Granville Community Calendar

Council Minutes February 15, 2017

  VILLAGE OF GRANVILLE

COUNCIL MINUTES

February 15, 2017

 

CALL TO ORDER (by Mayor Hartfield at 7:30pm)

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

ROLL CALL

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

Councilmember Lerner moved to excuse Councilmembers Finkelman and McGowan from the meeting.  Second by Councilmember O’Keefe.

The minutes reflect that Councilmember Finkelman arrived at 9:37pm.      

APPROVAL OF AGENDA

Councilmember O’Keefe moved to approve the February 15, 2017 agenda.  Second by Councilmember Lerner.  Motion passed.

Mayor Hartfield explained to the standing room only audience that they were welcome to make a comment; however, a Denison President Adam Weinberg, Superintendent Jeff Brown and Trustee Kevin Bennett would speak first.  Resolution No. 2017-12 was not a resolution designating the Village a sanctuary city.  Village Council was not interested in making a political statement.  The Village would always enforce and maintain all federal, state and local laws.  Granville is home to Denison University with diverse students, faculty and staff.   This resolution was only a transparent affirmation that Granville was a welcoming community.  There was no other hidden agenda.

Adam Weinberg, Denison University President, appreciated Council proposing this resolution.  This resolution was a resolution by the people of Granville for the people in Granville including the 2,000 students at Denison University.  This resolution supports the spirit of Denison’s goal for political diversity.  Our community perceives ourselves as welcoming; however, reports from students, staff and other newcomers did not always have that same perception.  One in four Denison students enrolled at Denison was Ohioans with half the student body coming from the Midwest, while one in ten students were international in origin.  President Weinberg appreciated this resolution as it would add vitality to the spirit of our community.  Additionally, this resolution provided a model for what is needed to live in a modern, diverse community.  It represented a facet of our community that recognized differences and appreciated those differences.  As Denison’s President, he expressed his support for this resolution.

Kevin Bennett, Granville Township Trustee, stated that he encouraged Council to support this resolution unanimously.  This resolution was not a pretext supporting a sanctuary city designation or any comment on the current political climate.  It was not a political or partisan resolution.  It was a comment by the Granville Trustees and Village Council that Granville was a welcoming community.  Trustee Bennett also added that in a spirit of putting this resolution into action, he suggested that the Township and Village return to hosting community events as was the practice when he grew up in the Village.  Local business man Fred Abraham indicated a willingness to allow an event to take place at Abe’s Body Shop where Denison, Village and Township residents could attend a community party.  He requested that the Village appoint a person to serve as a member of the organizing committee. 

Jeff Brown, Superintendent of Granville Exempted Village School District, thanked the members of Council for their service to the community.  He explained that the Granville schools welcomed all students and all families to the Granville system.  Through this resolution, Council was modeling common values and support for everyone in the community.  The school district was in support of this effort and in support of this resolution.

CITIZENS COMMENTS (7:44pm)

Eileen Derolf, 12520 Refugee Road, Pataskala, commented that there were laws preventing discrimination already in place.  When a special group of people were elevated above another group of people that created divisiveness.  Legislation would not control feelings or prevent people from being hurt by others actions or comments.  The welcoming community language was too close to a sanctuary city designation.  This resolution was also a waste of legislative effort.  She was not in support of this resolution.

Rana Odeh, 66 Kenwick Circle, thanked Council as a person of color for initiating this resolution.  It was a nice gesture and attempt to welcome people to the community, especially those who did not look like you.  She indicated that she and her family were Muslims.  Although she felt generally welcomed in the community, she was not treated the same as white people.  There were subtle comments.  She felt she was treated as an outcast and was different from the rest of the community.  She also appreciated the dialogue that this legislation was generating.  The resolution was not legal legislation; it had no legal impact, but provided an important sentiment for others.  She did not see how this resolution would hurt anyone, but it would send a message of support to those who may feel like an outsider like her.  She was in support of this action.

Patricia Finkelman, 130 South Mulberry Street, read a statement from Councilmember Finkelman, who was unable to attend tonight’s meeting.  Mrs. Finkelman spoke of the feelings of exclusion when her family first moved to the Village because of their Jewish faith.  However, after several years of meeting people and providing information to those that expressed interest, they now feel included and very much enjoy being part of the community.  Even though people are different for a variety of reasons, supporting efforts to encourage a welcoming community and familiarity would ultimately breed friendship.  Councilmember Finkelman was in support of the resolution.

Susan Cox, 2377 Burg Street, expressed concern that this resolution could be morph into a sanctuary city designation, which she was not she would not support.  If the legislation was just a statement that Granville was a welcoming community, then passing the resolution would not hurt anything.  As voiced by individuals that evening, not everyone felt welcomed.  She provided an example of an incident involving her brother-in-law last summer, who was of Mexican heritage.  He was asked if he was an illegal during the July 4th festival.  She was in support of the resolution.

Catherine Pazera, 429 Highbanks Valley Court, stated she was in support of this resolution.  Her husband was an immigrant and a green card holder.  She appreciated Council’s efforts to make a formal statement of welcoming.

Cheryl McFarren, 129 Kildare Street, stated that people that look like her assume that our community was welcoming.  We took that for granted; however, that may not always be the case.  She appreciated Council making the point explicitly through this resolution.  Granville was a community that cared and support treating people with dignity for all.  She expressed her support for this legislation.

Carol Apacki, 352 Llanberis Drive, was in support of the legislation.  This legislation described a place where we would all want to live.  The community should be welcoming to all families and students.  This resolution would send a powerful message about who we were and who we want to be. 

Donita Strietelmeier, 111 Thresher Street, stated that she was born in North Dakota where diversity was whether you were of Swedish or Norwegian decent.  She recently moved from Edgewater, Illinois where she learned the true meaning of diversity.  She missed Edgewater for that very reason.  Granville was a nice community, but it had a ways to go to express a true welcomeness.  She was in support of the resolution.  It was a means of inspiring a democratic view of diversity.

Jo Ann Wiblin, 976 Hillside Drive, stated that she sang with the Denison Gospel Choir, was a former teacher and an local agency director.  She had also taught English as a second language for many years and considered many of those students, who were generally immigrants, as family members.  She also had a foster daughter, who was gay.  She expressed her support for this legislation.

Elaine Kent, 240 Glyn Carin Drive, stated that her parents were immigrants from Greece.  She felt Council’s time and efforts would be better spent taking action such as supporting the community dance proposed by Trustee Bennett.  Interaction such as this dance would help remove the victimhood mentally that people seem to have today.  She felt reaching out to people and having them participate locally would be a more effective measure than passing this resolution.

Kelly VanBuskirk, 744 Burg Street, commented that she was in support of the resolution.  However, she did not want Council to lose sight of what else was happening in the community regarding new development.  She did not want to see any further development in Granville.  She questioned what impact additional development would have on maintaining our small community.  She was not on bound for any new development.

Luke Metcalf, 3943 Canyon Road, felt this resolution suggested the encouragement of clicks in our community.  He was disappointed with the proposed resolution.  Granville was already a welcoming community.  He was not in support of the resolution. 

Sally Brigham, 3933 Canyon Road, stated that she was a long time resident of Granville.  She felt Granville was a wonderful, welcoming community right now.  The Village and Township did not need a piece of paper to say we were welcoming.  You cannot make people be nice to others.  She was not in support of the resolution.

Ken Apacki, 352 Llanberis Driver, was a forty-eight year resident of the Granville community.  He hoped Council would take an initiative to implement the resolution to greet and treat people as welcome visitors and residents all of the time.

Ceciel Shaw, 17 Samson Place, had been listening to testimony this evening.  She knew that most people in this community were privileged.  She felt it was important for the community to think about how to create greater understanding among people.

Rochelle Steinberg, 425 East College Street, was in support of the resolution, which was long overdue.  Granville was not always a welcoming community.  When her family moved here and her children were in school, they received a great deal of anti-Semitic treatment.  However, she had also experienced genuine friendship and warmth with people.  She was in support of this statement to inspire everyone to appreciate and value differences.

Dan Long, 86 Fairview Drive, felt the proposed Glenshire housing development with thirty-seven houses on nineteen acres was too dense of a project.  He felt a traffic study should be completed.   He expressed his support for the welcoming community resolution.

Geraldine Jacobsen, Blue Jay Road, Heath, indicated that she had recently moved to this area.  She found everyone in the area friendly and helpful.  Kindness cannot be legislated.  People need to teach the young how to be kind.  The Village did not need to encourage criminal behavior.  This resolution was just feel good stuff.

Sarah Chaulk, 3050 Johnstown-Alexandria Road, Alexandria, did not understand why is proposal was being brought forth.  She questioned what happened in the community to initiate this resolution.  She wanted a definition of welcoming community.  She wondered how that differed from a sanctuary city.  This resolution was just an excuse to insert undocumented people into the community.  She felt the discussion of differences in people, divided people.  Harping about differences did nothing to make people get along.  She felt this resolution sent a message that something was wrong.

Veerendra Lele, 113 Chapin Place, was in support of the resolution.  He stated that he was an anthropologist.  His research, as well as the research of others, indicated that when people feel welcome, they invest and participate in public life because they feel welcome and included.  When people feel unwelcome, they retract from society and feel undesired in a community.  He had, on occasion, been made to feel that his presence in Granville was undesired.  He expressed support an affirmation for the positive attitude that the resolution generated.

Monica Martinez, 2928 Silver Street, stated that she was a Columbian immigrant to the United States.  She very much supported this resolution as a way to build bridges and bring people together.  Granville was her home and she wanted to feel like she belonged to the community.  Words did have the power to make change.  This resolution had already brought people together with an opportunity to share their story.

Gail Wince, 2350 West Broadway, was always personally welcoming and felt welcomed in the community.  Legislation could not make people be nice.  This resolution was unnecessary and she was not in support.

Olivia Aguliar, 405 Burg Street, was a Denison professor and resident of the Village.  She had been made to feel unwelcome on many occasions.  It seemed that residents want to ignore ore silence things that they did not want to hear.  She questioned how the passage of this resolution could hurt anyone.  She was in support of the resolution and appreciated Council being attuned to resident’s concerns.

Dave Geiss, 3376 Milner Road, felt this resolution was a great opportunity for community dialogue.  A great way to start a conversation about bringing people together. Granville was already a welcoming community.  He questioned why Council would pass legislation and not just make a proclamation.  He felt the resolution was a little heavy handed.  He was generally in support of a welcoming community, but additional community outreach was also needed.

Tim O’Connor Fraser, 226 South Mulberry Street, appreciated the courage exhibited this evening by the people of color who have stood up to speak.  He was in support of this resolution as documents produced by institutions express a desire of how the community wanted to be and who they thought they were.

Ethan Nadolson, 282 Bryn Du Drive, stated that he was a long-time resident.  He certainly felt that people needed to be accepting of all people.  He asked Council how the resolution would be enforced, the origin of the document, how it was drafted and if the resolution could be escalated at a later date.  He felt that by talking about negative attributes, it caused division.  He recommended that Council add language preventing a sanctuary city designation.

Gia Martin, 334 East Broadway, indicated her support for the resolution especially after hearing examples of unwelcoming comments from residents who spoke that evening.  It was brave of those individuals to come forward.  She hoped that this discussion and resolution would help to improve Granville.

Dan VanNess, Granville Township Trustee, had his reservations regarding the resolution.  He felt actions spoke louder than words.  Passing this resolution was just a thing to do.  In three months’ time, it would just be a piece of paper on a shelf.  He encouraged events such as the one proposed by Trustee Bennett.  The examples of snide remarks heard that evening only represented one to two percent of the population.  Ninety-eight percent of the population was welcoming.  He was not in support of the resolution.

Laura Clark, 433 Highbanks Valley Court, commented that if this resolution were not passed that evening, what would be remembered was a welcoming resolution did not pass.

Russell Ginise, 3738 Granview Drive, was in support of this resolution as it was affirming what was in the community’s heart.  If the passage of this resolution benefited one person, then why not pass it.

Nichole Jardell, 1735 River Road, expressed concern that this resolution was beyond a social issue.  Council could not correct people’s behavior.  She supported hosting social events, creating dialogue opportunities, but that night was not a dialogue.  She recommended that Council table the resolution.  She only became aware of the resolution that evening.  The resolution had not been vetted in the community.  Council should not make social change at a legal level.

Richard Crawford, 223 South Main Street, indicated his support for the resolution.  There had been many emotional and politically charged words that evening, but Council’s intent with the resolution was admirable.  

As no one else appeared to speak, Mayor Hartfield closed Citizen Comments at 9:07pm.

PUBLIC HEARING

Ordinance No. 02-2017, An Ordinance Authorizing the Village Manager to Enter into an Annexation Agreement Describing the Intentions of the Parties to Annex Certain Real Property Located Along Newark-Granville Road in Granville Township, Owned by S. R. Larsen, Trustee of the S. R. Larsen Ltd. Profit Sharing Plan Trust

As no one appeared to speak, Mayor Hartfield closed the Public Hearing at 9:08pm.

OLD BUSINESS

Ordinance No. 02-2017, An Ordinance Authorizing the Village Manager to Enter into an Annexation Agreement Describing the Intentions of the Parties to Annex Certain Real Property Located Along Newark-Granville Road in Granville Township, Owned by S. R. Larsen, Trustee of the S. R. Larsen Ltd. Profit Sharing Plan Trust was introduced and moved for approval by Vice Mayor Montgomery.  Second by Councilmember Johnson.

Discussion:

Councilmember O’Keefe confirmed that the passing of this ordinance was just an affirmation by Council that the developer could move forward with applying to Licking County to begin the annexation process.  Law Director King responded in the affirmative.  Passage of this agreement was just the beginning for the process.  There would be additional hearings to review and approve the site plan, accept the annexation and assign zoning to the area.  Councilmember O’Keefe added that a traffic study and environmental study had already been completed. 

Councilmember Johnson asked about Section 3 Utility Services that provides the developer access to water and sewer services.  The cost of these improvements would be the responsibility of the developer?  Law Director King responded in the affirmative.

Mayor Hartfield called for a roll call vote to approve Ordinance No. 02-2017:  Johnson (yes); Lerner (yes); O’Keefe (yes); Vice Montgomery (yes); Mayor Hartfield (yes).  Motion passed 5-0.  Ordinance No. 02-2017 was approved.

NEW BUSINESS        

Resolution No. 2017-10, A Resolution to Express Appreciation to Steven Hawk for Service on the Granville Planning Commission 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. 2017-10.  Motion carried.  Resolution No. 2017-10 was approved.

Resolution No. 2017-11, A Resolution Strongly Opposing the State of Ohio Governor’s Proposed 2017-2018 Budget, which Proposes Centralized Collection of Net Profit Tax Returns and other Provisions Related to the Municipal Income Tax, which Will Cause a Substantial Loss of Revenue Needed to Support the Health, Safety, Welfare and Economic Development Efforts of Ohio Municipalities was introduced and moved for approval by Councilmember O’Keefe.  Second by Councilmember Lerner.

Discussion:

Mayor Hartfield advised that this resolution was in response to the 2017-2018 proposed budget by Governor Kasich to remove the processing of business tax returns from villages and cities using the Ohio Business Gateway.  The Ohio Municipal League requested resolutions be passed and forwarded to the state capital regarding this issue. 

Manager Pyles expressed concerns that this change in procedure would result in inconsistency issues and a reduction in service for our residents.  Rules and regulations regarding this proposal were not place.  The state would also take a one percent handling fee.

Councilmember O’Keefe questioned if this change would go against Home Rule.  Additionally, the Village provided excellent service to the our residents currently.  Manager Pyles stated that these changes were eroding municipal regulations.

Councilmember Johnson asked if the language for this resolution was provided by the Ohio Municipal League and did the Law Director see any issues with any of the language.  Law Director King responded that OML did provide the language and he had no issues with the content. 

Mayor Hartfield called for a vote to approve Resolution No. 2017-11.  Motion carried.  Resolution No. 2017-11 was approved.

Resolution No. 2017-12, A Resolution Declaring that the Village and Township of Granville are Welcoming Communities, in which All of Our Residents and Visitors Can Feel Welcome, Safe and Able to Fully Participate in, and Contribute Positively to, Our Community’s Social and Economic Life was introduced and moved for approval Councilmember Lerner.  Second by Councilmember O’Keefe.

Discussion:

Councilmember Lerner asked for a clarification from the Law Director regarding the difference between a proclamation, resolution and ordinance.  Law Direction King stated that Village Council had two ways to speak – either by resolution or ordinance.  An ordinance was a law that required affirmation.  A resolutions and proclamations were expressions of Council’s values, aspirations or recognitions.  They had no force of law.

Mayor Hartfield commented that this resolution was drafted by Law Director King using Granville’s history, Council’s comments and a comments from former Denison University President Dale Noble. The language in this resolution was very intentional.  This resolution was not political or partisan.  It would not designate Granville a sanctuary city.  The resolution would show a welcoming attitude and express value to positive contributions by residents.  This resolution was not a Trojan House or first steps toward a sanctuary city. 

Councilmember Johnson thanked everyone in the audience for attending the meeting and speaking.  He asked the Law Director is declaring the Village a sanctuary city would require other legislation.  Law Director King responded that it absolutely would.  Additionally, it would be his recommendation as attorney to Village Council not to pursue such legislation.  Councilmember Johnson indicated his support for this Council action and felt it exhibited a level of leadership.  He was grateful for the open discussion that evening, but felt the resolution was a positive message and expressed an openness about the community as a whole.  He commented that he taught his children the importance of being open and understanding and that his vote in favor of this resolution was modeling an example of that behavior to his children.

Councilmember Lerner expressed concern for the residents who spoke who have not felt welcome in the community.  The goal of this legislation was to make everyone feel welcome.  She explained that the resolution should be taken at face value.  She appreciated Mr. O’Connor Fraser’s comment that this resolution would be a representation of our community.

Mayor Hartfield thanked everyone for the polite discourse that went on that evening.  She was very proud of our community.  She explained that she would have been very uncomfortable with any resolution that designated that Village as a sanctuary city.   She appreciated that this resolution could be held up as an example for our community and especially our children.  Denison University had a large international student population as well as faculty and staff.  It was important to show them that our intent was to be welcoming to all.

Councilmember Finkelman commented that the only thing that mattered was how we made each other feel.  Council was being an example and leader by approving this resolution.

Councilmember O’Keefe added that the Granville Police Department was very sensitive to individuals in the community.  She commended their efforts.  Council was hoping to raise consciousness in the community and help children learn a more welcoming behavior.  She supported this resolution as a voice of kindness and welcome.

Vice Mayor Montgomery appreciated that actions spoke louder than words.  It was a privilege to live in Granville and it was generally a welcoming community.  Part of Council’s intent in passing this resolution was to shed light on people who may feel in the dark.  This resolution was Council’s means of taking action.  The resolution had no legal standing, but if it could help, he was in support of the resolution.

Councilmember Johnson expressed concern about the clarity of the unlawful discrimination phrase.  He wondered if better language, plainer language could be drafted.  Also, in the third Whereas, he asked if domestic could be included after foreign born.  Law Director King suggested that language could be amended in the fourth Whereas to add after policing policy “in which the law is upheld and enforce while promoting effective.”

Councilmember Johnson moved to amend Resolution No. 2017-12 to add domestic to the third Whereas – “foreign and domestic born” and the fourth Whereas to read “Whereas, the Granville Police Department strives to follow a community policing policy, in which the law is upheld and enforced while promoting effective relationships and collaborative partnerships . . .”.  Second by Councilmember Lerner.

Mayor Hartfield called for a roll call vote to amend Resolution No. 2017-10:  Lerner (yes); O’Keefe (yes); Finkelman (yes); Johnson (yes); Vice Montgomery (yes); Mayor Hartfield (yes).  Motion passed 6-0.  Resolution No. 2017-10 was amended.

Mayor Hartfield called for a roll call vote to approve Resolution No. 2017-10 as amended:  O’Keefe (yes); Finkelman (yes); Johnson (yes); Lerner (yes); Vice Montgomery (yes); Mayor Hartfield (yes).  Motion passed 6-0.  Resolution No. 2017-10 was approved as amended.

Councilmember Finkelman left the meeting at 9:48pm.

REVIEW AND APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Regularly Scheduled Meeting of February 1, 2017

Councilmember Lerner made a motion to approve the February 1, 2017 minutes. Second by Councilmember Johnson.  Motion passed.

MAYOR'S REPORT – January

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

Councilmember Johnson moved to accept the January Mayor’s Report.  Second by Councilmember Lerner.  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 – January

The Manager's Report for the month of January was presented for review.

Councilmember O’Keefe moved to accept the January Manager’s Report.  Second by Councilmember Lerner.  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 Community Foundation – (Lerner)

Councilmember Lerner reported that the Foundation receive sixteen grants. 

Granville Recreation District – (Johnson)

No report.

Planning Commission – (Montgomery)

Vice Mayor Montgomery reported that the Planning Commission discussed the request for a review of the Donatos sign.  Law Director King added that there was likely to be a resolution to the sign issue prior to Council’s review hearing on March 1st.

Granville Arts Commission (O’Keefe)

Councilmember O’Keefe reported that the Commission awarded a grant to the Arts Collaboration of Granville (formerly the Arts Forum) to hire a consultant.  Granville high school students were working on qualifications for the consultant.  The goal was to make this effort a collaboration between the school system, Granville Arts Commission, Denison University and the larger community.

Open Space Committee (Finkelman)

No report.

Tree & Landscape Commission – (Lerner)

Councilmember Lerner reported that the Tree & Landscape Commission

Union Cemetery – (McGowan)

No report.

OTHER COUNCIL MATTERS

Clerk Prasher reported that there were seventy-six deer taken as part of the program in 2016-2017 with seventy approved hunters.  However, those seventy-six deer were taken by thirty-five of the hunters.  Next year hunters that live too far from the Village will not be approved as they generally cannot spend enough time in the field to achieve successful results.  The list of approved hunters would also be reduced removing hunters who were unable to remove deer during the past three seasons.  Residents continue to request to be part of the program.  Existing residents anecdotally report a reduction in deer and an ability to sustain plant materials.   Councilmember O’Keefe expressed concern about the increase in cases of Lyme disease suggesting the need for greater education.

Vice Mayor Montgomery noted that the new Scenic Byway signs were installed on South Main Street and look very nice.

Councilmember O’Keefe volunteered to represent that Village as part of the proposed community event suggested by Trustee Bennett.

OTHER STAFF MATTERS

Manager Pyles reminded Council about the retreat on Saturday, February 25th from 9:00am until 1:00pm.

Staff was also putting together a maintenance agreement in conjunction with the Township for the proposed annexation of two Township properties on Newark-Granville Road whose septic systems was failing and wanted to annex into the Village for sewer services. 

ADJOURNMENT (9:58pm)

Councilmember Johnson made a motion to adjourn.  Second by Councilmember O’Keefe.  Motion carried.

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