VILLAGE OF GRANVILLE
October 1, 2014
CALL TO ORDER (by Mayor Hartfield at 7:30pm)
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Those responding to the roll call were Councilmembers Johnson, Lerner, McGowan, Montgomery, O’Keefe, Mayor Hartfield, Manager Stilwell and Law Director King.
Councilmember Lerner moved to excuse Vice Mayor Barsky. Second by Councilmember McGowan. Motion passed.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Councilmember McGowan moved to amend the agenda to move Citizens Comments after Presentation. Second by Councilmember O’Keefe. Motion passed.
Mayor Hartfield swore Leslie Benner in as the new full-time dispatcher.
CITIZENS COMMENTS (7:33pm)
Dennis Cauchon, 327 East Broadway, came to speak for liberty and justice for all. Mr. Cauchon asked Council to follow through on their promise to clean up the technical discrepancies between the state and Village marijuana code. He alleged that Council removed protections from the code for medical marijuana patients several weeks ago and left in penalties that impacted the poor. Mr. Cauchon spoke about an upcoming Mayor’s Court case where the female defendant would lose her license for possessing drug paraphernalia. He asked that Council change the code to help this defendant. The Village targeted poor people and people of color. Please follow through with updating the Village code
Bob Johnson, 218 East Elm Street, spoke on behalf of neighbors on South Pearl Street, East Elm Street, East Maple Street and South Prospect Street. The neighbors had three concerns regarding the streets in their area – cars speeding, cars running stop signs and dilapidated properties in the area. The speeding and stop signs issues were brought to the Village’s attention three years ago. The neighbors were asking for the Village to reduce the speed limit on the streets, post a No Through Street sign, add speed bumps to the streets or make Elm and College one way streets. Regarding the dilapidated homes, the neighbors urged Council to adopt a basic property maintenance code that would hold the property owners accountable. Mr. Johnson expressed his appreciation for Council allowing him to make this presentation.
Iris Taylor, 335 West Elm Street, was upset that there was not a property maintenance code in the Village. She had issues with the condition of her neighbor’s house and the fact that trash cans were being left on the street. The Village was powerless to do anything about these issues. Ms. Taylor also expressed concerns about the condition of Sugar Loaf. The stairs need improvement, the weeds need trimmed and the brick street were full of weeds.
Jeanetta Pyle, 123 South Pearl Street, provided Council with a photo presentation of homes in the South Pearl, East Elm and South Prospect Streets area. She requested that Council develop a property maintenance code with some teeth in it to enforce these property owners to make the necessary repairs. In five years, people would no longer to move to Granville because homes were in such disrepair. Too many homes were dilapidated and in disrepair.
Sharon Sinsabaugh, 129 West Broadway, asked that Council develop legislation to require oversight, accountability and a more responsible process to manage the events that happen in the Village. Currently, the Village Manager approves all events using public rights-of-way in the Village. There has been a dramatic increase in the number and size of events in the Village. Many events have merit and should take place. There has been mismanagement regarding the number, timing, location and guidelines of these events. Little consideration was given to the residential nature of the Village, preserving the pedestrian rights-of way, the capacity of the Village and public safety. She asked that Council develop legislation to rectify these issues.
Steve Matheny, 1500 Dutch Lane North, spoke as the new Chamber Director. He advised Council that the Chamber was also interested in reviewing the perspective of the number and impact of the events. The Chamber was willing to continue working with the Village in a collaborative nature. The Chamber would be eliminating two events in 2015 – Street Scenes and Christmas in July. The Chamber would also be evaluating the effectiveness of all of their events. The Chamber was interested in local businesses as well as the general community welfare and the overall benefits of events.
As no one else appeared to speak, Mayor Hartfield closed Citizens Comments at 8:08pm.
There was no Old Business.
Councilmember O’Keefe asked the rationale for the Maker’s Market and if it received an approval from the Village. Manager Stilwell responded that the Maker’s Market and United Church were both on the Village right-of-way. The Maker’s Market was in place prior to his taking the Manager’s position. It was his understanding that the Market was generally inside the sidewalk area, which the Village allowed the Church to control. The Maker’s Market was also a more fluid group varying in size and frequency. Manager Stilwell was aware of the concerns regarding the Market encroaching into the tree lawn area in front of the Church. He had spoken with Pastor Davidson and requested two modifications – ask vendors to not set up in the tree lawn and when inside the sidewalk area stay back from the sidewalk. Pastor Davidson indicated that the Church was also in the process of evaluating the event. He understood Ms. Sinsabaugh’s concerns regarding events. It was a balancing act to evaluate and determine the best interests of all the competing interests. Manager Stilwell commented that he tried to respect the status quo and worked to make adjustments where needed. He acknowledged the Chamber’s interest in collaborating to find a balance.
Councilmember Montgomery suggested that a structure be set for the Maker’s Market to ensure the footprint did not get out of hand.
Mayor Hartfield recommended that staff and Council look at the entire event calendar and set standards and guidelines. Councilmember O’Keefe added that the Chamber should be included in this process. Councilmember Montgomery commented that an event’s footprint, timing and impact be included as part of these standards.
Councilmember O’Keefe questioned staff about one of the photos in the presentation regarding brick sidewalks and maintenance issues. Manager Stilwell indicated that the Village had a sidewalk replacement program in place. The North Granger Street sidewalks were replaced in 2014 with Pearl Street sidewalks scheduled for 2015. Currently, the sidewalk policy would replace any brick sidewalks with concrete at the request of the homeowner. Maintenance and replacement of brick sidewalks were strictly the homeowner’s responsibility. Mayor Hartfield felt that the brick sidewalks were of historical significance and thought the Village should work toward a more effective maintenance plan. Councilmember Lerner suggested that Council revisit the Village’s spending policy regarding brick sidewalks. She felt the Village should be responsible for some portion of the maintenance of these sidewalks. She also commented that residents with brick sidewalks might not know that those sidewalks were the homeowner’s responsibility. Councilmember Montgomery felt the brick sidewalks were worth restoring. Councilmember Johnson indicated that it was important for Council to look at the overall expense of maintaining the different type sidewalks over the course of many years.
Councilmember McGowan suggested that the most effective way to resolve speeding and stop sign violations were for the police to target that area and write tickets. Regarding reducing the speed limit, he was not sure that was permissible. There could also be possible liability issues with the installation of speed bumps. Law Director King responded that targeted enforcement does make a difference. The Uniform Traffic Control Manuel regulates speed limits, and the current twenty-five miles per hour speed limit could not be reduced without a complete traffic study by ODOT. Speed bumps could be a practical and effective method to reduce speed.
Councilmember Lerner suggested staggered parking similar to East College Street. Council was not sure staggered parking would help or be possible.
Mayor Hartfield indicated that the issue of drivers rolling through stop signs allowed cars to gain higher speeds. She felt speed bumps would be beneficial.
Councilmember Montgomery expressed his support for targeted enforcement.
Councilmember Johnson asked how many officers were normally on duty. Manager Stilwell advised that two officers and a supervisor were normally on duty, but the department was currently short staffed. On the Saturday in question, one of two officers on duty called in sick and a replacement officer was unable to be secured.
Councilmember Johnson confirmed that the only change to the code regarding medical marijuana was the removal of the affirmative defense. The rest of the code was left the same with “May” remaining regarding sentencing and the mandatory suspension of a defendant’s driver’s license. Law Director responded in the affirmative.
Councilmember McGowan asked if defendants with drug and drug paraphernalia charges resulted from traffic stops originally. Law Director King indicated that almost all drug charges were the result of traffic violations. The Granville Police Department does not profile nor do they work to select people to violate.
Councilmember Johnson asked for a possible timeline for an ordinance to address property maintenance issues. Law Director King commented that Village Council had placed the property maintenance issues as one of their top priorities during the 2014 Council retreat. Staff was working on developing a maintenance code; looking at other municipal codes to find the best option for Granville. Both zoning and legal issues were being considered. However, a maintenance code had to be careful that it did not address issues regarding esthetics. Enforcement of a property maintenance code was also difficult. Safety concerns would be the most important factor. Councilmember Johnson asked about designing a community reinvestment plan with private dollars. Law Director King agreed that a volunteer program to help people who might need assistance with the upkeep of their property could be a good solution. The Village would certainly be able to participate in such a program by suspending fees for violations to help encourage improvements. Participants in the Alternative Plea program could also direct their community service hours to helping homeowners.
Councilmember O’Keefe asked if trash cans would be an issue included in a property maintenance code. Law Director King said it probably could be included as a right-of-way issue.
Councilmember McGowan asked if there had been any food truck permits issued. Law Director King said no permits had been issued yet, but the vendor who initiated this ordinance had picked-up the necessary paperwork to apply.
Council asked about who handled maintenance for Sugar Loaf. Manager Stilwell advised that Sugar Loaf was Village owned property. The Village handled issues involving safety concerns. Currently the Village was working on storm water issues involving the park. Volunteers and the Boy and Girl Scouts, take care of the park in general. There was a fund established to take care of the general maintenance of the park. That fund was administered by Ben Barton.
REVIEW OF MINUTES
Regularly Scheduled Meeting of September 17, 2014
Councilmember O’Keefe made a motion to approve the September 17, 2014 as amended. Second by Councilmember Montgomery. Motion carried.
Granville Foundation – (Montgomery)
Granville Recreation District – (McGowan)
Planning Commission – (O’Keefe)
Councilmember O’Keefe reported that there was not a quorum for the last Planning Commission meeting. There was one application for a roof replacement that was needed as continued damage was being caused by weather related issues. Law Director King said that a vote was taken to allow the property owner to move forward with immediate repairs and would be brought back to the GPC for final approval
Open Space Committee (O’Keefe)
Tree & Landscape Commission – (Lerner)
Councilmember Lerner reported that the Commission was working on the north side of Opera House Park. The Commission would be hosting a seminar about the upcoming AEP tree trimming for the entire community on Thursday, October 23, 2014.
Union Cemetery – (Barsky)
OTHER COUNCIL MATTERS
Village Council acknowledged the receipt of the 2015 Village budget.
The Granville Arts Commission requested that Village Council provide an ex-officio member. Councilmember O’Keefe volunteered to be that member.
OTHER STAFF MATTER
Manager Stilwell advised Council that Sergeant Keith Blackledge was appointed as the acting police chief. Council was advised that the candidate that was selected for the position, withdrew his application. Manager Stilwell asked Council if they wanted staff to restart the selection process. Chief Walter Distelzweig would continue his services as interim police chief, but on a more limited basis being available by phone and coming in four hours per week or as needed. Council affirmed that staff should restart the police chief selection process.
Councilmember Johnson made a motion to adjourn. Second by Councilmember O’Keefe. Motion carried.