Monday, March 15, 2010

VC: Tonight! Cell Tower, Budget, Dog Park, Waiver of Tap Fees, Fluoride, CBE, old Stutzman's property

Dear People: I am back from a long weekend in North Carolina (Asheville and Charlotte), playing music and going to a couple of small concerts and spending time with a good friend. And it's back to work! Tonight there's a Village Council meeting, with a lot of stuff on the agenda.

SWEARING IN of the new Clerk of Council, Judith O. Kintner. Welcome Judy!


DOG PARK: THOUGHTS ON LANGUAGE AND THE PUBLIC SPHERE: As you can guess if you've been following the debate in the YS News opinion page, we have received many letters regarding the dog park issue: many expressing concerns about safety, including a petition signed by a number of residents (73, I believe), some of whom also sent letters. A few wrote powerful positive letters. Some residents support the park, just not at Gaunt--some support the park, but not at Ellis, others suggest other locations. Some are concerned about the speed of the process.

While these communications are for the most part thoughtful and politely worded, I agree with the concerns of students (in this week's YS News) that characterizing people involved as manipulative or ascribing base motivations to Council or the young people who brought the petition are both false and counterproductive. Let me be clear: I read all letters and emails, and I strive to ignore any attacks on me or people I have some afiliation with to get at the worthwhile critique that may be hidden in there. That's my job, and it's what I signed up for. But I admit it's tiresome for me, and, when young people or other villagers are involved it's really deadly. So this is a plea for continued communication, but let's all make an effort to consider our words carefully, and their potential effect on the whole potential audience of Villagers, before we hit "send" or step up to the mic.

ARTS COMMITTEE/ PERFORMANCE SPACE: Writes that it is no longer considering the Dayton St/Railroad St. space for a new facility, and is planning to discuss plans with the Antioch College campus.

ZONING / BUILDING CODES: A resident and volunteer fire fighter wrote to urge us to consider fire safety in all of our codes--density, floor/truss construction, residential sprinklers.

GREEN SPACE: One additional letter supporting the use of green space funds for the properties being considered.


ORDINANCES: "First Reading" means we'll vote tonight AND again at our next meeting.
We generally allow public comment at both readings, but an official public hearing must happen at the second reading.
  • First Reading: Verizon Cell Tower Lease: The plan is to put an additional tower on the Bryan Center grounds, to better serve the downtown area. The village will receive rent for this facility/space. I support this plan, tentatively--I need to see the full plans, which will be available/explained in detail tonight.
  • First Reading: VYS Budget Approval. Judith Hempfling has an excellent letter about the Budget that will go in this week's paper. I have attached it to this letter. She walks us through all the controversial areas of the budget and her thoughts on each topic, which I largely share. I would welcome your input on this vision of our budget and our approach to fiscal health.
  • Dog Park Project: Currently states "Gaunt Park." However, manager Cundiff has gone through the advantages and disadvantages of all the sites, and suggests in his memo that Ellis is still the site he'd recommend. If that is not possible, he'd say Stutzman's or Glass Farm are the next logical sites. I do not have strong feelings on this topic.
  • Waiver of Tap Fees for Home, Inc. for permanently affordable homes
  • Environmental Commission: 1) Proposal to stop adding fluoride to our water; 2) Annual Report. After the public forum last fall and having reviewed the available scientific data from around the world, the EC proposes that we cease adding fluoride to our water supply.
  • CBE (Center for Business and Education: Antioch-McGregor Site): Council asked to have a presentation made on the current plans for this site so that we can better understand and address community concerns about this "gateway" to the village on W. Dayton St./ Enon Road.
  • Cable Advisory Panel: Annual Report
  • Review Council Goals (4-6)
  • Council Committee/Board/Commissions update
1) Snow and ice control costs so far this winter: $19,909.33.
(Overtime hours and holiday hours accounted for a great deal of that cost, due to the timing and intensity of the storms). Mark suggests an Oct/Nov presentation this year on the Village's snow removal policies for public education purposes.

2) AMP (American Municipal Power) Meetings: Mark's is attending meetings regarding Gorsuch (the old coal plant we're part owner of, through our energy co-op, AMP); potential geo-thermal generation project; the hydro projects; and Business development. He's agreed to serve on an Environmental Stewardship subcommittee for AMP municipalities.

3) Pool Fees: slight increase proposed for this summer

EXECUTIVE SESSION: Topic: Real Estate: Former Stutzman Property. With Village Solicitor, via teleconference.