Garrettsville – Tuesday, April 7, 2015 Chuck Klamer tendered his resignation effective at 12:01 a.m. on April 8, 2015, the date of Garrettsville’s April village council meeting.  Mayor Rick Patrick asked for an executive session after the regular meeting to inform council members of Klamer’s resignation and to discuss their options for a replacement.  Council had the option of opening the position up for applicants or appointing a replacement for the remainder of Klamer’s term.  The mayor and council discussed whom they should appoint and unanimously decided to offer the position to Garrettsville resident, Sheri Johnson.

Johnson, a newcomer to public office, has roots in Garrettsville going back a couple of generations and has lived here her entire life.   She currently works in administrative support at Charles Chevrolet here in Garrettsville.  Johnson has also been very involved in the schools and the community, holding several voluntary positions over the years including: James A. Garfield Schools Hall of Fame Chairman, J.A.G. Sports Booster Treasurer, J.A.G. PTO President, OGSO Board Member and Secretary & Treasurer for Portage North Softball League.  Sheri admits she was a little leery of the idea of being on council but after talking with both Mayor Patrick and Council President Tom Hardesty, she felt honored to be considered and trusts that the mayor and everyone on council will be supportive as she learns her way.  Johnson will be sworn in at the May village council meeting.

In other business, council passed Ordinance 2015-10 establishing a penalty for not filing an annual village income tax return.  A penalty of $100 will be assessed this year for any qualified resident who fails to file a tax return by the deadline.  Council also passed Ordinance 2015-11, which changes requirements for parking for multi-family dwellings within the village.

Council discussed a letter to council from resident Patricia Mikula.  Mikula asked council to address the problem of the trucks parking overnight and leaving their rigs running.  She stated that it is very disturbing to the residents in the area.  The diesel engines and air conditioning units make a lot of noise during the night.  Village Solicitor Stuck stated that the police department would be notified to enforce the existing noise ordinance and ticket violators.  Council also determined that the area in question is not zoned to allow the truck parking and will notify the property owner.

Next Sarah Durica, Secretary of the newly formed Garrettsville Baseball League, addressed council about the organization and asked for assistance in scheduling time for use of the ball fields.  The new league is community based and currently has four teams that will be playing other sandlot teams around Portage County.  Durica stated that the organization has applied for their 501c3 and they would be willing to list the village on their liability insurance.  Solicitor Stuck told Durica that the village will need a copy of the non profit status paperwork when it comes in and then the village can proceed with arranging a scheduling mechanism to make field time equitable for all those using the ball fields.

Council President Hardesty brought up the needed repair of pavement on Freedom Street just off South Street.  The pavement has deteriorated to a point where something has to be done before there is further damage to the base, which will cost more money to repair.  Council approved the expenditure.

During round table discussion, Council President Hardesty informed council about the opportunity to apply for a grant through CDIS -Community Development Implementation Strategy (formerly Community Development Block Grant Program – CDBG) for the repair and upgrade for the municipal parking lot off Center Street behind the Maschek property.  The grant, similar to the CDB Grant received last year for the sidewalk replacement in the fire-damaged area, would require no matching funds.    Hardesty got approval to submit the paperwork due April 10th.

Councilman Hadzinsky asked council if they wanted to discuss what is going on with the budget.  The mayor asked that they hold off on discussion until the May meeting.  The mayor stated that the police chief had been asked to reduce his 2015 budget by $100,000.  The mayor also stated that the department was given a deadline of the May council meeting to come up with the cuts.

If you’d like to know more of what is happening in your community attend a meeting.  The next regular Village Council meeting is scheduled for May 13, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. at Village Hall.