Granville Community Calendar

Council Minutes October 16, 2013

VILLAGE OF GRANVILLE

COUNCIL MINUTES
October 16, 2013

 

CALL TO ORDER (by Mayor Hartfield at 7:32pm)

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE 

ROLL CALL 

Those responding to the roll call were Councilmembers Johnson, Lerner, McGowan, Montgomery, O’Keefe, Vice Mayor Barsky, Mayor Hartfield, Manager Stilwell and Law Director King.  

APPROVAL OF AGENDA 

Councilmember McGowan moved to approve the agenda.  Second by Vice Mayor Barsky.  Motion carried.  

CITIZENS COMMENTS (7:39pm) 

Dan Bellman, 310 Summit Street, indicated that he objected to the agenda item regarding the final report of the Tree Trimming Committee.  The report was not a final report.  There has not been a meeting of the Tree Trimming Committee since June 6, 2013.  The meeting was not noticed.  Village staff was not following the rules of the Village Charter by not sending notices or posting the information on the Village website. 

Mayor Hartfield indicated that other members of the Tree Trimming Committee were in attendance and may disagree with your position.  You may speak on that issue during the Other Council Matters section. 

As no one else appeared to speak, Mayor Hartfield closed Citizen Comments at 7:37pm. 

Mayor Hartfield read a proclamation for Alexander M. Spater for his service in the cause of civil rights. 

PUBLIC HEARING 

Ordinance No. 20-2013, An Ordinance Authorizing a Petition to the Licking County Commissioners for a Change of Township Lines Pursuant to Section 503.07 of the Ohio Revised Code 

Jeff Hussey, Granville Township Fire Chief, indicated that Granville Township was not driving this action, but was in support of the Union Township request.  This type of realignment of boundaries has taken place in other Townships throughout the state.  The change would result in a 5 mill effective increase for effected residents.  Residents would continue to receive fire and EMS service from Granville Township The change in Township lines would result in a clean solution to clear up existing tax issues. 

As no one else appeared to speak, Mayor Hartfield closed the Public Hearing at 7:42pm. 

OLD BUSINESS 

Ordinance No. 20-2013, An Ordinance Authorizing a Petition to the Licking County Commissioners for a Change of Township Lines Pursuant to Section 503.07 of the Ohio Revised Code was introduced and moved for approval by Councilmember McGowan.  Second by Vice Mayor Barsky. 

Discussion:

Vice Mayor Barsky asked if any concerns were raised at the community meeting.  Manager Stilwell indicated that the affected property owners were notified and invited to a public meeting.  At the meeting, there were ten government officials and two residents in attendance.  The Village’s roll in this annexation was to facilitate the request for a change of Townships.  The Licking County Commissioners would approve the final Township change. 

Mayor Hartfield called for a roll call vote to approve Ordinance No. 20-2013:  Councilmembers Johnson – yes; Lerner – yes; McGowan – yes; Montgomery – yes; O’Keefe – yes, Vice Mayor Barsky – yes and Mayor Hartfield – yes.  Motion passed 7-0.  Ordinance No. 20-2013 was approved. 

NEW BUSINESS

Resolution No. 2013-52, A Resolution to Appoint a Member to the Planning Commission Representing the Board of the Granville Exempted Village School District was introduced and moved for approval by Councilmember McGowan.  Second by Councilmember Lerner. 

Discussion:

Councilmember O’Keefe confirmed that the school board position was also an ex-officio member with no voting privileges.  Mayor Hartfield indicated in the affirmative. 

Councilmember Montgomery asked why the position was vacated.  Councilmember Johnson indicated that Tim Ryan resigned his position as he moved out of the Village.  Former school representative Doug Eklof was appointed to the Commission, leaving the school representative position vacant.  The school district selected Dennis Cauchon to replace Mr. Eklof as the district’s representative. 

Mayor Hartfield called for a vote to approve Resolution No. 2013-52.  Motion carried.  Resolution No. 2013-52 was adopted. 

Resolution No. 2013-53, A Resolution of Appreciation to the Members of the Tree Trimming Committee was introduced and moved for approval by Councilmember O’Keefe.  Second by Councilmember Johnson. 

Discussion:

Mayor Hartfield thanked the Committee for their service and work over the past several years. 

Mayor Hartfield called for a vote to approve Resolution No. 2013-53.  Motion carried.  Resolution No. 2013-53 was adopted. 

REVIEW OF MINUTES

Minutes from Regularly Council Meeting of October 2, 2013

Councilmember McGowan made a motion to approve the October 2, 2013 minutes as amended.  Second by Councilmember O’Keefe.   Motion carried. 

MAYOR' S REPORT – September 

The Mayor's report for the month of September was presented for review. 

Councilmember McGowan commented that there seemed to be more court cases this year.  He wondered if there was in increase in specific types of cases.  Vice Mayor Barsky indicated that there were a variety of cases being presented. 

Vice Mayor Barsky moved to accept the September Mayor’s Report. Second by Councilmember O’Keefe.  Motion carried. 

Mayor Hartfield instructed the report be filed with the Clerk. A copy of the report will be included as part of these minutes. 

MANAGER' S REPORT – September 

The Manager's report for the month of September was presented for review. 

Vice Mayor Barsky moved to accept the September Manager’s Report.  Second by Councilmember McGowan.  Motion carried. 

Mayor Hartfield instructed the report be filed with the Clerk. A copy of the report will be included as part of these minutes. 

COMMITTEE REPORTS    

Granville Education Foundation – (Lerner) 

Councilmember Lerner reported that the Foundation’s next meeting was October 17, 2013.

Granville Foundation – (Montgomery)

Councilmember Montgomery reported that the Foundation members attended the Licking County Foundation meeting and compared funding ideas and solicitation methods.  The Foundation was intending to add an electronic donation process to the website.  The next Foundation meeting was scheduled for November 19, 2013. 

Granville Recreation District – (McGowan)

Councilmember McGowan reported that the GRD was wrapping fall activities and preparing for registration for winter classes. 

Planning Commission – (Johnson)

No report. 

Open Space Committee (O’Keefe)

No report

Tree & Landscape Commission – (Lerner)

Councilmember Lerner reported that the Commission was accepting bids for fall street tree planting.  The Commission would be planting forty-nine trees.  The Commission attended a fall forestry conference in Columbus.  A proclamation for the work done by Emily Kishler in updating the tree inventory would be requested for December.  Vice Mayor Barsky indicated that the Commission would also be planting three trees in the Maple Grove Cemetery.

Union Cemetery – (Barsky)

Vice Mayor Barsky reported that the Union Cemetery Board scheduled a joint Township – Village Council meeting for November 6th at 7:00pm to discuss the 2014 budget.  The Board wanted to again request $5,000 toward the continued restoration of headstones in the Old Colony Burying Ground.  The Board would be applying for a grant from the Granville Foundation.  The Board intended to finalize what restorations were still needed and could be completed.  The Board may approve the purchase of new stones to replace those that could not be restored. 

OTHER COUNCIL MATTERS 

Tree Trimming Committee Report

Manager Stilwell indicated that several members, who served on the Committee, were in attendance.  He indicated Council and staff’s thanks for their willingness to give of their time and talents.  The Committee provided input to the development of the Pope report and guidance to the service department staff.  The Committee helped gain a better understanding of AEP’s role and how to provide enhanced educational opportunities to the community.  Paul Prater, from AEP, was also present and provided assistance throughout this process. 

Dan Bellman requested the floor to speak as he was interrupted in speaking previously.   The issue was whether Council could accept this report as the final report as there was never a Committee vote on the report.  Mayor Hartfield asked if Council could hear the report first as Council was unaware of any issues concerning the report.  The report needed to be presented first.  Mr. Bellman responded “No,” as the Tree Trimming Committee meeting was a violation of the Ohio open meetings law.  Law Director King advised Mr. Bellman that Council could hear the report, that they would hear the report and that the Mayor was responsible for running Council meetings.  He requested that Mr. Bellman return to his seat. 

Jurgen Pape, Tree Trimming Committee Chair, indicated that the Committee met over the past several years per Council’s guidelines to look into the cycles and methods of tree trimming within the community.  It was very helpful to have the expertise of AEP, an electrical engineer and forestry experts as part of the Committee.  With the 2012 derecho storm, the focus of the Committee changed to include electrical reliability and functioning.  The Village hired Mike Pope to complete an electrical evaluation of the Village.  That report was completed in April, 2013.  The Committee was asked to review and comment on that report.  Pope revised the report using Committee suggestions and comments along with revisions from Manager Stilwell.  The Committee was again given an opportunity to review the revised report and make suggestions.  That revised report was provided to Council as the Committees recommendation.  Mr. Pape thanked all the many members of the Committee and AEP for their hard work.  He also thanked the Village for the efforts make to provide an aesthetic vision for the Village. 

Mayor Hartfield commented directly to Mr. Bellman indicating that she was offended by his behavior that evening.  Council attempted to give inordinate latitude for the community speak their minds at all meetings.  Council indicated that they did not understand the issue regarding this report, but obviously there was an issue.  The Mayor indicated on behalf of Council her displeasure with how Mr. Bellman spoke this evening.  Mr. Bellman was welcomed to share his views. 

Dan Bellman, 310 Summit Street, indicated that a meeting must be publicized in order to take an action.  The last Tree Trimming Committee meeting was June 6, 2013 where the discussion was about wrapping things up and coming close to the end, but there were going to be additional meetings.  The planned July meeting was cancelled.  The next meeting was scheduled for August.  He indicated that he checked with the Clerk, Manager and Service Director about an August meeting.  He was advised that they were unaware of a meeting.  The afternoon of the August meeting, I received an email from Chair Pape that the meeting was still scheduled.  Apparently Mr. Pape and Mr. Hostetter met and signed off on this report.  The Tree Trimming Committee never voted to submit the draft before Council as the final report.  The final report was drafted in August, finalized in September, changes made by the Manager Stilwell in August and finalized in October.  The Tree Trimming Committee did not meet since June to approve this report.  Mr. Bellman asserted that this was a violation of the Ohio meetings act.  Council should not accept anything until they heard what he had to say.  It was the report of Jurgen Pape.  I would like the same opportunity to provide Council with my thoughts.  This report was not a report of the Tree Trimming Committee. 

Councilmember McGowan suggested that the issue be tabled to allow the twelve committee members to meet to vote.  Jurgen Pape indicated that there was never a quorum at any of the meetings.  Mr. Bellman indicated that the problems of the Committee included that people stopped showing up and an issue as to who were members of the Committee.  A report could not be submitted by the Committee unless there was a quorum.  There were four or five people who showed up regularly.  It could just be said that the other members, who didn’t show up, were just not on the Committee. 

Law Director King indicated that from his initial review this ad hoc committee may not meet the statutory definition of a public body and was not required to meet the requirements of the Sunshine Law.  As Council appointed this ad hoc committee and as a procedural matter Council may set how reports and materials were presented.  This presentation was not illegal, unlawful or in violation of the Sunshine Law.  The Law Director indicated that he would provide Council with a memo. 

Mr. Pape indicated that all active members of the Tree Trimming Committee had the opportunity to provide comments and recommend changes to the report.  As all of those items were included in the Pope final report, it was concluded that the Committee’s work was complete. 

Councilmember O’Keefe asked Mr. Bellman if he objected to the recommendations and next steps of the report.  Mr. Bellman indicated that he could do an ad hoc presentation. 

Mayor asked Mr. Bellman to provide his comments and recommendations in written form for the next Council meeting.  The information should be given to staff to forward to Council prior to the November 6th Council meeting. 

Councilmember Lerner commented that it was her understanding the Committee would provide a document that would set guidelines for future decisions.  She indicated her disappointment that Committee members joined and then dropped off.  It seemed that the members staying with the Committee were not in agreement.  She suggested that the remaining members rally all the members to come together to come to a conclusion.  Mayor Hartfield commented that the Committee members present indicated that attempts to revitalize the Committee have been tried unsuccessfully. 

Vice Mayor Barsky indicated that Council offered Mr. Bellman an opportunity to provide a dissenting opinion on a point by point basis.  Council could take that information and formulate a final decision on the report. 

Paul Prater, AEP representative, added that AEP has developed an excellent working relationship with the Village of Granville.  AEP was investing in infrastructure improvements to improve reliability in Village electrical transmission.  

Sidewalk Code Update

Manager Stilwell indicated that Village staff was working on updating the two existing code sections on sidewalks.  These sections were out-of-date and did not address what was currently happening in the Village.  The two separate sections would be combined into one updated section. 

Service Director Hopkins commented that it was his goal to combine code Sections 905 and 907 into one section providing clarity and simplicity to the code.  Some of the proposed changes include: 

  • The current code required residents to contribute half of the cost to replace sidewalk damaged by Village street trees; however, the Village has been baring 100% of the cost of replacement.  The updated code would specifically outline that replacement policy.
  • Issues currently exist regarding replacement and repair of brick sidewalks.  Village code requires all sidewalks be constructed of Portland cement.  To encourage residents to replace brick sidewalk with Portland cement, the new code would provide for a 75% - 25% cost split for replacing these brick sidewalks.  If residents choose to retain a brick sidewalk, then the property owner would be responsible for 100% of the cost to replace or repair a brick sidewalk. 
  • The cost of the sidewalk replacement permit would increase from $1 to $10.
  • Many of the other changes include clarification of language. 

Vice Mayor Barsky asked if the specifications were being taken out of the code in order that changes to those specifications could be made without Council legislation.  Manager Stilwell responded in the affirmative.  Those specifications would be based on the Columbus Building Code specifications, which Council approved earlier this year. 

Councilmember McGowan asked if general maintenance of sidewalks would remain the responsibility of each property owner including snow removal.  Manager Stilwell responded in the affirmative.  The new ordinance will recognize existing brick sidewalks and assigns the cost of maintenance to the property owner.  The Village would continue to maintain the maintenance and care of the downtown sidewalks.  

OTHER STAFF MATTERS 

Councilmember McGowan asked that Council provide a resolution or proclamation for retiring Chamber Executive Director Maggie Barno at the November 6, 2013 meeting. 

Councilmember O’Keefe indicated her appreciation for the proclamation recognizing her friend Alexander Spater.  She had been unaware of the extent of his work and accomplishments.  

Bryn Du Commission Carriage House Renovation Request

Manager Stilwell asked Council to refer to an item from the Bryn Du Commission regarding renovations to the Carriage House.  The Commission indicated these renovation plans were moving forward based on the Bryn Du Master Plan.  The Commission hoped to begin renovation to the Carriage House at the end of 2013.  Their request was to use the $50,000 capital improvement contribution from the 2013 budget toward the project.  They were requesting that the 2014 contribution of $50,000 be given in 2013 as an advance.  The Commission has allocated $100,000 in matching funds for the project.  

Councilmember Johnson asked if this contribution would affect the $25,000 operating budget for 2014.  Manager Stilwell indicated that the operating budget for 2014 for Bryn Du would not be affected.  

Council indicated their support to proceed and approve the request for the 2014 $50,000 capital improvement funding in 2014.  Manager Stilwell indicated that Council would need to amend the 2013 budget in order to make the appropriation.  

Mayor Hartfield requested that the Bryn Du Commission make a presentation when the budget ordinance was presented.  

ADJOURNMENT (8:43pm) 

Councilmember McGowan made a motion to adjourn.  Second by Councilmember Johnson.  Motion carried. 

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