The Council of the Village of Riverlea met on the above date at the Thomas Worthington High School, Worthington. The following Council members were present: Mayor Kirk M. McHugh, Jeffery A. Colwell, Scott K. Gordon, Jenny D. Jones, and Eric A. MacGilvray. Also present were Joshua C. Mehling, Clerk-Treasurer, L. Leah Reibel, Solicitor, Karen McElmurray, Marshal, and William P. Charles, Street Commissioner. At 7:05 p.m. the Mayor called the meeting to order. Guests of Council were Pamela Colwell and Carolee Noonan.
The minutes of the regular Council meeting of November 16, 2014 were not read since each member had received a copy. MacGilvray moved and Colwell seconded the motion that the minutes be approved as submitted by the Clerk-Treasurer. The motion was approved unanimously (4-0).
Report of the Clerk-Treasurer
Colwell moved and Jones seconded the motion to approve the payment of bills and to accept the financial reports for November 2014 as submitted by the Clerk-Treasurer. The motion was approved unanimously (4-0).
Report of the Mayor
The Mayor reported that he had distributed an email concerning a racial profiling complaint against the Worthington Police Department. The complainant had reported being pulled over and harassed by the Police while house sitting in Riverlea. The Mayor did not see a reason for the village to respond to the email.
Report of the Solicitor
There was no report from the Solicitor.
Report of the Street Commissioner
The Street Commissioner reported that there had been no progress on the response to the storm water audit.
The Street Commissioner reported that the proper grates had been installed on Olentangy and the work had been completed.
The Commissioner had called Radico to report an alarm at the lift station. Radico checked the lift station and reported that it sounded like a bit of plastic had gotten into the system, but that it passed. Given the problems in the past year, the village may need to have the lift station serviced more often than the current semiannual schedule.
Report of the Planning Commissioner
There was no report from the Planning Commissioner. The Planning Commission issued a certificate of appropriateness for one minor change to a residence at their meeting in December.
Report of the Marshal
The Marshal was not in attendance for the report. The Mayor had the report and reported that there had been 272 checks in October and 301 checks in November with nothing major to report.
Report of the Web Manager
There was no report from the Web Manager.
Report of the Newsletter Editor
There was no report from the Newsletter Editor
Comments from Residents on Agenda Items
There were no comments on agenda items
Committee on Infrastructure
The Chair of the Committee reported that the Riverlea Quarterly containing information on the options available to the village had not yet been distributed. The next step after this distribution would be to schedule a public forum to solicit opinions from residents. The committee will submit a timeline for this process. Colwell stated that filings for the November 2015 elections must be submitted by August 4, so the meeting(s) must be in June or July.
Committee on Communications
The Chair of the Committee reported that she hopes to have the layout for the Riverlea Quarterly by the end of the week. The article on options from the Infrastructure Committee will take up most, if not all, of the issue. Typically once she receives this, she submits it to the Mayor for approval and then to the printer to be printed, which takes about two weeks.
The Chair of the Committee reported that she had received notice from Chris Coe, who had been handling layout of the Riverlea Quarterly, that he would be unable to volunteer his services for this in the future. She stated that Council would need to discuss how to handle the Quarterly going forward. She also proposed issuing a small stipend to Coe for his work on the Quarterly in the past. Colwell suggested that council issue a resolution recognizing that Coe had gone above and beyond in his work for the village, but had concerns about financial recognition, given the financial situation of the village. The Solicitor stated that she would draft the resolution.
Going forward, Colwell stated that in light of the village’s financial situation, he would like to see any publication from the village focus more on issues related to village business. He feels that the village offers ample opportunities for social discussion and would not like the village to spend money on this. The committee Chair stated that the only expense the village incurs currently is the postage to mail the issues, but especially with the village losing its volunteer for the layout, she is concerned that the volunteered services for printing will also run out in the future. Gordon asked whether going all digital with publication may be an option. The Chair said that this, or just offering it to those who are interested, is a possibility. The Chair suggested that someone post a message on the Facebook site inquiring as to resident’s skills and availabilities to work on these publications in the future. Gordon mentioned that there had been discussions of a village message board in the past. The Solicitor reported that creating such a message board would be too wide open and could create opportunities for legal issues and would need to be monitored all the time. She stated that most cities and municipalities do not offer message boards. The Mayor stated that going forward, the village would not offer a newsletter on a regular basis. Rather, the village would send updates to residents on an as needed basis, with the possibility of additional savings from distributing these to residents, rather than mailing them.
The term for Mike Jones as Planning Commissioner was scheduled to end as of December 31, 2014. This position is appointed by the Mayor. Jones stated that she feels that it is the responsibility of Council to make information on openings such as this available to residents who may be interested. MacGilvray inquired as to whether anyone else on the Council wanted to serve in this position. Carolee Noonan stated that as a member of the Planning Commission, she would be happy to serve in this capacity. Colwell stated that Jones’ term is listed on the web site as being through December 2017, which is incorrect. The Solicitor confirmed that Jones’ term as being on the Planning Commission also expires as of December 31, 2014. The Solicitor will have a resolution to reappoint Mike Jones to the Planning Commission for the January Council meeting. The Mayor appointed Carolee Noonan as Chair of the Planning Commission as of January 1, 2015.
In previous meetings, there has been discussion of whether the Marshal position was required for the village. Colwell had researched the issue and discovered that in a 2009 ordinance, it states that for state law purposes, the Marshal of the village can be the chief of Police that contracts with the village. This would mean that the village would not need to employ a separate Marshal. The Marshal stated that in her opinion, the position was not needed. There have been occasions when she had to stop by residents’ houses to speak with them on an issue, but there was no reason that this could not be done by the Mayor or someone else in the village. Gordon felt that there was value in having an officer to speak to residents on behalf of the Mayor and/or Council. The Mayor made the point that eliminating the position would save the village some money and also stated that he was also receiving the majority of calls from residents with complaints. The Solicitor stated that in her legal opinion, the ordinance in question does not indicate that the position was not required, as it stated that the village would have a Marshal. MacGilvray clarified that Council was not seeking to add responsibilities to the duties of the Police Chief as Marshal, merely that a separate Marshal was a discretionary position that the Mayor could choose not to fill, which the Solicitor was in agreement with. The Mayor questioned whether Council wanted to eliminate the position. The Solicitor stated that such a move was not necessary and the Mayor agreed, stating that the village would want to leave the position open in case the village wanted to separate these powers from the Mayor in the future. The Mayor removed Karen McElmurray from the Marshal position effective January 1, 2015 and asked Council to ratify this decision to vacate the position and leave it unfilled. Jones moved and Colwell seconded the motion. The following vote was held on this motion: Yes, 3, Colwell, Jones, MacGilvray; No, 1, Gordon. The motion passed (3-1). Colwell mentioned that the Council bylaws state that no resolution or ordinance shall be passed without the agreement of 4 members of Council, which meant that Gordon’s no vote nullified this passing. The Solicitor clarified that the vote was only a motion to ratify the Mayor’s decision, not a resolution or an ordinance, so the vote stood.
Community Green, which handles the landscaping for the public areas of the village, had submitted a contract for 2015 services. This contract did not include any rate increases vs. the 2014 contract. Gordon stated that the Circle had not had their final fall cleanup and was still covered in leaves. Gordon also stated that he felt that the 2014 work performed had been rough and that he was open to soliciting additional bids for 2015 services. Jones stated that as part of her job duties, she solicited bids for state services and that she could list these duties to determine if other companies wanted to bid for village park maintenance services. Pam Colwell mentioned that in the past, companies that bid on these services had issues with their workers comp and insurance coverage. The Clerk-Treasurer has a spec sheet listing the services desired by the village and requirements for any potential applicant. He will submit this to Jones to use in her bidding. The Solicitor mentioned that state law had rules about a public bidding process that would need to be followed if the village wanted to do a formal bidding process. Jones stated that, rather than a formal bidding process, she would send the spec sheet to interested bidders for them to submit their proposals.
MacGilvray moved and Jones seconded the motion to authorize the following expenditures:
$ 200.00 – Ohio EPA – Permit renewal
$ 20.00 – Ohio EPA – Stormwater discharge fee
$ 495.00 – American Legal Publishing – 2015 internet listing
$ 285.00 – Ohio Municipal League – 2015 membership
The motion was approved unanimously (4-0). In addition, Jones moved and Colwell seconded the motion to approve $125.00 to Russell Tree Experts for the grinding of stumps in the ravine and circle. The motion was approved unanimously (4-0).
Comments from Residents on Non-Agenda Items
There were no comments from residents on non-agenda items.
Next Meeting Announcement
The next regular meeting will be January 26 at 7:00 p.m. at the Thomas Worthington High School.
According to the calendar, this meeting had been scheduled for January 20, but McGilvray and the Mayor would not be able to make this meeting.
There being no further business, Gordon moved and Colwell seconded the motion to adjourn. The motion was approved unanimously (4-0). The meeting was adjourned at 8:00 pm.
Kirk M. McHugh, Mayor
Joshua C. Mehling, Clerk of Council
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