Aurora Ohio City Council and Committee of the Whole - June 26, 2023
Committee of the Whole (COW): The meeting was called to order at 6:45 pm by Councilwoman Reva Barner. She called for nominations for Chairman pro tem of City Council. Pete French was nominated and elected unanimously. Other council members present: Sarah Grdina Gilmore, Harold Hatridge, George Horvat and Dennis Kovach. Brad Duguay, John Kudley and Scott Wolf were absent. There were 10 City Officials and Employees present and a full house in the gallery.
June 12, 2023 minutes were adopted.
Finance Director Timothy Clymer reported that “the City of Aurora has been recognized by the Government Finance Officers Association with a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for our 2021 annual financial report”. The city received a $439,156 refund of collection fees from R.I.T.A., a significantly higher amount than in the past few years. Fund balances remain in a healthy position with $39,858,211 unencumbered in all funds, and $17,219,927 unencumbered in the General Fund.
There were 3 Ordinance proposed for Action that evening on 1st Reading:
There was 1 Ordinance proposed for first reading that will go to second reading.
Meeting adjourned at 7:05 pm.
City Council (CC): Council President G. Horvat called the meeting to order at 7:08 pm with the Pledge to the Flag of the United States of America. Council members present and absent as noted in COW Report.
Minutes from the June 12, 2023 meeting were adopted.
The agenda was amended to remove a scheduled Executive Session to discuss the Acquisition of Real Property.
Mayor’s Report: Mayor Ann Womer Benjamin thanked everyone who visited the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall; Negotiations continue on the Geauga Lake Purchase; Reverend Kevin Horak was selected as Grand Marshall for the 4th of July Parade; the 4th of July activities were mentioned along with Food Truck Wednesdays and Summer Concert Series.
Citizens Comments: The Gallery was filled with residents, many from the Geauga Lake Area. 9 Citizens spoke about the proposed purchase of Geauga Lake and 40 acres of land. Geauga Lake Improvement Association (GLIA) members spoke about the nearly 100 years that the GLIA has had easements and control over their portion of the Lake side and wanted assurances that this will be honored. 1 citizen spoke in favor of the purchase. Others were concerned about where the money was coming from and if it was proper use of the funds. Another spoke about the cost of support and underlying costs. The Mayor tried to address many of the concerns expressed, assuring people that money is not being taken from any projects, it would be developed in stages and we have a strong general fund. Some money will be coming from the JED with Bainbridge, taxes, user fees and may lease some buildings. Law Director Dean DePiero assured the residents and GLIA that easements run with the land, their rights will not change and offered to meet with the GLIA Trustees.
Council Remarks: None
Ordinances on 2nd Reading:
The 3 Ordinances proposed at the COW for action that evening were adopted with rules suspended. See Committee of the Whole report for details.
The Ordinance for a Tax Abatement went to 2nd Reading.
Citizens Comments: H Caplin spoke about the 7 acre parcel he has owned in Aurora for over 30 years and believes the city is incredibly responsible.
J.Vaca brought up several issues in the Ward 1 area that needs attention and complimented Mr. Caplin on his proposed project.
Mitchell Edgecomb spoke about the waste issue in the city and his waste reduction proposal to protect business interests by their use of resusable bags- saving millions of dollars in the process.
Council Members and Committee Remarks: R. Barner Thanked all the Citizens who came and she said she will keep all residents in mind, transparency is important.
H. Hatridge thanked everyone who came and all those who visited the Wall.
G. Horvat thanked the Mayor for her support of the Wall and that Mr. Frisbee was a great fill in for the Service Director. He also complimented the GLIA members for their civility.
The Mayor commented that the purchase of Geauga Lake was made public just 2 weeks ago. She is working on FAQ’s and will continue to inform the residents of progress. She values their input and thanked them for coming.
The meeting adjourned at 8:10 pm.
How to watch Meetings & See Agendas