Sunday, September 20, 2009

Dear People: Well, the gorgeous weather maybe was too good to last, and, yet, today's drizzle is calm and beautiful in its way. I made my way to the Horace Mann statue in the South Glen for the first time this morning, just before it started sprinkling, during my long Sunday hike. I'm embarrassed to say I had never been there, so I paid my long-overdue respects to the big green-patinaed man on the plinth in the woods, with his shocking, red-painted shoes. (Thanks to the "jafabrit" blogger--Corrine B.--for her fabulous photo! But who weilded the red paint, hmmm? It looks like he's wearing crocs!)

So! Tomorrow (Monday 9/21) village council will be meeting as usual in the Bryan Center, 2nd floor, 7 pm, for our regularly scheduled second meeting of the month, which I'll discuss at length below.

In addition, I would like to alert/remind you all that we will have a very important special meeting, next Monday (9/28), which will focus on the overall budget and, more specifically, the levy and its possible renewal. Mark Cundiff has received questions/concerns from Council, and is preparing a presentation for us to better understand what role the levy monies are playing in our current budget and what our options are in terms of renewal/rates/purposes, and how those options would likely affect our future budgets. I hope that many of you can come.

BUT tomorrow night our agenda looks like this:

We received letters from a variety of sources, as usual. Highlights:
  • Two villagers in one household wrote to complain about the noise from F-16 flyovers,
  • a group from MLASC is asking for permission to use Cemetary Street parking as a fund-raiser during street fair, as they have in years past.
  • Another villager wrote to ask when we plan to have the annual Halloween "beggers' night," which last year several residents felt was overcrowded by out-of-town people.
I suspect all of those may be discussed at least briefly at our meeting. Please let me know if you have thoughts, perhaps especially about when we ought to have our traditional Halloween festivities.
  • We also always receive a newsletter from AMP, our power co-op. One article caught my eye: The 'Energy Conservation for Ohioans Link' (ECO-Link) loan program which "is a partnership between the Ohio Treasury and eligible state banks to provide reduced-interest rate financing for Ohioans seeking installment loans to make energy efficiency improvements to existing single family homes" For more info visit the ECO Link website or call 800/228-1102 for more info on participating banks, contractors, and eligible Energy Star products.


1. Second reading of Human Relations Ordinances, establishing a domestic partnership registry, establishing 'hate crimes' legislation, and including gender identity as a protected category in our public accommodations regulations.
2. Resolution in support of Greene County Library Levy Renewal. (Not a new tax, just a reaffirmation of the old one.)
3. Resolution accepting the amount and rates of our tax budget (as determined by the the state Budget Commission, and certifying them to the County Auditor).
4.-6. Resolutions awarding two bids for the WWTP improvements: General Contracting with Kirk Brothers; Electrical Work with DeBra Kuempel; and authorizing LJB, Inc., to oversee the project.

  1. MVRPC "Going Places" Phase I Report. Click here for more information from their website. This report is "an integrated land use visiong for the Miami Valley Region (Miami, Montgomery, & Greene Counties), which focuses on encouraging economic development in the region and sets a vision for land use priorities. The map included in the brochure identifies some land on all sides of Yellow Springs as 'developable.' I am very interested and concerned about how and whether there is any attempt to discourage the kind of sprawl the region has seen in the past several years--I cannot see it clearly in the information I have read.
  2. Village Water & Sewer Rates Study: We commissioned Woolperts to look at our water and sewer rates. Our water rates are currently not keeping up with costs, in particular, and we are doing major work to our wastewater treatment system, so we must look at our rate structure and how to bring it in line with costs. Woolperts will present a cost comparison with other municipalities, and make suggestions as to changes we could make.
Economic Sustainability Committee/ Community Resources: At our last meeting, we determined that, as a body, we needed advice and clarification from our village solicitor about the limitations on a Council person serving on the Board of Community Resources, which is a non-designated Community Improvement Corporation (CIC) whose work is focused on developing the Center for Business and Education (the McGregor property). We had just received a statement on this specific question made by the Ohio Ethics Commission, which many of us found confusing. Currently, Kathryn Van der Heiden is serving "ex-officio" on the Board of Community Resources. The Ethics Commission ruling, to me, seemed to imply that it was very difficult for a public official to serve as a full member on such a board.

I am not sure whether we will have any extended discussion of Judith Hempfling's proposed Economic Sustainability Commission; I think we may just get a brief update from Mark as to the hiring of the Economic Sustainability Director, and plan to take this question up at a later date.

Energy Task Force: Street Light Bulbs. The Energy Task force proposes replacing our current street lamps with new, much more energy efficient ones called "induction" lights. They have been running a sample light at the cornder of Talus and West South College. The ETF proposes using our $50,000 budget for energy efficiency improvements for this year to begin the conversion to induction lights. Step 1 would be issuing an RFP for the process.

MANAGER'S REPORT (attached) : discusses Greene Cats potentially making the Bryan Ctr. a regular pick up spot, WWTP non-compliance penalties, the increase in solid waste fees, and the inquiry from Greene Met Housing regarding taxes on land in the village, atrazine in the water, etc.

STANDING REPORTS from all commissions and committees of Council and AGENDA PLANNING and then

EXECUTIVE SESSION: Real Estate / Personnel / Pending Litigation


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