Residents Express Ire at Absentee Trustee
Nelson Twp - Meeting at 7:15pm on November 20, trustees Tom Matota and Joe Leonard were in attendance for a special meeting scheduled to decide the fate of two proposed amendments. Outgoing trustee Jim Turos was once again absent.
After the November 6 meeting, the trustees followed up with Township legal counsel Chris Meduri for advice on two proposed amendments. Meduri informed the trustees that the amendments could be approved at their discretion, but noted that accepting “Amendment 2” as valid would set a precedent for future proposals. Amendment 2 was thought to be “null and void” at the November 6 meeting due to the fee for submission remaining unpaid. Trustees Matota and Leonard were in agreement that the amendment needed to be rejected as void to avoid setting a precedent.
The other amendment, referred to as “Amendment 1” was tabled until December 4th so that the trustees could better understand the unclear language contained within it. The trustees plan to discuss the proposed amendment with Meduri.
With no other topics to address at the special meeting, the trustees voted to adjourn the meeting and enter into their regularly scheduled meeting.
After opening the floor to questions from those in attendance the trustees heard from a resident who questioned trustee Jim Turos’ repeated absences from official township meetings, asking whether there was anything in the Ohio Revised Code or Township Bylaws that required trustees to attend meetings. According to Tom Matota and Fiscal Officer John David Finney, trustees are only required to attend one meeting per quarter to be eligible for full benefits and pay; this answer appeared to stun those in attendance.
Moving the meeting along, trustee Joe Leonard made a motion to accept the minutes from the November 6th meeting as presented. Matota, and Leonard passed the motion. Turos was absent.
After the trustees approved the meeting minutes, Finney presented the trustees with bills and wages, appropriations status reports, and suggested supplemental appropriations. Matota made a motion to accept and pay the bills and wages as presented. Matota also made a motion to accept the recommended appropriations. Matota and Leonard passed both motions. Turos was absent.
A motion was made to reschedule the first trustee meeting of 2014. It was originally slated to fall on January 1st, however, the trustees present voted to reschedule that meeting for January 8th.
Matota presented a letter from the Board of Elections that stated enough signatures had been verified to place the zoning referendum on the ballot for the May 6, 2014 primary. Because of the wording on the petition, the ballot issue would end up providing a referendum on both amendments passed earlier this fall. Matota, Leonard, and Finney plan to ensure the ballot language is worded as clearly as possible to avoid confusing voters. After a brief discussion Matota made a resolution to certify the Board of Elections’ findings. Trustees Matota and Leonard voted to approve the resolution.
Following the vote the trustees discussed the “fill-in-the-blank” contract provided by Meduri for the salt barn project. After filling in the contract, Leonard and Matota determined that it would be best to put the meeting in recess instead of adjourning at the end of the night. This would allow the trustees to reconvene on November 21 after having their questions answered by the salt barn contractor. On November 21 the trustees voted to accept the contract they had prepared on November 20 pending the receipt of warranty documentation on the project.
The trustees also discussed the fuel station project, which has moved to the drawing board stage. The trustees were then presented with a letter from Suddenlink informing them of another rate hike for internet service.
Matota then revisited the Garrettsville-Nelson chip and seal situation on Brosius Road (see November 22nd Villager). Recapping his discussion with the Garrettsville Council, Matota stated that the issue concerning ‘who is responsible for what’ has been resolved.
Three of the Move Ohio Forward demolition projects have been completed, however Matota was disappointed with the demolition of the property on Hopkins as there is still some debris in the overgrowth that was pushed back on the property.
Leonard presented a supply list for the care and maintenance of the flooring at the Community House. The contractor plans to come back in December to buff out the floor which should restore at least some of the color to the tile.
A motion to perform employee performance reviews for all Township employees by December 31st was tabled until the December 4th meeting.
Chuck Vanek reported that the road department is working on trimming back brush and branches along several roads that they hadn’t gotten to this year. He also requested road signs and reflectors for the winter season. The trustees asked him to look into what is available, and report back.
The trustees then entered into executive session, with Matota explaining that they would immediately put the regular meeting in recess after exiting executive session.
The meeting resumed on November 21 at 6:30 pm for a vote on the salt barn project as noted above.