Granville Community Calendar

Council Minutes September 3, 2014

VILLAGE OF GRANVILLE

COUNCIL MINUTES

September 3, 2014

 

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, Vice Mayor Barsky, Mayor Hartfield, Manager Stilwell and Law Director King. 

Vice Mayor Barsky moved to excuse Councilmember O’Keefe.  Second by Councilmember McGowan.  Motion passed. 

The minutes note that Councilmember O’Keefe arrived at 7:37pm. 

APPROVAL OF AGENDA 

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

 

CITIZENS COMMENTS (7:33pm) 

Dan Rogers, 210 East Maple Street, commented that the safety service vehicle sirens were out of control in the Village.  Noise from the police and fire departments had increased over the past twenty years and something needed to be done.

Barbara Franks, 121 ½ South Prospect Street, asked if Council had investigated the sidewalk that was built on West Broadway.  She questioned who authorized the installation, the cost and the number of accidents that occurred due to the sidewalk being out in the street.  This sidewalk served no purpose.  There had been dozens of accidents.  Ms. Franks indicated her displeasure about the cost of the sidewalk at $16,267.  The Village paid the service department crews $15,000 to install the holiday lights instead of having them do the sidewalk work or pay Dan R Electric $1,500 to put up the lights. Manager Stilwell responded that the sidewalk was approved by Village Council during the March 20, 2013 meeting.  Mayor Hartfield responded that the sidewalk was provided to give access to the entrance of Sugar Loaf. 

 

As no one else appeared to speak, Mayor Hartfield closed Citizens Comments at 7:40pm.

PRESENTATION

Mayor Hartfield swore Sidney Brown as a new part-time dispatcher.

PUBLIC HEARING

Ordinance No. 07-2014, An Ordinance to Enact Chapter 719, Sections 719.01, 719.02, 719.03, 719.04, 719.05, 719.06, 719.07, 719.08, 719.09, 719.10, 719.11 and 719.012 of the Codified Ordinances of the Village of Granville, Ohio Pertaining to Food Truck Standards

Barbara Franks, 121 ½ South Prospect Street, asked why many of the requirements used a ninety-day standard.  Law Director King indicated that ninety-days was a workable standard and was a time period used by many comparable codes.  Ms. Franks had questions regarding specific code sections as follows: 

  • Section 719.02 regarding why a permit would be needed if on private property.  Planner Terry responded that all food trucks would need a permit from the Village and may only be located on private property.  A person or organization hosting a one-time, special event, where a truck would be used as catering, would not need a permit.  These regulations were for food trucks that wanted to operate on an ongoing, regular basis.
  • Section 719.04 (c)(2) only allowed two food trucks on properties greater than one acre.  Ms. Franks questioned if that included Denison.  Mayor Hartfield responded in the affirmative.
  • Section 719.04 (d)(2) questioned if a food truck had to be located within twenty-five feet of a fire hydrant.  Councilmember Montgomery responded that a food truck could not park any closer to a fire hydrant than twenty-five feet. 
  • Section 719.01 (12) as to why ice cream trucks were permitted to play music, while food trucks were not.  This rule was not fair.
  • Section 719.01 (8) mentioned trucks on two-acre lots and another section talked about one-acre lots.  This language was not consistent.
  • 719.01 (10) required that mobile food truck vendors dispose of their own trash, but why does the Village empty Whit’s trash cans twice a day in the summer.
  • 719.01 (13) regarding hours of operation, Ms. Franks felt the food truck vendors should only be allowed to be open when the brick and mortar businesses were not busy.  The hours should be all hours of the day except key hours during lunch and dinner so as not to conflict with brick and mortar businesses. 
  • 719.08 regarding the transfer of food truck permits, the permit should follow the truck, not the owner.
  • 719.09 regarding the ability of the Village Manager to suspend or revoke a permit, this regulation seemed to allow for the favoring of special friends.

Ordinance No. 08-2014, An Ordinance to Amend Sections 1159.02, 1167.02, 1169.02, 1171.02, 1173.02, and 1175.02 of the Codified Ordinances of the Village of Granville, Ohio Pertaining to Food Truck Standards 

No comments.

Ordinance No. 12-2014, An Ordinance to Amend Sections 513.02, 513.03, 513.04, 513.05, 513.06, 513.07, 513.08 and 513.12 of the Codified Ordinances of the Village of Granville, Ohio Pertaining to Medical Marihuana

Law Director King provided the audience with a brief overview of the legislation.  These code amendments were designed to accomplish two issues.  It would remove what currently appears to be an affirmative defense to a charge of possession of marijuana if used medicinally per the written recommendation of a licensed physician.  The second change would change the penalty for eight different drug use convictions to include a mandatory driver’s license suspension from six months to five years.  The Village’s Mayor’s Court has been using this latter standard for the past several years as a matter of practice, but this amendment would codify that standard.  These changes would bring the Village code into compliance with the state code.  These changes had nothing to do with the merits of medical marijuana.  State law prohibits the use of medical marijuana and would prevail. 

Councilmember McGowan clarified that no Ohio physician could legally prescribe medical marijuana.  He asked if a person had a prescription from a physician in a state where medical marijuana was legal, could it be brought into Ohio?  Law Director King advised Council that this legislation was amending Section 513 Controlled Substances.  There were five schedules of controlled substances in the Ohio Revised Code.  There was an exemption to state and local codes that allowed a person to have these controlled substances pursuant to holding a lawful prescription.  There could never be a lawful prescription for marijuana as Ohio law currently stands.  In 1996, there was a state code change that changed the state law allowing for an affirmative defense for holding marijuana if you had the prior, written recommendation of a licensed physician.  This state code was changed the following year removing that language, but the code was not changed as part of the annual code update.  Should the Village of Granville attempt to enact law permitting medical marijuana with a prescription, it would be in conflict with current state law and state law would prevail.  Law Director King advised that comity does not extend to substantive criminal law, so bringing prescribed marijuana into Ohio from a legalized state was not permitted. 

Dennis Cauchon, 327 East Broadway, provided Council with a copy of his personal comparison of possession laws for the state of Ohio and the Village of Granville.  There were three issues that needed to be addressed.  The state code stated that the penalty for possession should be a minor misdemeanor, while the Village code had the penalty as a third degree misdemeanor.  Secondly, the state code listed the penalty regarding driver’s license suspension as a “shall” versus the Village code as a “may.”  In checking with other cities, no one enforces the “shall” penalty, they all used the “may” penalty.  Mr. Cauchon stated that the Supreme Court ruled that misdemeanor criminal offenses were a Home Rule issue.  He claimed that the Village could continue to allow medical marijuana to be an affirmative defense.  He sourced the 1997 Legislative Services Commission, who claimed that the defense of medical marijuana was a Home Rule issue.   He advised Council that this legislation was not a housekeeping matter, but a policy matter.  The state said it was a Home Rule issue and Council should maintain the code.  The Village was changing the code to target people.  There were people that spoke to Mr. Cauchon who experienced medical benefits from smoking marijuana.  However, these people were afraid to speak in front of Council and admit use of marijuana as their comments would provide probable cause to have their homes searched.  That is not Granville values.  Council should care about people. 

Cameron Sessor, 204 South Main Street, requested that Council leave the code as it currently stands.  He suggested that Council could be the start of where change began.  He told of his father’s suffering in his struggle with cancer.  He would have liked to have had medical marijuana as a possible treatment option for his father.  Do not shoot down medical cannabis.  This law should be encouraged.  The matter should be voted on by the community.  Mr. Sessor asked that the penalties for possession be brought into consistency with state code. 

Cindy Bartch, 949 Howell Drive, asked Council not to penalize patients who need access to medical marijuana.  She acquired lyme disease and had a prescription for Merinol, but it did not relieve my pain.  Please do not remove this protection for community residents.

Carl Swick, 365 Compton Boulevard, medical marijuana was a subject that needed attention.  Why can’t the Village stand up against state law?  This effort could be the beginning of change.  Many people could use it.  Stand up for your citizens.  Don’t punish people in pain. 

Sam Rogers, 210 East Maple Street, commented that this language had been on the books for twenty years and not been a problem.  Why change it now? Just leave it. 

Curtis Edmonds, Denison student, asked if the language had to be changed from “may suspend” to “shall suspend.”   Law Director King stated that the language would not have to be changed.  Village Council had the ability to leave the language as discretionary.  The change was recommended to make the code consistent with the current sentencing practice of Mayor’s Court.  This language was a policy decision.  Mr. Edmonds also asked if the Village anticipated a conflict with the state regarding the prosecution of medical marijuana cases as the Village had issued one hundred fifty citations in the past several years without a problem.  Law Director King indicated that no one had tried to use the affirmative defense.  Should an officer or prosecutor be faced with a case where someone was using medicinal marijuana, those officers and prosecutors had discretionary abilities to address the situation without a citation.  Cases in the Village involved the use of marijuana for recreational purposes.  First-time offenders had the option of participating in the Alternative Plea Program.  Following their community service, the offense could be dismissed.  Mr. Edmonds added that prosecutors should be allowed the discretion to not suspend a person’s driver’s license. 

Leanne Barbee, Casstown, Ohio, expressed concerns that officers would not believe that a person was using marijuana for medicinal uses.  An individual should be allowed to go to court and use the medicinal defense.  The language was in the code for a long time and caused no harm.  She indicated that it was important to maintain that language to protect people’s rights.

Carlis McDerment, Former Deputy Sheriff for Fairfield County, Vice President of NORML and an ordained minister, stated that marijuana was a Schedule I narcotic, which means it has no medicinal value and has a high potential for abuse.  Yet the federal government holds a patent on marijuana.  These laws were put in place to protect other people, not to protect people from themselves.  Who did medical marijuana users harm?  No one, except themselves.  He indicated that it was ridiculous that possession was a third degree misdemeanor and taking away someone’s license was not an appropriate penalty.  He asked Council to do the right thing.

Barbara Franks, 121 ½ South Prospect Street, felt that Council should allow residents to vote on this issue.  

 

Councilmember O’Keefe suggested that if members of the audience felt strongly about putting the issue to a vote, they should pursue filing a referendum to bring the issue to the ballot.  Councilmember McGowan advised that the deadline to file something for the November ballot had passed.  Law Director King added that technically the residents would file an initiative, not a referendum.  It would need to be a statewide initiative or a law passed by the General Assembly.  He speculated that the Licking County Board of Elections would reject a local initiative, as adopting this issue as a local matter would be legally invalid. 

Councilmember Montgomery asked Law Director King if Home Rule provided the Village the ability to use discretion regarding possession and penalty.  Law Director King advised that case law allowed, within the range of felonies and misdemeanors, the Village to hold different levels of penalties.  The same crime could be a first degree misdemeanor in state law, but be a third degree misdemeanor in local law.  The license suspension issue could be discretionary at the local level and a mandatory penalty at the state level, if Council so decided. 

Councilmember O’Keefe asked the difference between a minor misdemeanor and a third degree misdemeanor.  Law Director King explained that a minor misdemeanor had no possibility of jail time and was not considered a criminal offense.  A third degree misdemeanor had the possibility of jail time.  Councilmember O’Keefe commented that she understood that the federal Justice Department was reassessing the punitive measures taken against possession of marijuana. 

 

Councilmember McGowan commented that at the end of each year the Police Chief, Law Director and Mayor discuss any possible changes that they would recommend.  Those changes were then brought before Village Council regarding penalties and fess. 

Councilmember Johnson asked if the Granville Police Department had commented on these changes.  Law Director King indicated that the Department was in support of these changes. 

Vice Mayor Barsky asked if it would be appropriate for Village Council to have a discussion as to if the code should be changed from “may” to “shall.”  Councilmember McGowan suggested that the discussion might best be had after a new police chief was hired.  Law Director King indicated that leaving the “may” in the code was not an issue. 

Mona Fine, 123 West Maple Street, asked why this issue was brought to the attention of Council and why a decision had to be made today.  The issue should be brought to the community for a vote. 

As there were no further comments, Mayor Hartfield closed the Public Hearing at 9:03pm. 

OLD BUSINESS

Ordinance No. 07-2014, An Ordinance to Enact Chapter 719, Sections 719.01, 719.02, 719.03, 719.04, 719.05, 719.06, 719.07, 719.08, 719.09, 719.10, 719.11 and 719.012 of the Codified Ordinances of the Village of Granville, Ohio Pertaining to Food Truck Standards was moved for approval by Vice Mayor Barsky.  Second by Councilmember McGowan.

Discussion:

Councilmember Montgomery asked if the Village Institutional District was included in the extended hours of food truck operations from 7:00pm until 1:00am.  Planner Terry indicated that those hours of operation were only applied to the Institutional District. 

Councilmember O’Keefe confirmed that alcohol was not permitted to be served by food trucks.  Law Director King responded in the affirmative.  Councilmember O’Keefe asked if concession trailers were being permitted.  Law Director King indicated that concession trailers were not permitted at this time.  Councilmember O’Keefe expressed concern regarding the extended hours of operation in the Institutional District as noise would be an issue.  Law Director King commented that the noise ordinance would still be in effect.  There would need to be a balance of interests.  Denison was in support of the later hours. 

 

Councilmember Lerner indicated an interest in exploring the inclusion of food trailers as part of this ordinance.  Vice Mayor Barsky also expressed interest in pursuing this issue.  Law Director King indicated that an amendment could be proposed at any time. 

Mayor Hartfield called for a roll call vote to approve Ordinance No. 07-2014:  Johnson (yes); Lerner (yes); McGowan (yes); Montgomery (yes); O’Keefe (yes); Vice Mayor Barsky (yes); Mayor Hartfield (yes).  Motion passed 7-0.  Ordinance No. 07-2014 was approved. 

Ordinance No. 08-2014, An Ordinance to Amend Sections 1159.02, 1167.02, 1169.02, 1171.02, 1173.02, and 1175.02 of the Codified Ordinances of the Village of Granville, Ohio Pertaining to Food Truck Standards was moved for approval by Councilmember McGowan.  Second by Councilmember Lerner. 

No discussion. 

Mayor Hartfield called for a roll call vote to approve Ordinance No. 08-2014:  Lerner (yes); McGowan (yes); Montgomery (yes); O’Keefe (yes); Johnson (yes); Vice Mayor Barsky (yes); Mayor Hartfield (yes).  Motion passed 7-0.  Ordinance No. 08-2014 was approved.

Ordinance No. 12-2014, An Ordinance to Amend Sections 513.02, 513.03, 513.04, 513.05, 513.06, 513.07, 513.08 and 513.12 of the Codified Ordinances of the Village of Granville, Ohio Pertaining to Medical Marihuana was moved for approval by Councilmember Montgomery.  Second by Councilmember O’Keefe.

Discussion:

Councilmember McGowan moved to amend Ordinance No. 12-2014 to remove the amendments to Sections 513.02, 513.03, 513.04, 513.05, 513.06, 5130.07, 513.08 and 513.012, but leave Section 513.03(d) as amended.  Second by Councilmember O’Keefe. 

Vice Mayor Barsky suggested that the discussion should occur sooner rather than later to determine if the language regarding “shall” and “may” should be changed and work with interim Chief Distelzweig. 

Mayor Hartfield called for a roll call vote to amend Ordinance No. 12-2014:  McGowan (yes); Montgomery (yes); O’Keefe (Yes); Johnson (yes); Lerner (yes); Vice Mayor Barsky (yes); Mayor Hartfield (yes).  Motion passed 7-0.  Ordinance No. 12-2014 was amended. 

Mayor Hartfield commented that this legislation was not a debate about the merits of medical marijuana or its usage, nor was this an attempt to legalize marijuana.  Law Director King added that Village Council was not taking away any substantive right of an individual.  The fact that this provision was in the code and seemed to create an affirmative defense was illusory as state law would always trump local law.

Vice Mayor Barsky asked what alternatives were available to deal with medical marijuana.  Law Director King advised that individuals could let their views be known to the legislature.  Village Council could also decide to pass a legislation indicating support for medical marijuana and pass that resolution along to the General Assembly.

Councilmember Johnson asked about the resident’s comment that the legislature determined that this issue was a Home Rule issue.  Law Director King indicated that the information was incorrect.  The Legislative Service Commission was generally staffed by new, young, staff attorneys.  The Commission’s job was to complete analyzes of legislation.  In 1996, the initial legislative analysis had a footnote that stated if the state adopted an affirmative defense and a local municipality rejected that defense that was a Home Rule issue.  That footnote was omitted from the final analysis as it was a misstatement of the law. 

Mayor Hartfield called for a roll call vote to approve Ordinance No. 12-2014 as amended:  Montgomery (yes); O’Keefe (yes); Johnson (yes); Lerner (yes); McGowan (yes); Vice Mayor Barsky (no); Mayor Hartfield (yes).  Motion passed 6-1.  Ordinance No. 12-2014 was approved as amended. 

Councilmember McGowan left the Council meeting 9:52pm.

NEW BUSINESS

Resolution No. 2014-30, A Resolution Accepting the Amounts and Rates as Determined by the Budget Commission and Authorizing the Necessary Tax Levies and Certifying Them to the County Auditor was introduced and moved for approval by Councilmember O’Keefe.  Second by Councilmember Johnson. 

No discussion. 

Mayor Hartfield called for a vote to approve Resolution No. 2014-30.  Motion carried.  Resolution No. 2014-30 was adopted. 

Resolution No. 2014-31, A Resolution to Award the Contract for the Purchase of Water Treatment Chemicals to Mid-Ohio Valley Lime, Inc. was introduced and moved for approval by Councilmember Johnson.  Second by Vice Mayor Barsky. 

No discussion. 

Mayor Hartfield called for a vote to approve Resolution No. 2014-31.  Motion carried.  Resolution No. 2014-31 was adopted.

REVIEW OF MINUTES

Regularly Scheduled Meeting of August 20, 2014

Councilmember O'Keefe made a motion to approve the August 20, 2014 minutes as amended.  Second by Councilmember Johnson.   Motion carried.

COMMITTEE REPORTS   

 

Granville Foundation – (Montgomery)

No report. 

Granville Recreation District – (McGowan)

No report.

Planning Commission – (O’Keefe)

Councilmember Johnson reported that the Planning Commission approved a driveway and garage door. 

Open Space Committee (O’Keefe)

No report.

Tree & Landscape Commission – (Lerner)

Councilmember Lerner reported that staff had again visited residents on North Pearl Street regarding the upgrading of the electrical system and poles on North Pearl Street.  Residents were offered options as to how the trees in front of their homes would be addressed.

Union Cemetery – (Barsky)

No report.

OTHER COUNCIL MATTERS

Councilmember O’Keefe asked about the status of the lockdown at Denison University earlier today.  Manager Stilwell indicated that it was determined that there was not a legitimate threat to students or staff.  There were other schools throughout the country that experienced the same threat.  The incident was being investigated by the ATF and FBI. 

Councilmember Lerner asked that the other schools within Granville also be notified of lockdowns, which included Welsh Hills School and Granville Christian Academy.

OTHER STAFF MATTER 

Manager Stilwell advised Council that there were three final candidates for the Granville police chief position.  Those candidates would go through an assessment process on Saturday, September 6, 2014.  The interview panel did a great job in narrowing down the candidates to the three finalists. 

EXECUTIVE SESSION 

Vice Mayor Barsky moved to enter into Executive Session, pursuant to ORC §121.22(G)(3) – “to confer with the Law Director concerning a dispute involving the public body that is the subject of pending court action.”  Second by Councilmember Johnson. 

 

Mayor Hartfield called for a roll call vote: Johnson – yes; Lerner – yes; Montgomery – yes; O’Keefe – yes; Barsky – yes; Hartfield – yes. Motion carried 6-0. Time in: 10.04pm. 

 

Councilmember Johnson moved to return to regular session.  Second by Vice Mayor Barsky.  Mayor Hartfield called for a roll call vote: Johnson – yes; Lerner – yes; Montgomery – yes; O’Keefe – yes; Barsky – yes; Hartfield – yes. Motion carried 6-0. Time out: 10:34pm 

Council returned to regular session.

Councilmember Lerner asked if Council was interested in issuing a resolution in support of the legalization of medical marijuana.  Council discussed the issue and determined that Village Council may not be the best venue to address this issue and would look into alternative ideas.  Council also recommended that the Village address the driver’s license suspension penalty soon for Mayor’s Court. 

ADJOURNMENT (10:35pm) 

Councilmember Johnson made a motion to adjourn.  Second by Vice Mayor Barsky.  Motion carried.

 

                       

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