By: Jacob Kessler
THE VILLAGE REPORTER
The Wauseon City Council held their meeting on Monday, December 4th. The meeting began at 5:00 p.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by a moment of silence.
Minutes were then approved from the November 20th council meeting and the November 30th Committee of the Whole meeting.
Committee reports were then discussed with it being stated the Finance Committee went through 57 pages of items. A summarization of events was given before moving on to a discussion from Councilman Shane Chamberlin regarding minutes from the Finance Committee meeting.
Mr. Chamberlin presented a revised version of the minutes that he believed more accurately put forth what he had stated at the time.
The revision had in place a section that Mayor Kathy Huner disagreed with, being her belief that it inaccurately described what she had stated at the time.
The topic of discussion for the disagreement between the two individuals was in reference to Biddle Park and the existing baseball fields that were originally meant to be softball fields when they were created. Some fields at Biddle Park were stated to be still owned by the Wauseon Rotary.
“What I was mentioning was the four existing were meant for softball when they were created and they were not made into softball, they were made into baseball years ago, that’s what I said,” stated Mayor Huner. She then went on to say what was stated in the proposed revision was not correct.
Chamberlin followed up with, “What the meeting minutes say that you’re ok with, possibly, it was mentioned that the fields were technically still owned by Rotary and these changes should be made once the land is transferred to the city. So, in that, what fields are still technically owned by Rotary?”
Mayor Huner answered with, “The ones that are on the northeast side of the north fields are still owned by Rotary. The ones I was referring to were the existing fields being played on now and I also agreed with softball, and I know there was also council discussion of taking down a mound and some grass to get at least a field up for softball immediately and Keith was looking into some quotes for that.”
“This is all great, but I don’t want to be changing minutes on something, I don’t agree with this version and I just say this is up for more discussion and work that, I don’t approve of that because that is misquoted at the bottom.”
Chamberlin then responded with, “There’s no quotes. It’s a summary of discussion. The mayor mentioned the fields at the north end meant for softball are still owned by the Wauseon Rotary and these changes should be made once the land is transferred to the city.”
Mayor Huner then responded with, “You’re putting words in my mouth Shane.” Mr. Chamberlin then moved to have the revised minutes approved, minus the last sentence regarding the mayor he had proposed. Mayor Huner then mentioned to council the following.
“When meeting minutes are made, in a meeting and they are written out, and you have one person wanting to change them, I would suggest you get the minutes before two minutes are into the meeting so that they can compare their minutes.”
“Especially the ones who were there, and the ones who weren’t there to at least make a decision on what you are trying to propose.”
“Because in my mind these are Shane Chamberlin’s minutes of how he felt this went, and this is a small paragraph of discussion. So, that’s all I am going to say, is minutes are minutes. Unless they are wrong, they shouldn’t be amended.”
Chamberlin followed up with, “at no point do we have any oversight over the written minutes?” Mayor Huner responded with, “I don’t understand why they need to be amended.”
Mr. Chamberlin then began to say something with “Do we”, but not before Mayor Huner exclaimed, “That’s it, vote”. Council then voted to approve the motion to amend the meeting minutes with 6 yays and 0 nays.
Council then moved to approve the 2024 budget without included amendments. Listed amendments were not previously sent out and council had not had time to look over the items.
Personnel committee recommendations were then brought up, with topics discussed being the hiring of a Human Resource Consultant, a recommendation for all non-seasonal employees’ part-time employees to receive holiday pay when working on a holiday recognized by the city, a recommendation to hire the city’s tax commissioner on a full-time basis, and a recommendation for a new position to be created for the managing of Biddle Park.
As part of the discussion, an individual working for HR Premier Consulting was put forward to the committee. The individual has been doing HR Consulting with her own company for over a year, with 10 to 12 years of HR experience.
It was also stated that the individual has a master’s degree in management organizational development, with time being spent in the city expected to be around 20 hours per month at a proposed cost of $200 an hour.
Chamberlin stated that he felt there was a need for an HR Rep within the city, and also felt as though this was unanimous throughout the committee.
Councilman Brandon Tijerina then asked if there were any references provided by the individual, with Chamberlin stating the committee was not provided any.
Tijerina then asked Director of Finance Jamie Giguere if they had talked to any other companies that she has worked for as a consultant, with Giguere stating that she had not.
Tijerina then asked if she had provided any, with Mayor Huner stating that she talked about what she has to offer and what she can do.
Mayor Huner also mentioned that they have not gone into the contract phase yet and are looking more at the position itself.
She also stated that the individual being looked at is willing to bring their fee of $200 an hour down for this area.
A lengthy, and at times argumentative discussion then followed between members of council and the mayor regarding the proposed HR position.
Members of council questioned the fact that only one individual was proposed for the position, with it even being brought up that the position should be put out for bid.
It was stated by Mayor Huner that they had seen several other individuals but that they went with who they thought was the lowest and most qualified for the city’s needs.
Council was also reminded that the item up for vote at the current time was for the position and not any one individual.
Following the discussion, council moved to approve the motion to hire consultant to assist with human resource matters, as well as the previously stated items for seasonal pay, full-time Tax Commissioner and Biddle Park Manager.
Department head reports followed, before council moved to approve the following legislative actions. The first reading of Resolution 2023-16 to authorize the mayor to enter into agreement for a countywide emergency management agency pursuant to Ohio Revised Code Section 5502.
The first reading of Resolution 2023-17 authorizing holiday pay for part-time, non-seasonal employees.
The first reading of Resolution 2023-18 authorizing the mayor to enter into an agreement for indigent defense services in county court with the Fulton County Commissioners and declaring an emergency.
The first reading of Resolution 2023-19 authorizing the mayor to enter into an agreement with Ohio Plan Risk Management, Inc. for casualty, liability, fire, and property damage insurance, and declaring an emergency.
The first reading of Resolution 2023-20 authorizing the mayor to enter into agreements for health insurance coverage with Pareto Captive Services, Lucent Health Services, and Tokio Marine HCC.
The first reading for Resolution 2023-21 authorizing the mayor to enter into an agreement with The Standard to provide life insurance and voluntary dental and vision insurance for full-time employees.
The first reading for Resolution 2023-22 authorizing the mayor to advertise for bids for the purchase and installation of a hybrid beacon on North Shoop Avenue; authorizing the mayor to accept the lowest and best bid; authorizing the mayor to enter into a contract with the lowest and best bidder.
The first reading of Ordinance 2023-6 amending section 191 of the Codified Ordinances of The City of Wauseon.
The first reading of Ordinance 2023-7 amending section 114 of the Codified Ordinances of The City of Wauseon to add a new section 114.12 titled “Adult use Cannabis Operators”. (This Ordinance takes the opportunity to prohibit the growing, harvesting, and selling of cannabis within the city limits.)
Councilman Harold Stickley asked if the item was to prevent a business from selling cannabis within the city limits, with an answer being given in the affirmative.
Stickley stated that he could not support that, with Councilwoman Sarah Heising stating that she could support the item. The vote was 5 yays and 1 nay with Stickley being the only no vote.
Also approved were the following additional items. The Third Reading of Ordinance 2023-5 amending section 933.06(B) of the Codified Ordinances of the City of Wauseon. A motion to appoint Councilman Chamberlin and Councilman Stickley to the Volunteer Fire Fighter Dependent Board and a motion to appoint Kevin Nelson to the Planning Commission to fill the unexpired term of Kurt Hoffman.
Council next moved to approve the bills as presented before entering into executive session at 6:13 p.m. Upon council’s return, the meeting was adjourned.