Monday, January 4, 2010

Tonight: Village Mgr Evaluation, Open Meetings, Morris Bean Sewer, Econ Sustainability

Dear people: Keeping busy in this post-holiday season working for our meeting tonight. I and John Weithofer are going through the 150+ applications for Clerk of Council, and I'm in charge of our evaluation of Mark, so I will be chairing our executive session at 6 pm tonight focusing on that topic.

The general session will begin at 7 pm, and, after the preliminaries (call to order, roll call, announcements, minutes, etc.) we'll address several pieces of legislation:

1. ORDINANCE--2nd reading, public hearing: Establishing procedures for Calling Meetings in the Village of Yellow Springs. After the litigation last month, we realized that our current procedures for calling meetings--especially for special and emergency meetings--were not really clear or adequate. The new policies require more notification locations (not fewer as one letter from a resident seemed to imply): in addition to notifying the editor and (if possible) publishing in the YS News, we will also still use physical postings in the library and Bryan Center, and also, now, the Village website.

Additionally, if citizens would like notification, the new policy allows anyone to request individual notification of any any special meetings of any body of government. The draft of this ordinance stipulates a $5.00 annual fee in order to cover Village expenses. A resident has asked us about the origin of that number and how it was calculated. That's a good question, and I hope that our Solicitor will be able to answer that question for us this evening.

Again, I would like to reiterate that this Council is committed to open meetings. We are striving to honor the spirit and not just the letter of the law. I think I can speak for the whole Council when I say that we're glad that citizens here are engaged and want to be informed--and we're also glad that a few citizens are helping us think through what the best policy would be for helping to notify everyone if we have to occasionally add more meetings to our schedule or, very rarely, call emergency meetings where advance notification is more challenging.

Please feel free to let me know if you have any questions or thoughts about the best means of notification.

"You got to pay your dues if you want to sing the blues..." Ringo Starr, "It Don't Come Easy," 1978

2. RESOLUTION Authorizing the Village Mgr. to Sign a Sanitary Sewer Agreement with Morris Bean (this process began in 2005 due to environmental concerns in relation to the aging sewage system at Morris Bean, which is technically outside the village limits.)
3. RESOLUTION Membership dues for Ohio Municipal League (they help keep us informed about activities in Ohio State government affecting municipalities)
4. RESOLUTION Membership dues for Northern Miami Valley Local Government Association. This organization facilitates collaboration with other local municipalities.
5. RESOLUTION Membership dues for Yellow Springs Chamber of Commerce. This organization promotes the economic interests of Yellow Springs, as you all probably know, and organizes major events such as the Street Fairs which require a great deal of village cooperation, while providing valuable connection to local businesses.
6. RESOLUTION Membership dues for Greene County Emergency Management Association (for non-police matters). This organization helps during natural and man-made disasters.


1. Economic Sustainability Commission
: Judith Hempfling is bringing back to Council her earlier proposal for an "Economic Sustainability Commission" that would "advise Council in creating an Economic Sustainability Plan which will guide Village Government economic development work. The Commission will provide a venue for incubating ideas and networking between economic development groups, businesses, non-profits, entrepreneurs, workforce development resources and citizens. This discourse will also promote an increased community understanding of a sustainable economy. It will also help identify regional, state and federal economic development resources and funding opportunities."

The goal would be to work with and complement existing organizations--the Chamber and Community Resources. Quoting again from Hempfling's proposal, "
The first work item will be to advise Council on development of an Economic Sustainability Plan which will guide Village Government work on economic development. The Plan will promote Village goals of addressing global warming and being a place of opportunity for diverse people. It is hoped that the Plan will be developed over the first 6 months of the life of the Commission.

"The Plan will identify the primary opportunities for economic sustainability in the village and ways to support those efforts. It will recommend steps to further strengthen meeting local needs locally, opportunities such as a business incubator to support entrepreneurs, strengthening of the local workforce by promoting regional resources for skills training, mentoring and apprenticeships for village youth and adults and the possible creation of a local jobs directory. Recommendations should be made regarding the Village Economic Development Revolving Fund, and economic development grant opportunities. The Economic Sustainability Commission will also be a forum for sharing ongoing economic activities."

I look forward to this discussion and to hearing from citizens about the plan.

2. Commissions, committees and boards update: terms of office, roster, schedule of meetings for 2010: There are openings on many committees and commissions--let me know if you're interested. Particularly in Environmental Commission and Human Resources.

3. Update on Clerk of Council Search: John Weithofer and I are sorting the 150+ applicants and will meet this week. I am hopeful that we will be able to have an executive session to discuss the top candidates after our next meeting.


First discussion of 2010 Council Goals

Highlights include 1. Village Manager's office is being remodeled; the manager is now in Dave Conley's old office (still on the 2nd floor of the Bryan Center); 2. ongoing work on the Center for Business and Education--the Antioch McGregor site on the west side of town--we have some concerns that the Ohio Dept of Transportation grant money will be pushed back to 2012; we're trying to avoid that; 3. Street Light Replacement Bids will go to the Energy Task Force at their Jan 5 meeting and they will try to have a recommendation for Council on Jan 19th; 4. The Little Miami River Partnership seeking an extension of the grant/agreement we have had for riparian conservation work along the river since 2008.

EXECUTIVE SESSION: Village Treasurer Position.

I'm listening to Hawaiian music while I type (I'm a fan of pandora Who doesn't love Israel 'IZ' Kamakawiwo'ole's "Somewhere Over the Rainbow / Wonderful World" medley?

Peace, y'all (I just came back from the South...)--


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