Council holds final meeting of 2016

By Sheryl Roadcap -

SIDNEY — Sidney City Council held its final council meeting of the year to wrap-up business transitioning into 2017.

The first order of business was the adoption of six ordinances, and they are:

• Authorization of supplemental appropriations for various funds for the 2016 budget. The net effect of these changes would be to decrease 2016 appropriations by about $490,000, Financial Officer Ginger Adams said.

• Authorization for appropriations totaling $79.31 million for 2017. Total appropriations, excluding inter-fund transactions and agency funds, are 7.8 percent less than 2016, Adams said, due to the timing of capital outlay appropriations. The operating portion of this budget is 0.7 percent more than the current 2016 budget. This budget is based on staffing of approximately 219 full-time equivalents, which while adding back selected staffing, still represents a 10 percent decline in staffing since 2008, Adams said.

• An amendment of a section of codified ordinances regarding personnel policies, procedures and regulations to add a provision for exempt employees to take time off of less than two hours without using benefit leave, and also to amend a section for adding an exclusion of part-time employees from the call out overtime guarantee.

• For the adoption of certain pay tables for 2017, and declaring an emergency. The declaration of an emergency was necessary for employees to receive the new pay rates for the beginning pay of 2017.

• For the assessment of the cost of weed cutting and/or the removal of litter or junk. For the removal of litter or junk, property owners will be invoiced the cost of the work plus 20 percent. For weed cutting, property owners will be invoiced the cost of the work plus $50 for the first cutting, $75 for the second and $100 for each cutting afterward. A special assessment of $9,438.76 will be collected with other tax property obligations from 46 properties that had weed cutting, and $1,881 for junk removal.

Councilmember Joe Ratermann asked for clarification if the ordinance meant the assessment would be a personal liability or if it would become an encumbrance of the property. Law Director Jeffrey Amick said it would be encumbrance on the property.

• An amendment pertaining to the income tax code, which is to incorporate provisions of the Ohio Senate Bill 172 into Sidney’s income tax ordinance Chapter 142 that are considered “house keeping issues.”

Council also adopted five resolutions, and they are:

• The appointment of Patricia Hamberg and reappointment of Kent Craver and Herman Thompson Jr. to the Citizens Peer Review Committee. Hamberg is replacing Francie O’Leary as representative of the 3rd Ward, who did not wish to be reappointed. Craver has served as the 2nd Ward representative since 2011, and Thompson has served as the at-large representative since 2002. All members’ terms will expire Dec. 31, 2019.

• The reappointment of Karl Bemus to the Personnel Board of Appeals for a new three-year term. Bemus has served on this board since 1980.

• The reappointment of Dennis Sollmann to the Sidney-Shelby Economic Partnership Council to a second and final three-year term. Sollmann was appointed to the board in 2013 when West Ohio Development Council amended their by-laws to change the board of directors’ representation.

• The reappointment of Amy Klingler to the Sidney County Regional Planning Commission for a second three-year term.

• The appointment of Brandi Thompson to the Sidney Tree Board to fill the remaining unexpired term of Warren Koogler. Koogler was appointed in February of 2016 to fill the remaining unexpired portion of Jerry Kauffman’s three-year-term which will expire April 30, 2018.

Mayor Mike Barhorst thanked the Lodging Tax Committee for their hard work. He also read a thank you letter to the city from the organizers of the Turkey Trot for its success.

Councilmember Janet Born invited the public to the Senior Center Singers’ free Holiday Concert on Thursday, Dec. 15 at 7 p.m.

They also held an executive session for negotiations or bargaining sessions with public employees, the appointment and discipline of a public official or employee, pending or imminent court action and to consider the purchase of property for public purposes. No action was taken when they emerged from the session.

Both the mayor and City Manager Mark Cundiff wished everyone a Merry Christmas and safe and happy holiday season.

By Sheryl Roadcap

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.