon for 13 years – 10 years on City Council and 3 years as Mayor. Mayor Shaw also noted his belief that the City is moving in a positive direction, expressing that “The City of Wauseon is a great place and is moving in a great direction. I am blessed to have been a part of it.” Mayor Shaw’s term was originally set to end at the end of 2015 and, in light of the Mayor’s announcement, Council President Heather Kost moved for an emergency executive session to discuss personnel. No further action was taken after the session.
Procedure for replacing Shaw is found in Wauseon Charter 5.03(A) which states that “In the event of a vacancy in the office of Mayor, the President of the Council shall become the Mayor, unless the person holding the office of President of Council shall decline, by written statement to be filed with the Clerk of Council, to succeed to the office of the Mayor and elects to remain as a member of Council and as President of Council. In the event the President of Council declines to succeed to the office of Mayor, the Council shall elect another of its members to succeed to the office of Mayor for the term as provided in this Section. Persons succeeding to the office of Mayor under this Section shall serve for the remainder of the unexpired term of office.”
This procedure puts the ball in Council President Heather Kost’s court but, at the time of this report, her final decision on whether or not to succeed to the Mayor’s office was still under consideration. Whether or not Kost decides to succeed or Council selects another of its members to fill the vacancy, a vacant seat will be left and needed to be filled on Council. This will make the third Council has had to fill in just a few short months due to the vacancies left by Fred Allen and the late Don Mathews.
Prior to the Mayor’s announcement, Council also heard from the Tree Commission. Rick Frey, who reported on behalf of the Commission, noted that the Commission had discussed tree inventory and keeping records and that Lindsay Huner will be contacted to see if she can assist in that regard. The Commission also discussed planting a tree in memory of Don Mathews. It was also reported that the City is actively transplanting tees from the Richard Mull property into the city boulevards and park as well as that the Tree Commission has asked New Century to come in and treat one or two ash trees in order to educate people on how ash trees can be saved.
Council President Kost reported on behalf of the Personnel Committee that the committee would like to obtain quotes from Clemens and Nelson for looking at both the compensation plan and job descriptions as it has been several years since these items have been reviewed. Council accepted the committee’s recommendation to do so.
In Department Head Reports, Council:
•Heard from Regional Planning Director David Wright that he has been working with business owners regarding the Downtown Revitalization Grant. More information regarding the grant can be found in the related article.
•Learned from Fire Chief Rick Sluder that area fire chiefs have been meeting regarding EMS contracts and funding at that the information will be presented to the Fulton County Commissioners. Sluder estimated a proposed increase from $358,000 to $690,000 in funding.
•Heard from Police Chief Keith Torbet that the Department of Public Safety recently conducted a seatbelt survey throughout Fulton County and that seat belt use within Wauseon has increased to 85.5%, exceeding the state goal of 85%. Torbet also reported that 67 pounds of prescription drugs were turned in over Drug Take Back Day. The DEA will no longer be sponsoring the Drug Take Back Day but the Wauseon Police Department is committed to taking back expired medication and disposing of such medication at their office.
•Heard from Code Administrator Tom Hall that there are a couple of new houses being built and that the Planning Commission approved a 45 unit project on Glenwood Avenue. Hall has also been working with Wood County regarding when they will begin doing commercial building permits for the City.
•Learned from Director of Public Service Dennis Richardson that he recently attended an ODOT transportation improvement meeting where he was able to review all of the projects ODOT has planned over the next couple of years. It was noted that the Linfoot Street project is slated for 2015. Richardson explained that the meeting was an opportunity for public entities to voice their transportation concerns and noted that he suggested a turn lane on 108 near the Fulton County Fairgrounds be considered. Richardson also noted in his report that Haas Door has made major improvements to their facility. The waterline near the facility has been troublesome over the years so his department has been replacing portions of that line.
•Heard from Director of Law Thomas A. McWatters III that the possibility of extending the period out on the assessments pertaining to Glenwood Avenue from 20 years to 28 ears. Councilor Kathy Huner inquired as to why the consideration was being made. In response, McWatters explained that some of the property owners have expressed concern that their property has become nonmarketable due to stagnate real estate prices.
In legislative matters Council:
•Approved on first reading – Resolution 2014-18, Amend Ordinance 2013-12 Annual Appropriation Ordinance by Authorizing the Director of Finance to Increase or Decrease Certain Line Account Appropriations within the Various Funds Listed within the Year of 2014. The resolution is now in effect.
•Approved on third reading – Resolution 2014-14, Providing a Grant in the Amount of $75,000 from the Wauseon Revolving Loan Fund to Sara’s Garden for the Purchase and/or Construction of a Playground. The resolution will be in effect on November 5, 2014.
•Approved on third reading – Resolution 2014-17, Authorizing the Mayor to Enter into an Agreement for Police Services between the City of Wauseon and the Village of Whitehouse. The resolution will be in effect in 30 days.
In other business, Council President Kost would like to remind everyone that the pool survey is on-line on the City website as well as was included in the water bills. Surveys may be sent back in with water bill payment or residents may take the survey on the website. Only surveys submitted by those living inside the City limits will be considered.
The next meeting of the Wauseon City Council will be held at 5:00 PM on Monday, October 20 in council chambers.