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Council seeks input on goals for 2016

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In Village Council’s two upcoming meetings, Council members will identify their top goals for 2016. To do this, they will first consider which 2015 goals they want to move forward.

At their Jan. 4 meeting, Council members emphasized that they seek villagers’ input for their goal discussions.

“We need to make sure citizens understand we want their participation,” Council President Karen Wintrow said.

Council’s 2015 goals were the following:

1) Complete plans for the new water plant and begin construction. Complete bottleneck and loop projects. Update and implement the Wellhead Protection Plan.

2) Create a sustainable economic development strategy to support existing businesses and entrepreneurs and attract new opportunities that support the values of the community.

3) Develop a strategy for fiscal sustainability.

4) Decide a strategy for sidewalk repairs and new construction.

5) Plan for a tax levy in 2016.

6) Involve the community in developing a vision with goals for village energy use, including citizens, businesses, nonprofits and Village government.
7) Review and revise as decided a rationale for the Green Space Fund and its funding.

8) Develop and implement a plan and proof of concept to build a municipally owned fiber optic network that will support all YS citizens and encourage economic development.

9) Expand Parks Department programs to collaborate with community members and organizations and to include arts and culture and environmental stewardship.
Council plans to consider its 2016 goals at its upcoming meetings on Tuesday, Jan. 19 and Monday, Feb. 1. (Since Council’s second January meeting falls on Jan. 18, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, that meeting will be held a day later, as Village offices will be closed due to the federal holiday.)

Council members will bring their priorities for goals to the meetings, and also hope to hear from citizens. While some pieces of the 2015 goals have been completed, such as the bottleneck and loop water projects, most remain in progress.

In other Council Jan. 4 business:
• Council members completed new year housekeeping items, including electing officers. Wintrow was unanimously elected president. However, Council members Brian Housh and Marianne MacQueen both indicated interested in becoming vice-president, a position formerly held by Lori Askeland, who left Council at the end of 2015.

With a four-year term ahead of her, MacQueen said she has an interest in being Council president at some point, and because she most likely won’t run again, sought the vice-president position for now.

“I’ve had broad experience as the president of a number of boards and believe I have something to add,” MacQueen said.

However, Housh also said that he has an interest in being Council president, has led “a lot of boards and has never missed a Council meeting.”

Housh won the position 3–2, with Wintrow, Gerry Simms and Housh voting for him and recently elected Council member Judith Hempfling and MacQueen voting for MacQueen.

• Council members assigned themselves to Village boards and commissions. Simms will continue as the Council representative to Planning Commission, with Hempfling as alternate; MacQueen will continue as representative to the Environmental Commission, with Simms as alternate; Housh will continue as representative to Community Access Panel, with Simms as alternate; Hempfling will represent Council on Library Commission, with Simms as alternate; MacQueen will continue as representative to Human Relations Commission, with Housh as alternate; Housh will represent Council on the Arts and Culture commission, with Wintrow as alternate; Hempfling will represent Council on the Energy Board, with MacQueen as alternate; and Housh will represent Council on the Economic Sustainability Commission, with Hempfling as alternate.

• Council unanimously approved annual dues for membership to the Ohio Municipal League, which costs $690 yearly.

• Council unanimously approved a three-year contract with Clerk of Council Judy Kintner, following a performance review at the Dec. 21 meeting. The review was very positive, according to Wintrow.

“We’re very pleased with Judy,” she said.

• During Citizen Concerns, Council heard from new village resident Quincy Essinger regarding problems with discoloration in his water. Essinger, who lives on Herman Street, sought a refund for citizens with brown water “if the water is unusable.”
However, while Village water is sometimes dark due to the presence of manganese and iron, “The water is safe to drink,” Manager Patti Bates said, stating the Village hasn’t received other complaints recently on water quality. Also, the Village’s new water plant, slated to begin construction this summer, should remove manganese and most iron from the water, thus eliminating the problem of coloration.
“The water is tested daily at the plant and there are no health problems,” Wintrow said. “There’s nothing harmful in the water other than that it doesn’t look nice.”

• During announcements, Housh announced a free showing at the Little Art Theatre of the film “Waste Land” at 1 p.m. on Sunday, January 17, sponsored by the local Climate Action group. Bates announced that the second Village-sponsored “Coffee with a Cop” event will take place from 7 to 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 20, when villagers can meet with local police at the Emporium, Dino’s Cappuccinos and the Spirited Goat Coffeehouse.

• Council’s next regular meeting will take place Tuesday, Jan. 19 , at 7 p.m. at Council chambers.

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