Granville Community Calendar

Council Minutes 1/17/01

 EXECUTIVE SESSION (6:30pm – Granville Village Council
Chambers)

ROLL CALL (6:30pm)
Those responding to the roll call were Councilmembers
Bellman, Crais, Lucier, McGowan, and Moore; Vice Mayor
Wernet, Mayor Robertson, Manager Hickman, and Law Director
Crites.

Councilmember Crais made a motion to enter into Executive
Session to discuss with legal counsel imminent court
action; second by Councilmember Lucier. A Roll Call vote
yielded seven (7) affirmative votes: Councilmembers
Bellman, Crais, Lucier, McGowan, and Moore; Vice Mayor
Wernet, Mayor Robertson. Motion passed.  

Time In: 6:36pm.

Councilmember McGowan made to a motion to adjourn the
Executive Session; second by Vice Mayor Wernet. A Roll Call
vote yielded seven (7) affirmative votes: Councilmembers
Bellman, Crais, Lucier, McGowan, and Moore; Vice Mayor
Wernet. Motion passed

Time out: 7:16pm.

******************************************************

REGULAR SESSION (7:30pm – St. Edwards Church Parish Hall)

CALL TO ORDER (by Mayor Robertson at 7:38pm)

ROLL CALL (7:38pm)
Those responding to the roll call were Councilmembers
Bellman, Crais, Lucier, McGowan, and Moore; Vice Mayor
Wernet, Mayor Robertson, Manager Hickman, and Law Director
Crites.   

Vice Mayor Wernet moved to amend the published agenda to
provide for an additional Executive Session after Old
Business. Second by Councilmember Crais. A Roll Call vote
yielded seven (7) affirmative votes: Councilmembers
Bellman, Crais, Lucier, McGowan, and Moore; Vice Mayor
Wernet, Mayor Robertson. Motion passed.

Mayor Robertson offered a statement in which she reiterated
her fervent belief in mediation and consensus building. She
then asked everyone to step back and remember that
Granville is a community that respects and values
its “neighborhood feel.” We look out for each other,
welcome new neighbors, look out for others’ children, enjoy
coming into town on Saturday mornings and seeing friends,
and send up silent prayers whenever we hear the siren.
Losing an argument over a school location is nothing
compared to losing that sense of community—something old
residents cherish and new ones embrace. In spite of our
various opinions, beliefs, and ideas, we must continue to
be neighbors and relatives. She urged everyone to think
about ways to make this a win-win solution by trying to
understand the impact of any particular part of the
decision on others in the community. She then asked if we
wanted to be a population of individuals who don’t care
what happens to anyone else or a community, in the truest
sense of the word.

Finally, Mayor Robertson informed Council and the members
of the community present in the room that, in view of her
husband’s employment relationship with the School District,
she was recusing herself from both the discussion and the
vote on extension to the Township site. She formally handed
the gavel to Vice Mayor Wernet for that portion of the
meeting. Councilmember McGowan, noting that she had not
previously recused herself, asked why she doing so at this
time. He also asked Law Director Crites if she could vote
on the issue. Mr. Crites stated that she has the right to
recuse herself and, having done so, could not vote.
Councilmember McGowan asked if other members of Council
could do the same because of having students in the system
(or for any other conflicts). Mr. Crites responded that any
elected official had the right to do so if he or she felt
unable to exercise independent and impartial judgment.

CITIZENS’ COMMENTS (opened by Vice Mayor Wernet at 7:46pm)
Opening Statement.
Vice Mayor Wernet, stating his desire to “bring everyone up
to date,” outlined recent events, as follows. On the day
following the last Council meeting, he and Mr. Mollica met
for lunch. He then had a further meeting which also
included Mayor Robertson, Kitty Consolo, and Elaine Kent,
to begin to get others’ viewpoints. Based on observations
made by them all, it was apparent that from Council’s
perspective most people were looking at the potential of
annexation as a way to resolve the problem. Mr. Mollica
then initiated discussions with one of the critical
property owners to introduce the subject; Vice Mayor
Wernet, at School Baord President Mollica’s request,
followed up with that property owner. Surprisingly, both
conversations had good results, as did one held by Manager
Hickman. Vice Mayor Wernet reported to School Board
President Mollica on Friday that he believed there were
potential lines of agreement available. School Board
President Mollica then reported on an executive session of
the School Board where they decided against annexation.
Vice Mayor Wernet , who decided to continue his discussions
with property owners, had continued good results. He then
detailed a number of things that had happened since the
School Board announced their site selection to provide some
context for this evening’s meeting: 1) within a couple of
days of the site announcement the School Board counsel told
the Village’s counsel of lines of argument they might use
to “compel water and sewer.” 2) Mayor Robertson and School
Board President Mollica conversed “some time in December,”
the essence of which was that the School Board would sue if
Council did not agree to do what the School Board wants. 3)
That concept was reiterated when an Advocate article quoted
Mr. Harf about seeking legal action if necessary (i.e., “If
the village believes denying water and sewer will make [the
School Board] seek another site, they are mistaken.”). 4)
The day before this meeting,  members of Council received a
faxed letter dated January 16, 2001, from Steve Smith to
Law Director Crites, stating, in part…. [At this point,
Councilmember McGowan interrupted to request that the
meeting please proceed with Citizens’ Comments. Vice Mayor
Wernet reiterated that he wanted to read this information
for background. Councilmember Lucier asked if the letter
should be considered confidential; Law Director Crites said
it was not. Vice Mayor Wernet continued.] …stating, in
part, “If Village Council turns down the request, the
District will pursue all of its options…including imminent
litigation.” 5) Vice Mayor Wernet then got a call from
another Council member who reported on interaction between
Mr. Smith and Mr. Crites (verified by Mr. Crites), as
follows: Mr. Crites told Mr. Smith that a lawsuit would
blow [your] time line. Mr. Smith responded that two other
options were under consideration: initiative and recall. He
added that “these people are thinking about that and have
approached the Board to let them know they want to do
that.” 6) Vice Mayor Wernet reported that he had gotten a
call this morning from a friend who reported that Kathy
Lowery had told him that Joe Hickman had told her that Jim
King (the caller) was organizing the effort. Vice Mayor
said that was “not true.” He added that Steve Smith had
phoned Jim King asking him to stand up after the vote and
ask for a recall on those who voted no. Jim King
said, “No,” and Mr. Smith asked, “How about Rodger
Kessler?” Vice Mayor Wernet stated he did not feel that
Rodger Kessler would be interested in being involved in
such a project. Mr. Smith then asked Jim King if he woud
organize a group to call for a recall of all Council
members who voted “no” on the ordinance. Mr. King
said, “No.” [At this point, there were several calls from
citizens present asking that the meeting proceed to
Citizens’ Comments. Vice Mayor Wernet continued with his
background information.] Vice Mayor Wernet called Manager
Hickman, who said he had not mentioned Jim King but Kathy
Lowery had. 7) Vice Mayor Wernet stated he also had a
letter from Ms. Lowery, stating that the Board of Education
wasn’t aware of any recall movement and didn’t intend to
sue. 8) Vice Mayor Wernet reported that Ms. Lowery, in
responding to a Councilmember about the letter concerning
imminent litigation, said it was her “understanding that
Mr. Crites requested the letter so he could hold an
executive session.” Vice Mayor Wernet said Mr. Crites did
not request the letter and there was no need to “trump up”
grounds for an executive session. Vice Mayor Wernet
concluded his remarks by saying it was important that
everyone understand why Council found itself in this
position. [Councilmember McGowan reiterated his desire to
hear others’ views.]

At 8:05pm, Vice Mayor Wernet opened the floor to comments
by citizens present, asking them to please focus their
comments on elements not related to the public hearing
scheduled later in the meeting.

Vicky Sugar (wife of Rodger Kessler). Ms. Sugar strongly
objected to the way in which her husband’s name had
been “thrown out” by Vice Mayor Wernet and stated she
expected an apology. [Vice Mayor Wernet reiterated his
belief that Mr. Kessler would not be involved in such an
effort.]

Jim Jump, 143 Thresher Street. Mr. Jump, noting that
appointments to the Charter Review Commission were on the
agenda, stated that his name is in nomination and he was
available to answer questions.

Vice Mayor Wernet closed Citizen’s Comments at 8:07pm.

PUBLIC HEARING (8:07pm)
A public hearing was held on Ordinance No. 01-01, An
Ordinance Authorizing The Village Of Granville To Extend
Water And Sewer Services To The Granville Exempted Village
School District’s New School Site And Authorizing The
Village To Sell Its Surplus Utilities.   
 
Board Presentation:
Lewis Mollica, 388 Fern Hill Drive, President of Board of
Education. Mr. Mollica prefaced his presentation by
responding to the article in Tuesday’s Advocate, in which
the Board of Education had been accused of being
adversarial, inflexible and not open to discussion. He
stated this was “not true,” adding that he had met
personally with “all members of Council except for two who
already support extension and one other member.” He also
noted that he had spent “4-1/2 hours” with Mayor Robertson,
during which he proposed a meeting between the Board and
Council—a meeting cancelled by the Mayor. He thanked Vice
Mayor Wernet for the “countless hours” the two had spent
trying to arrive at an agreement, adding that other members
of the Board as well as the Superintendent had had numerous
contacts with Councilmembers. Mr. Mollica felt the Board
had displayed its flexibility by considering the question
of annexation even though they were “convinced that was not
the proper route to take.” They actively sought the
opinions of affected landowners but found “little
enthusiasm” on their part to be annexed into the Village.
Responding to mention of his “so-called threat” to sue, he
said that statement occurred at a meeting he initiated with
the Mayor, in which both had agreed to be frank and candid.
In the course of that 2-hour conversation, he was asked
what he would do if the request were denied. He replied in
a direct way, even though the Board had not, and has not
yet, discussed taking legal action. He emphasized that his
statement was not a threat and apologized if he was “less
than diplomatic.” He then stated he was extending an olive
branch to Council asking for their cooperation “in the
spirit of what is best for the entire Granville community,”
adding that the School Board had pledged to cooperate as
well. He closed his statement by saying that if he had
become a lightening rod, he would gladly resign from the
Board if that would put an end to the rancor and lead to
passing the ordinance before Council.

Moving to the introduction of the School Board’s
presentation, Mr. Mollica stated that both bodies want to
prevent uncontrolled development. The Board therefore asked
its legal experts to demonstrate that extension would
provide better protection against development than would
annexation. He asked Council to vote to permit the Board to
meet the needs of a constituency that cannot vote—the 1,800
students. The Board feels unanimously that what they
propose is best for this community, now and for the future.
[Vice Mayor Wernet interjected that he did not wish for Mr.
Mollica to resign.]

Steve Smith, counsel for the School Board, gave a
comprehensive presentation intended to verify his assertion
that extension would not open the door to unwanted
development in this area of the Township. He stated that
any municipality has the right to dispose of “surplus
utilities” and may place restrictions on that surplus
provided such restrictions are not capricious. He
illustrated possible and/or /probable annexation routes,
noting that the most likely combination of annexed
properties would create a peninsula out into the middle of
the Township—something the Supreme Court has already
indicated as a problem. Any annexation requires the consent
of 51% of the affected property owners, and the Board
offered to pay any expenses involved in having Council draw
the map (i.e., select the property owners and the route,
and gather the 51% needed). This led to discussion of
timing, in that the annexation process would take
approximately a year, throwing the Board’s proposed project
timeline and budget out the window. Mr. Smith cited a
concurring opinion from Squires, Sanders & Dempsey (SSD)
that the Village may extend water and sewer to only one
person or entity, using its legislative authority to set
policy. In short, it is not prohibited from discriminating.
The attorneys’ main citation was a 1948 Supreme Court case—
never overturned, never even challenged—establishing the
precedent that a municipality could refuse service if it is
not in the municipality’s best interests. It was therefore
Mr. Smith’s conclusion “that Granville can grant an
exclusive tap.” If the decision were ever challenged and if
the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case, the challenger,
in order to convince the Court to overturn the 1948
decision, would have to show that the decision had
been “unreasonable, arbitrary, or capricious.” Since the
Comprehensive Plan would support the Village’s decision, it
is unlikely that any court would hold that barring other
taps was arbitrary and/or bore no relation to health,
safety or welfare. Mr. Smith maintained that this power is
conferred by the Ohio Constitution and the exercise of that
power cannot be obstructed by the Ohio Legislature.
Mr. Smith reported that the Township had granted the
necessary easements for water and sewer lines “to ensure
the continued success of the Granville students.” He then
outlined half a dozen reasons why the Village should accede
to the extension request: 1) it would take 179 acres out of
the residential-development picture; 2) the Village would
be given a right of first refusal; 3) the School Board
would be willing to lease a portion of the excess acreage
to the Village for $1/year to use at its discretion; 4) the
Board would be willing to deed-restrict the property for
school purposes only; 5) the Board would agree to defend
the Village and pay legal costs if the Village were sued by
a developer; and 6) the Board would work with the Village
in any way it could (e.g., by constructing a left-turn
lane, granting bike-path access, etc.). He addressed the
issue of on-site wells, saying they might adversely affect
neighboring wells and, in any case, wouldn’t provide enough
water pressure for the mandatory sprinklers, perhaps
leading to the need for a water tower. An on-site sewer
system would require a PTI (permit to install) from the
Ohio EPA. The EPA could conceivably refuse to grant the PTI
and tell the Board to tie into the Village water and sewer
system (though they cannot force the Village into providing
such service). If the Village then refused extension, the
Board would find itself in a Catch-22 situation—having
spent six-to-twelve months and, again, throwing the
proposed project timeline and budget out the window. Mr.
Smith stated his belief that the best solution for the
public, the residents, and the voters is for the Village to
give permission for the school to tie into the line. The
School Board would then enter into a utility service
agreement with a provision for eventual annexation. Mr.
Smith stated it would be “bad faith by the School Board
members to the community” to agree to wait for water and
sewer service until an annexation had been completed. He
added that there are no “ironclad” guarantees in life.

In conclusion, Mr. Smith stated that “the one thing the
Board can’t do is nothing.” If the Village were to refuse
extension, the Board would first have to line up more
portable units, then decide if they wanted to do an on-site
plan and/or start annexation proceedings—none of which they
want to do. He said, “We think we have a way to accomplish
what we need and protect the village and development and,
if something goes wrong, to defend you. We only have to
worry for however long it takes to gets the annexation
approved, with whatever route you [the Village] choose. If
it gets approved you [the Village] are protected because
you can then use zoning to do whatever you want to do.”
Smith characterized the risk as “very minimal.” [Vice Mayor
Wernet thanked Mr. Smith for a “very professional
presentation” and asked that hard copies be given to
Council.] Mr. Smith then asked for comment from Greg Stype
of SSD. Mr. Stype said the SSD opinion had been fully
represented by statements already made in the course of Mr.
Smith’s presentation. [Vice Mayor Wernet then proceeded to
public comments, to be followed by Council questions.]



Public Comments:
Paula Lincoln, 201 Linnell Drive.  Ms. Lincoln thanked the
Village for not making the school site an easy choice. She
expressed concerns about cost issues connected with the
chosen site (e.g., land expense in the first place, “to say
nothing of legal expenses and annexation costs”), as well
as the fact that a site with no pedestrian access “goes
against the community character.” She suggested the Board
consider building on land they already own next to schools
they already have and, since “they are not used during the
day,” moving the athletic fields—and the bus garage—to an
auxiliary site. She concluded by stating that when the
School Board says, “We’ll pay,” that means “we taxpayers
will pay.”
 
Kitty Consolo, 18 Samson Place.  Ms. Consolo stated she
fears future litigation not so much from people who want to
tap into the service but from developers who raise issues
of due process. She noted that if selected extension were
only way to build in a timely manner, she would not be
objecting. She brought up both the Watts and Reese
properties and distributed a three-page document detailing
her comparisons. She also reiterated her concerns about the
$1 million-plus not accounted for in School Board budget
projections, and submitted photographs of the Van Winkle
property taken during a rainstorm (to illustrate flooding).
She urged Council to “be the voice of reason,” and asked
the School Board to consider costs and their impact on
future levies, stating, “We could all lose except the
attorneys.”

Leon Gage, 143 Rose Drive.  Mr. Gage expressed concern that
the taxpayers had not heard all the facts and urged Council
to vote against extension.
 
Abram Kaplan, 843 Burg Street. Mr. Kaplan reiterated
concerns about the planning and site-selection process, as
well as the proposal of a campus-style, large, peripherally
located school (and the associated increased busing). He
urged consideration of a better site and urged Council to
deny extension.
 
James Larimer, 166 Joy Lane. Mr. Larimer spoke to protest
all the dissention with the site selection, stating that he
came to the meeting to hear Council’s thoughts on the issue
of selective extension, not to hear about the site
selection process or its result. Reminding those present
that School Board meetings were the appropriate setting for
those discussions, he asked everyone to please stay focused.

Randy Kerr, 107 Ballymore Court. Mr. Kerr took issue with
the meeting having turned into talk about Burg Street,
stating, “This is about our kids, not who gets to look at a
pretty tree. This is about water so our kids can go to
school.”
 
Tim Dennison, 102 Miller Avenue/964 Burg Street. Mr.
Dennison expressed disappointment that the debate between
Council and the School Board had become personal. He stated
that, in approving the levy last November, the community
had, in essence, given the School Board of blank check—“an
intelligent thing to do.” He urged Council to put its faith
in Mr. Smith’s legal opinion and approve extension so the
elected School Board officials could get on with their
business.

Charlie Metzger, 81 Maplewood Drive. Mr. Metzger reminded
those present that the School Board’s selection of the Van
Winkle property was based on recommendations from a
committee of 40 people.

Mark Weber, 217 Wicklow Drive. Mr. Weber praised both
Council and the School Board for their care in decision-
making and added his voice to others who had requested that
this meeting stay focused on Council business, not School
Board business. He noted that if this project
is “scuttled,” there will still have to be a school built
somewhere in the district—“meaning another large meeting in
another large hall filled with people clapping on both
sides. The kindergartners will become first-, then second-,
then third-graders and the children we value the most will
get their education in double-wides. Teachers, whom we
underpay, will have to work in cramped facilities.” He
urged that we all respect the work that has gone into this
from all sides and asked Council to approve the extension.

Kristin McCloud, 145 Joy Lane. Ms. McCloud spoke in support
of the School Board’s site selection, lauding them
for “being good stewards of our tax dollars.”  She added
that school(s) were preferable to “however many” houses
might end up on that land and urged Council to approve the
extension.

Jim Jump, 143 Thresher Street. Mr. Jump stated the need to
distinguish between institution-building and sprawl, and
proposed that building institutional infrastructure in or
near the village outweighs loss of open space and new
traffic. Though he agreed with interpretations of case law,
he objected to strict adherence to the 1985 Council
resolution (“That was then, this is now. There are
exceptions.”) Finally, he stated that even though he
supported the school at the proposed location, he urged
Council to oppose any and all coercion from any source that
attempted in effect to usurp Council’s authority to make
this decision.

Tom McFadden, 2360 Loudon Street.  Mr. McFadden spoke in
support of the school location on Burg Street.

Mark Parris, 251 Bryn Du Drive. Mr. Parris urged everyone
not to second-guess the School Board’s site decision. Re
the 1985 ordinance, he stated that the things that needed
to be done to enable the ordinance to stand through time
(i.e., the purchase of the land by either the Village or
the School Board) had not happened. That being the case,
Mr. Parris asked Council to make the best decision they
could without holding themselves accountable for
legislation whose goals were unattainable because the
things needed to make it so weren’t done.

Kathy Smith, 44 Trinity Court. Ms. Smith presented a cover
letter and petitions in support of the Burg Street site and
urged Council to approve the extension.
Nancy Lantz, Burg Street. Ms. Lantz objected to land at the
present high school/middle school complex being used for
athletic purposes, especially since the School Board who
originally purchased that land said it would be adequate
for the next 50 years.

Don Lewis, 2284 Burg Street. Mr. Lewis felt that extending
utilities out into the township would be “succumbing” to
developers’ demands, thereby beginning the rapid transition
of Granville to a Dublin/Hilliard/Pataskala. He would
prefer a school on this site to anything else but had major
concerns about School Board pricing estimates. He added
that we have to address the utility-extension issue,
stating that “if the pipes are there, there’s enough money
to be paid to make it worth going after.”

Sue Prohaska, 3590 Philipps Road. Ms. Prohaska reiterated
the urgency of getting this facility built as quickly as
possible, stating that those who’ve never been in the
buildings have no clue as to how crowded they are, how the
athletic fields are overused, or how inadequate the music
facilities are. She maintained that the levy would not have
passed if the community hadn’t felt this was an urgent
issue.

Barbara Klatt, 58 Rose Drive. Ms. Klatt stated her
appreciation for the fact that this community is—and
hopefully will continue to be—a place where someone who
doesn’t really agree with many things the School Board has
done will still always be able to speak her mind. She then
pointed out that there must be a change in the traffic
situation on New Burg Street and wondered who would pay for
those changes.
 
Alexa Robinson O’Neill, 17 Meadowood Drive. Ms. O’Neill
stated it was unproductive to “dither around” waiting for
the perfect site since it doesn’t exist. She felt we would
be the most unhappy if our children were again shoved into
classrooms that are too small. The longer we put it off,
the worse it’s going to get. The School Board is acting in
good faith with no ulterior motives, working on behalf of
our children and our community. She urged Council to please
vote for this ordinance so we can continue to address the
business at hand of educating our children.

Constance Barsky, 221 East Elm Street. Ms. Barsky
reiterated her concern that the requested time-frame
compromises Council’s ability to consider the question
carefully. She stated there was no question of the
community wanting a new school but felt the site selection
was not a community decision—what do we know? how do we
know it? what is the evidence? how do we know we can trust
the evidence?  where does this evidence lead? She
introduced the concept of a  “tipping point”—how far one
could go with affecting certain issues—and suggested we
might unknowingly hit it without careful consideration to
extension.
 
Diane Jaquish, 17 Pine Tree Drive. Ms. Jaquish stated she
had come to the meeting to hear facts from those opposing
the Burg Street site but hadn’t heard any real factual
information in opposition to the legal opinion that there
was no ground for other people suing to tap in. She urged
everyone to keep in mind that a new school would be in
somebody’s back yard and that the Burg Street site was
still for sale and “won’t be a meadow.”

John Klauder, 30 Old Farm Road. Mr. Klauder stated he had
moved back to Granville because of the good schools, the
strong sense of community, and the rural setting around the
Village. He supported the Burg Street location but didn’t
want to see the density tripled if water and sewer were
extended. The presentation by Mr. Smith  reassured him and
he urged Council to extend.

Vice Mayor Wernet closed the Public Hearing at 10:05pm.
Council took a brief break and reconvened at 10:23  pm.

OLD BUSINESS (10:23pm)
Ordinance No. 01-01, An Ordinance Authorizing The Village
Of Granville To Extend Water And Sewer Services To The
Granville Exempted Village School District’s New School
Site And Authorizing The Village To Sell Its Surplus
Utilities, was reintroduced by Councilmember Moore. Second
by Councilmember McGowan.

Questions by Council:
Councilmember McGowan reiterated his sentiment that
extension was the only issue in front of Council. He
believes that the schools present a unique situation,
deserving of exception. He added that it was important to
make improvements to the 1985 ordinance to make it as
strong as possible, thereby allowing Council to extend
water and sewer to one entity only.
 
Councilmember Bellman asked Mr. Smith to confirm his belief
that even if water and sewer were extended, others could
not force additional tap-ins. [Mr. Smith responded that the
statement was “absolutely correct” and his opinion was
grounded in constitutional decisions from the Supreme
Court.] Mr. Bellman asked if the School Board would be
wiling to restrict the site to a single school. [Ms. Lowery
responded that it was difficult to project specific needs,
but the plan was for an intermediate and a middle school,
with the possibility of a third school as well.]
 
Councilmember Crais expressed concern over the reliability
of enrollment projections and asked Ms. Lowery if the
School Board had estimated the developmental impact of a
new school in that area of the township (i.e., whether
locating a school there would encourage a steeper upward
slope toward urbanization). [Mr. Mollica responded that the
success of our schools is a blessing and a curse.]

Councilmember Bellman, responding to a suggestion from Mr.
Smith and Mr. Stype, noted that it is the School Board’s
job, not Council’s, to make an annexation happen. He asked
if the School Board had considered tax abatement,
especially for the school tax, for residents not interested
in annexation, especially those who cite income tax as a
reason. [Mr. Stype responded that two issues preclude such
a suggestion: precedent and equal protection (i.e., waiving
a voted levy to some property owners but not all]. He said
he recognized that the party seeking the annexation does
the legwork; he had simply meant to make the point that
many law firms have a deep concern over whether a peninsula
annexation can make it.] Mr. Bellman proposed that an
annexation agreed to by all of the property owners involved
would not result in any challenges. [Mr. Smith said that
anyone who lives in the Township, not just those property
owners involved, could challenge it on the basis that such
an annexation would destroy the financial integrity of the
Township.] Mr. Bellman asked about the property-tax issue.
[Mr. Stype, while reluctant to provide an “instant” answer
the question as it relates specifically to this situation,
said he was familiar with all manner of property tax
abatements. They usually exist with respect to new
investments in property; he’s not aware of any circumstance
where you could take an existing house already on the tax
rolls and relieve it of any portion of its taxes.]
 
Vice Mayor Wernet suggested this might be better
characterized as a payment for an  easement (e.g., a lease-
type or outright-purchase arrangement whereby the Village
makes the payment on the school’s behalf, then amortizes it
as part of a water bill, providing a vehicle to get money
to property owners). [Mr. Stype stated he didn’t want the
notion of tax abatement per se to be considered an option.]

Mr. Bellman asked Mr. Smith if the School Board had
discussed annexation since the most recent Council meeting.
[Mr. Mollica said they had not discussed the issue as a
Board, though he had discussed it with Mr. Wernet, then
with Ms. Lowery and Mr. Smith.] Mr. Bellman then asked if
council were to deny the request (i.e., give an
unacceptable response), would it be accurate to say that
the School Board would not initiate legal action? [Mr.
Smith responded that the School Board would then meet and
look at every option available to them. He emphasized that
the School Board at this time has not advised him to take
any action involving any litigation.] Mr. Bellman asked if
the School Board initiated litigation, could the School
Board force the Village to extend utilities. [Mr. Smith
declined to reveal any strategies.]
 
Councilmember Lucier stated that her earlier encouragement
at the School Board’s offer to work with Council on
annexation has now been eroded by the seeming pessimism of
the School Board about being able to put together a
successful annexation. [Mr. Smith responded that, until the
School board had developed a strategy, it wouldn’t be fair
for him to tell Council that it could be done. If a 100%
annexation could be constructed, it would still take 12-15
months to get it approved. The School Board would be glad
to do that, but if one property owner said no or if the
Board can’t get 51%, they would have to select another
route and start again. He said the School Board would be
willing to sign an agreement to annex and work with Council
on a joint plan, but would want access to water and sewer
in the interim. He cautioned that if Ohio’s townships
convince the State Legislature to change the law,
annexation  would still be possible but would be much more
difficult.] Councilmember Lucier, referring to the site-
selection process, asked whether the School Board had never
worried about to water and sewer but just assumed it
wouldn’t be a problem. [Mr. Mollica said the School
Board “never assumed anything.” Rather, they discussed the
reaction they would get from residents in the area and
tried to address the concerns they would get from Council.
They obviously believe the best route is not through
annexation but feel the safest way for the Village to
control development is selective extension of water and
sewer. Mr. Stype pointed out that only one judge in one
case—of all the cases presented in connection with their
opinion—had cast a dissenting vote. Mr. Harf reiterated
that the School Board believes that none of the Village
sites meets a minimum set of requirements and provides
sufficient acreage for more than one school. He added that
the School Board understood that the water and sewer issue
would likely be a contentious one.]

Councilmember Moore asked for confirmation that some
statements made in past sessions were still accurate. 1) Is
the School Board still willing to look at setting aside
some of the property as permanent green space? [Mr. Smith
said they were.] 2) Is the School Board willing to help
create a bike path to the new facility? [Mr. Smith said
they were and that they would cooperate with the Township
as well.] 3) Would the School Board be willing to provide
assistance for improvements in traffic issues in that area,
such as traffic signals or other means of relieving some of
the existing congestion? [Mr. Smith said they
would “absolutely” be willing to cooperate for the best
solution, including determining if this meant $20,000 or
$200,000 and if there were grants available for this
purpose.] Councilmember Moore emphasized that Council would
require the School Board’s cooperation in this. [Mr. Smith
stated that we first need to identify the right solution
then come up with a plan.]

Vice Mayor Wernet asked for confirmation of the annexation
map as proposed. [Mr. Smith indicated that he felt better
about the chances given the properties Vice Mayor Wernet
pointed out on the map.]

Councilmember Crais took a moment to summarize the basis of
Mr. Smith’s 12 December 2000 memo to Mr. Crites, presenting
five principal reasons for extension:
1) it would serve the educational needs of community; 2)
the Burg Street site has a lower cost per acre and lower
site prep costs; 3) selective extension agreements would
be “ironclad”—though Mr. Smith now regrets that
characterization; 4) the Burg Street site fulfills the
community’s goals of preserving open space and rural
atmosphere, controlling growth, and preserving farmland;
and 5) the School Board would provide a defense to any
legal challenge against the Village’s decision to
selectively extend. [Mr. Smith acknowledged Councilmember
Crais’ summary, but added that selective extension would
also support the Comprehensive Plan and therefore not be an
unreasonable or capricious decision. Mr. Smith added that
his job here is to help the schools but keep them out of
legal battles they can’t win. In this case, he was asked to
tell them what the law was with respect to extending water
and sewer (i.e., can it work? is it defensible?).  In order
for his opinion to be wrong, someone would have to take the
case to the Ohio Supreme Court, convince them to hear it in
the first place, then convince them to reverse it. He feels
that sequence of events is unlikely.] Council-member Crais
asked, for the sake of argument, what the situation would
be if somewhere down the line someone wanted to develop
Township land and used those same arguments (i.e., that
their development helps control and shape growth, preserves
green space, and is in the best interests of the
community). [Mr. Smith said no one else gets to set
Granville community standards. In short, we would win.]
Councilmember Crais asked Mr. Smith if he really believed
that in that case we wouldn’t get threats of litigation
and/or recall and find ourselves under extraordinary
pressure because we had set a precedent and broken with a
policy. [Mr. Smith said, “I don’t want to go there.”]

Councilmember Moore encouraged Council, in considering this
issue, to ignore all the threats and/or talk of litigation,
initiatives and recall. In other words, Council needs to
confine itself to looking at the facts and the issues as
they are and trying to determine the best solution to the
problem based on these facts. Who said what, or when, is
not relevant at this point. She felt Mayor Robertson had
set the right tone in her opening statement: we want to
solve this and work together.
 
Vice Mayor Wernet said he had mentioned them because they
had been brought up to Council by the School Board in the
past 24 hours and he felt it was important for folks to
know the degree of pressure that had been placed on
Council. Such pressure could impact the amount of time it’s
going to take to develop a real solution and it certainly  
interrupts negotiations. He agreed that it is equally
important that we go on and try to work together in a
cooperative relationship.

Councilmember Crais stated that his concern was not with
the last 24 hours. It was with trying to look around the
corner to what might happen in the future—the unintended
consequences of the course of action Council is being asked
to pursue and what a future Council might do when
confronted with the decisions we’re being asked to make
tonight. He emphasized that this area is going to see
increasing pressure from the outside and this Council has
been elected to serve the citizens of the future as well as
the present. [Mr. Smith agreed with the concerns and
suggested Council speak with its attorney on the matter.
Don Wiper of SSD stated he stands firmly by the legal views
provided tonight, then added his thoughts about the
specific concern of equal protection as it relates to
selective extension. He is “very comfortable” with the SSD
determination that extension to serve a new school is not a
basis for a developer or anyone else to assert a successful
equal-protection claim that would entitle them to receive
sewer and water service. He is also firm in the view that
extension for schools would not be a precedent for
extension to a Kendal community. “The schools are a
distinct, clear entity and this body can discriminate –
this is a slam-dunk.“

Councilmember Bellman believes the Village needs an
annexation because it is going to bear the burden of this
development and will be providing most of the services
(e.g., police protection). We would therefore require of
the school what we require of every developer—that it be
involved in the planning process. Councilmember Bellman
added that, perhaps unwittingly, the School Board has
driven him to the annexation side of the issue. While he
agrees with Mr. Smith that the weight of authority would be
in our favor, Mr. Smith and the School Board have not ruled
out the possibility of litigation—and they have quit
using “ironclad.” Councilmember Bellman is therefore driven
to a second rationale for requiring annexation: to ensure
that a firm line is drawn to avoid unwanted annexations in
the future. Finally, he asked why the Village should accept
the burden of this “development” without creating some sort
of an offset in the form of employees being taxed.

Vice Mayor Wernet reminded Councilmember Bellman that Mr.
Harf had said the School Board had not discussed litigation
as a group. [Mr. Harf concurred, saying it was just
included on a list of five or six things they could do.]

Councilmember Moore responded to Councilmember Bellman on
the issue of guarantees, stating there aren’t any 100%
guarantees that anything Council does won’t be challenged.
Therefore, asking for one here is unreasonable. She noted
that Don Wiper is “Mr. Public Law” in Ohio and “no Supreme
Court would dare challenge his opinion!” As to annexation,
while she understood the great desire to stick to Village
policy, she had some doubts about the reason that policy
was initially put in place (i.e., was that Council trying
to prevent or assure growth?). Councilmember Moore believes
that annexation may cause more problems than it solves
since annexed property becomes eligible for all village
services and the tax base annexed in doesn’t usually
support the costs to service it. She also proposed the idea
of the school entering into a contract to pay for police
and other services. Finally, Councilmember Moore said that
another member of Council had remarked that she couldn’t
understand why School Board members were being so
inflexible in not looking at other sites. Councilmember
Moore turned the question around, wondering why Council was
so inflexible that it wouldn’t look at an exception to the
water-and-sewer policy for something so important to our
community.
Councilmember Lucier, speaking about increased costs
connected with annexation, stated that the numbers she has
seen indicate that real increased costs is in the schools
(i.e., it’s less significant for us than it might be for
another community because it’s already in the mix).

Councilmember Bellman asked how many teachers, maintenance
workers, and food workers would be helping to support those
expenses if the School Board ends up with that site and
with 600-800 students.

Councilmember Crais offered a win-win solution based on
minimizing the Village’s exposure to risk. Based on his
conversations with Law Director Crites, Councilmember Crais
feels that the proposed ordinance is safe, but not as safe
as annexation. He therefore proposed that the parties move
forward with annexation. If it were to fail, we could fall
back on the School Board’s ordinance proposal. [Mr. Smith
asked if the Village would grant the extension if
annexation were to fail.] Councilmember Moore suggested we
could flip it around, extending water and sewer while
pursuing annexation, and still end up in the same place.
Councilmember McGowan agreed with Ms. Moore, cautioning
that if this Council were to stall the process,
Councilmembers elected next November might not go ahead.

Citizen Comment by Steve Finlayson, 101 Rose Drive (owner
of the “keystone” property in the annexation proposal). Mr.
Finlayson asked a number of questions: 1) Could neighboring
property owners join the annexation by request? [Mr. Smith
said they could.] 2) Could the property on which Kendal
holds an option join the annexation by request? [Mr. Smith
said they could try but we would fight them.] Councilmember
Lucier asked for confirmation that the final decision to
accept annexation is up to Council. [Mr. Smith said it was
and stated Council had “carte blanche.”] Mr. Finlayson said
he would be surprised if any Township residents would be
interested in being annexed. He also asked for confirmation
of the fact that, if annexed, the 80 acres in play could be
zoned residential and built out with 55-60 houses. [Vice
Mayor Wernet responded that Mr. Finlayson’s figures were
accurate. However, the appeal of annexation to some members
of Council is that of dealing with a “known negative” as
opposed to an unknown risk (that extension to the Van
Winkle property might lead to extensions all across the
Township). In other words, annexation provides an
incremental level of safety.[ Mr. Finlayson stated that
annexation would be much more contentious than extension,
and urged against it.
 
Councilmember Crais asked Law Director Crites if the
proposed ordinance were subject to referendum. Mr. Crites
said it is not, because the authorization by ordinance to
sell water qualifies as a revenue—raising ordinance;
therefore the ordinance is non-referendable.

Vice Mayor Wernet closed Council’s Q&A session at 11:52pm.

OLD BUSINESS (continued):
Councilmember Moore reintroduced Ordinance 01-01 by title
only. Second by Councilmember McGowan. Councilmember Moore
moved to amend Ordinance 01-01 to incorporate all the
changes suggested by Mr. Crites in the red-line copy
attached as a part of these Minutes, and proposed two
additional changes. 1) Section 2. “…including the rates,
and billing terms, and the manner in which the Village will
be compensated with regard to….”  2) Section 3. Insert the
number “50” in the appropriate blank space. Second by
Councilmember McGowan.

Discussion:
Councilmember Moore stated she requested these amendments
as two final details to an ordinance which Mr. Crites
believes to be very effective. Councilmember McGowan asked
how the amendments would specifically improve the
ordinance. Law Director Crites stated that Ohio case law is
well established in this area and he had taken the original
ordinance and incorporated the essence of some of the
decisions referred to earlier. The changes are a joint
product of work by Mr. Crites and Mr. Smith and the
additional language tightens the ordinance and strengthens
the village’s position in the event it might be subject to
litigation. He strongly urged Council to approve the
amendments.

A Roll Call vote on the motion-to-amend yielded six (6)
affirmative votes: Council-members Bellman, Crais, Lucier,
McGowan, and Moore; Vice Mayor Wernet. Motion-to-amend
passed.
 
Vice Mayor Wernet suggested tabling Ordinance 01-01 until
the next Council meeting to allow for final negotiations.
Councilmember Bellman noted that the ordinance as it stands
doesn’t include annexation or a review of costs and
services, both problem areas for him, though he is firmly
committed to doing everything possible to making sure the
school district has the water and sewer resources it needs.

Councilmember Moore called the question on the amended
ordinance. A Roll Call vote on Ordinance 01-01 as amended
yielded three (3) affirmative votes (Councilmembers Crais,
McGowan, and Moore) and three (3) negative votes
(Councilmembers Bellman and Lucier; Vice Mayor Wernet).
Ordinance 01-01 is not adopted.

NEW BUSINESS (12:10am)
A. Resolution No. 01-08, A Resolution Concerning The
Provisions Of Water And Sewer Services To The Granville
Exempted Village School District’s New School Site Upon
Annexation To The Village Of Granville, was not introduced.

B. Resolution No. 01-07, A Resolution To Appoint Members To
The Charter Review Commission, was introduced by
Councilmember Bellman. Second by Councilmember Crais.
Councilmembers Moore recused herself from the discussion.

Members to be appointed are Kay Bork, Marc Brockman, Eloise
DeZwarte, Gerry Griffin, Paul king, Jack Kirby, and Jim
Jump.

A voice vote on Resolution 01-07 yield four (4) affirmative
votes. Motion passed.

C. Resolution No. 01-02, A Resolution To Fill Vacancies On
The Planning Commission, was introduced by Vice Mayor
Wernet. Second by Councilmember Lucier.

In Section II, Councilmember Moore nominated Mark Parris;
second by Vice Mayor Wernet. A voice vote on Section II
yielded five (5) affirmative votes. Mr. Parris is elected.

In Section IV, Councilmember Lucier’s term-ending date is
corrected to read “January 31, 2002.” A voice vote on
Section IV yielded seven (7) affirmative votes.

D. Resolution No. 01-03, A Resolution To Fill Vacancies On
The Board Of Zoning And Building Appeals, was introduced by
Councilmember Lucier. Second by Vice Mayor Wernet.

In Section II, Councilmember Lucier nominated Trudy Knox;
second by Vice Mayor Wernet. A voice vote on Section II
yielded seven (7) affirmative votes. Ms. Knox is elected.

E. Resolution No. 01-04, A Resolution To Appoint A Member
To The Granville Tree And Landscape Commission, was
introduced by Councilmember Moore. Second by Councilmember
Crais.

In Section II, Councilmember Bellman nominated Jim Siegel;
second by Council-member Lucier. A voice on Section II
yielded seven (7) affirmative votes. Mr. Siegel is
appointed.

F. Resolution No. 01-05, A Resolution To Fill A Vacancy On
The Municipal Records Commission In Accordance With The
Provisions Of The Ohio Revised Code Section 149.39, was
introduced by Councilmember Bellman. Second by
Councilmember Moore.

The date of the next meeting was corrected to read “2001.”  
A voice vote on Resolution No. 01-05 yielded seven (7)
affirmative votes. Motion passed.

G. Resolution No. 01-06, A Resolution To Authorize The
Village Manager To Advertise For Bids For Tornado Siren
Improvements And Installation, was introduced by
Councilmember Lucier. Second by Vice Mayor Wernet.

A voice vote on Resolution No. 01-06 yielded seven (7)
affirmative votes. Motion passed.
 
NOTE: The following agenda items were not addressed at this
meeting due to the lateness of the hour.
MAYOR'S REPORT

MANAGER'S REPORT

REVIEW AND APPROVAL OF MINUTES

COMMITTEE REPORTS
Development Committee (Councilmember Crais).  
Finance Committee (Councilmember Moore).  
Newark-Granville Joint Committee (Mayor Robertson)
Personnel Committee (Councilmember McGowan).  
Planning Commission (Councilmember Lucier).   
Rec Commission (Councilmember McGowan).   
Street Light Committee (Councilmember McGowan).   
Streets, Sidewalks & Utilities Committee (for Vice Mayor
Wernet).
Tree & Landscape Committee (Councilmember Moore).
Union Cemetery Board (Councilmember Lucier).  
 
OTHER
 
MEETING ANNOUNCEMENTS
February 7, 2001 – Village Council Meeting

ADJOURNMENT
Councilmember Moore made a motion to adjourn the meeting at
12:29am. Second by Councilmember McGowan. Meeting adjourned.

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