City Council met for its first regular meeting of May on 5/2/2018. With only 1 item on the opening agenda (related to a PUD modification to allow some limited car storage in one of the Mall garages) at a glance the meeting looked like a light one.
There was however a great deal of discussion carried over from the previous session related to a communication from a resident related to the city’s Rental Inspection Ordinance and an Executive session that occurred around the same time it was updated in 2017.
City Council Investigatory Committee
Our public government is designed to be ‘for the people’ and ‘by the people’. In order to conduct its business the government is designed to conduct business in the open in as a transparent and deliberate way as practical. There are caveats to this ‘open business’ where our City Council goes into closed door ‘Executive Session’ where deliberation may be materially disadvantageous to the public as a whole if that work was done in the open. For example if the city were discussing possible land or development deals where sealed bids were being considered having those bids made public before a winning bid could be selected would put the city and other bidders at a disadvantage. Ohio revised code and our own city charter guides members on when and how these should be conducted. One aspect of that is that discussions in these meetings are held confidential and can not be discussed except in very limited situations. In this May 2nd meeting it was alleged that a member present in one of those 2017 executive session had improper discussions outside the meeting. This is a very serious charge that can include removal from office and even criminal charges. Our city charter guides us in these cases and allows City Council to form a committee to investigate these allegation which can includes subpoenaing of witnesses and material to determine if there was a breach. The proposed committee formation passed 6-0 and will begin meeting 5/24/18. Check the City calendar for more details.