VILLAGE OF GRANVILLE SPECIAL COUNCIL MEETING August 22, 2001
CALL TO ORDER (by Mayor Robertson at 7:35pm)
ROLL CALL (7:35pm) Those responding to the Roll Call were Councilmembers Crais, McGowan, and Moore; Vice Mayor Wernet, Mayor Robertson; Manager Hickman, Law Director Crites. Vice Mayor Wernet moved to excuse Councilmember Lucier; second by Councilmember Moore. Vice Mayor Wernet moved to excuse Councilmember Bellman; second by Councilmember Crais. Motions carried.
CITIZENS’ COMMENTS Kendal Water Service Donald Curtis, 1942 Columbus Road. Mr. Curtis stated that he has water service from a tap off the Owens water line and asked if he would get a reduced rate once Kendal has tapped in. (He now pays a 2.0 multiplier.) He also asked if he would be assessed if a sewer line were run past his property, especially since he has a septic system and would neither require not want sewer service. Mayor Robertson responded that no decision has yet been made on either issue, since this is the first request. Vice Mayor Wernet noted that part of the rationale for Kendal’s lower rate (a 1.3 multiplier) is based on their volume commitment. Councilmember Crais added that Kendal is also paying a 1% income tax. Mr. Curtis was satisfied with those answers. On the sewer issue, Mayor Robertson stated that the JEDD/CEDA idea being discussed would only be applicable between Kendal and the Village, not any individual residents. She added that offering sewer service to anyone else has not been discussed but would be unlikely. Vice Mayor Wernet added that, in any case, he was fairly certain that charges would not be assessed if someone did not want to tap in. Mayor Robert closed Citizens’ Comments at 7:44pm.
PUBLIC HEARING (7:47pm) Ordinance No. 29-01, An Ordinance Authorizing The Village Of Granville To Provide Surplus Water Service to Kendal At Granville Located At the Middleton Site On Columbus Rd.. Attorney Drake spoke on behalf of Kendal in order to respond to a draft non-assignability clause put forward by Councilmember Moore. Mr. Drake proposed the following changes: 1) delete the second “l” from Kendal; 2) add – “… accrue to [Kendal] hereunder, may be voluntarily transferred or assigned…;” 3) add – “…without the prior written consent of the Village, which consent will not be unreasonably withheld.” [Members of Council accepted Mr. Drake’s corrections/additions as friendly amendments, to be incorporated under Old Business.]
Mayor Robertson closed the Public Hearing at 7:47pm.
OLD BUSINESS (8:48pm) Ordinance No. 29-01, An Ordinance Authorizing The Village of Granville To Provide Surplus Water Service To Kendal At Granville Located At The Middleton Site On Columbus Rd., was reintroduced by Vice Mayor Wernet, as amended. Second by Councilmember Moore.
Discussion: Councilmember Crais proposed several changes to the contract and the ordinance. Ordinance: 1) Paragraph 8, add – “…being developed consistent with the current Township requirements…;” 2) insert a new Paragraph 9 – “Whereas Kendal is a not-for- profit (501-C-3) corporation.” 3) Re-number the current Paragraph 10 to be “Paragraph 11.” 4) Paragraph 11 – add “… it is hereby determined that the Village presently has surplus water….” Contract: 1) Item 17, add – “…shall meet, and continue to meet, all …”
Vice Mayor Wernet seconded both motions. [Note: the vote on amendments will include the earlier changes accepted re non- assignability—changes that will appear in the contract as Paragraph 21.]
A Roll Call vote on the motions to amend the Contract and the Ordinance yielded five (5) affirmative votes (Councilmembers Crais, McGowan, and Moore; Vice Mayor Wernet, Mayor Robertson).
A Roll Call vote on Ordinance No. 29-01, as amended, yielded five (5) affirmative votes (Councilmembers Crais, McGowan, and Moore; Vice Mayor Wernet, Mayor Robertson). Ordinance No. 29-01, as amended, is adopted.
Ordinance No. 22-01, An Ordinance To Amend Sections 2.09 And 2.11 Of The Village Charter To Require Council To Periodically Update Its Rules And Make Them Available To New Members And To The Public, To Require Uniform Referral, Voting And Reporting Of Legislation By Committees Of Council, To Require Such Committees To Keep Minutes, Which are Public Records, And To Provide That Municipal Residents And Property Owners May Serve On Committees, But That Only Members Of The Council May Vote, was moved off the table by Vice Mayor Wernet. Second by Councilmember Moore. Motion carried. Councilmember Crais reintroduced Ordinance No. 22- 01; second by Vice Mayor Wernet.
Councilmember McGowan clarified, “for the record,” that this ordinance was tabled by Councilmember Crais only after Section IV, the emergency provision, was not passed at the last meeting.
Councilmember Moore moved to amend Section II, SECTION 2.11, by striking the 6th and 7th sentences: “Rules addressing the referral of ordinances or resolutions to such committees, committee voting, and the reporting of such legislation back to Council shall be uniform for all committees. Council may appoint residents or owners of property in the municipality to committees, but only members of Council may vote on any matter before a committee.” Second by Councilmember McGowan.
Discussion: Councilmember Moore stated that the provisions she proposes to delete do not add to Council’s authority; rather, they take away powers. Re the second sentence, she used the example of the Strategic Land Acquisition Committee (composed of six members, only three of whom are members of Council) and questioned why the non-Council members of the committee should be unable to vote on the committee’s recommendations. In short, she feels Council should have the flexibility to determine who the committee members should be and whether or not they should vote based on the nature of the work. Re the first sentence, she stated that making all rules uniform with respect to legislation referrals again puts Council in a box that restricts their flexibility—i.e., not all legislation is created equal and some requires more thought, different expertise, more discussion. In short, uniformity, per se, is not an adequate goal, especially at the cost of restricting this and future councils.
A Roll Call vote on the motion- to-amend yielded five (5) affirmative votes (Councilmembers Crais, McGowan, and Moore; Vice Mayor Wernet, Mayor Robertson). Motion-to- amend carried. [NOTE: Changes in the title of the Ordinance to reflect the passage of this motion-to-amend are hereby made.]
Councilmember Crais moved to amend Section II, SECTION 2.11, by making the following additions to the 4th sentence: “The rules may provide… standing committees and may prescribe the procedure….” He also proposed repositioning this sentence by appending it to the end of the first paragraph. Paragraph 2 would then read, “Committees shall keep minutes, which shall be public records.” Paragraph 3 would read, “The Clerk of Council shall keep a journal of the proceedings of Council, which shall be a public record.” Second by Vice Mayor Wernet.
Discussion: Vice Mayor Wernet suggested that Council should consider drafting proposed procedures that could be followed. Councilmember McGowan noted that he could not vote for this ordinance if it were to be amended as proposed since he did not know whether or not the Charter Review Committee had considered any of these ideas. Further exchange of viewpoints ensued.
A Roll Call vote on the motion-to-amend yielded five (5) affirmative votes (Councilmembers Crais, McGowan, and Moore; Vice Mayor Wernet; Mayor Robertson). Motion-to-amend carried.
A Roll Call vote on Ordinance No. 22-01, as amended, yielded five (5) affirmative votes (Councilmembers Crais, McGowan, and Moore; Vice Mayor Wernet, Mayor Robertson). Ordinance No. 22-01, as amended, is adopted.
Ordinance No. 25-01, An Ordinance To Amend Section 8.01 Of The Village Charter To Make The Board Of Education’s Representative On The Planning Commission An Ex-Officio, Non-Voting Member, was moved off the table by Vice Mayor Wernet. Second by Councilmember Crais. Motion carried. Ordinance No. 25-01 was re-introduced by Councilmember Crais; second by Vice Mayor Wernet.
Discussion: Councilmember Moore stated that, in the abstract, she finds no fault with the logical analysis of the Charter Review Committee, but we don’t live in the abstract. We live in a community that has been torn apart by hard words and harsh feelings amongst leaders and citizens. She believes the Review Committee had no political motivation in drafting this proposal but fears that the perception will be that Council is acting out of some mean-spiritedness. She feels Council should be trying to find ways to include our school leaders in what we do rather than exclude them. She added that the current School Board designee has been a voting member of the Planning Commission for a long time, without doing any obvious harm. That being the case, it would be a gesture of good will to not put this divisive issue on the ballot.
Vice Mayor Wernet suggested that having two non-voting members from the School Board would both increase their participation and “clean up the issue.” Councilmember Moore reiterated her feeling that the issue should not be brought up at this time. Councilmember McGowan asked Law Director Crites if it could be filed at a later date. Mr. Crites responded that Council is empowered to amend the Charter by a two-thirds vote to put something on the ballot. Councilmember McGowan said that if this issue were set aside for six months and then brought up in “less hostile times” it might “go down better.”
Vice Mayor Wernet offered a second possible modification—to specify that the designee of the Board of Education would continue to vote but must be approved by both the Board and Council. Councilmember McGowan asked if it was accurate to say that this other body gives Council a designee and Council accepts it; Manager Hickman said it was. Councilmember Crais asked if that was the procedure for any (or all) other committees; Vice Mayor Wernet said it was not and added that the Township Zoning Commission does not have a Board of Education representative. Mayor Robertson, based on her own experience on the Planning Commission, noted it can well be difficult to have a member who does not work well with the other members.
Councilmember Crais stated that Vice Mayor Wernet’s joint- approval proposal offers a way to de-politicize the Planning Commission. While it might put Council in a tough spot now, it also “might save us from conflict later on.” He added that the proposal, which he termed an “elegant compromise,” also reproduces the pattern by which other committees are run. Mayor Robertson also spoke in support of the joint-approval proposal. She added that if one entity is represented in a special way (e.g., the School Board), others should be as well (e.g., Denison, which has “just as much a stake in development and planning”). Councilmember McGowan disagreed, noting that the effects of development on the schools were much different than they were on Denison. Vice Mayor Wernet stated that part of the existing problem is a relative lack of communication between Council and the School Board. Whoever goes into the Planning Commission as the School Board designee would, therefore, be most effective if he/she had the support of both bodies (i.e., if the two entities worked together to agree on the School Board designee, future replications of previous communication-based problems could be avoided). Councilmember McGowan countered that the problem wasn’t communication so much as education (i.e., the School Board is charged with site selection, not Council). He added that “cutting on the School Board six months later is not being positive.” Vice Mayor Wernet responded that his intent is only to encourage communication by having a meeting to agree on the School Board designee.
Councilmember Crais stated that this joint-approval proposal mandates dialog between Council and the School Board on issues of great importance to both bodies and he couldn’t see how that could hurt instead of being a great help. He felt that if the ordinance as originally proposed were put forward it would continue the politicization of the community. On the other hand, if nothing went forward, there might be other political ramifications. He characterized the dilemma as a “double-edged sword that is blunted by (Vice Mayor) Wernet’s suggestions.” Councilmember Moore noted that those suggestions basically eliminated all the changes proposed by the Charter Review Committee.
Mayor Robertson asked for an indication of support for the joint-approval proposal. Councilmember McGowan said he thought it would be better to wait for next November rather than rush this through without consulting with the School Board beforehand. He also objected to Council issuing a mandate. Mayor Robertson responded that, if the intent is for healing to take place, proposing to do something jointly would seem to lead to more healing than Council having talked about this publicly, then backing off. Councilmember Moore stated that she supports the concept but understands Councilmember McGowan’s perspective (i.e., it would be nice to have the School Board’s prior input on what would be a good arrangement). She added that we also don’t know if the Charter Review Committee talked to the School Board or not.
Vice Mayor Wernet and Councilmember Crais expressed amazement that Council was even having this discussion. Councilmember Crais cited a conversation at the meeting three weeks ago when these ordinances were first introduced: Councilmember Lucier, noting that she would be gone for the month of August, asked if any issues could be discussed at that time so her input could be included. No problems were raised at that time. He characterized the current discussion as a “broadside,” and a “surprise” that was needlessly creating conflict and further politicizing the community. He added that re “mandate,” he only meant that the amendment proposed by Vice Mayor Wernet would “mandate” a conversation or process between Council and the School Board—something that would be “incredibly useful.”
Councilmember Moore, responding to Vice Mayor Wernet and Councilmember Crais, noted that she was not trying to broadside anyone. While she might not have had an opinion when the legislation was first introduced and the public hearing set, the process that followed (i.e., public input and community discussion) allowed her to form her opinion and raises questions that might not have been apparent at the beginning of the process. An angry exchange followed, ending with an apology being offered and accepted.
Councilmember Crais moved to amend Section II as follows: 1) specify that the designee of the Board of Education shall be a voting member; 2) specify that the designee of the Board of Education shall be appointed by the joint agreement of Council and the Board of Education; 3) delete SECTION 11.12. Second by Vice Mayor Wernet.
A Roll Call vote on the motion-to-amend yielded five (5) affirmative votes: Councilmembers Crais, McGowan, and Moore; Vice Mayor Wernet, Mayor Robertson. Motion-to-amend carried. Councilmember Crais called the question. Motion carried.
A Roll Call vote on Ordinance No. 25-01, as amended, yielded four (4) affirmative votes (Councilmembers Crais and Moore; Vice Mayor Wernet, Mayor Robertson) and one (1) negative vote (Councilmember McGowan). Ordinance No. 25-01, as amended, is not enacted.
ADJOURNMENT Councilmember Crais moved to adjourn the meeting at 9:07pm. Second by Vice Mayor Wernet. Motion carried.