Stow City Council has a light meeting schedule for the rest of 2012. We have meetings this week, and then the second week of December. My notes from tonight’s committee meetings are posted below:
-- Discount Drug Mart is seeking approval to construct a new building next door to its current location at Oregon Trail Plaza at corner of Fishcreek and Graham. That measure passed Planning Committee tonight, 4-0.
-- Giant Eagle (Norton Road) is seeking council’s blessing to receive a class D1 liquor permit, which would allow the grocer to sell beer on its premises. The purpose is for beer tastings.
-- We had a surprise in the past seven days regarding the proposed gas well at the Church of New Hope. The driller decided to proceed to frack the well — without city council’s signing a lease for the land beneath Ritchie Road. The driller’s new position is that Stow does not own those mineral rights. We are in the process of obtaining a title opinion. If the title opinion confirms our earlier report, then I think we should go after them with everything we’ve got. If the city does indeed own those mineral rights, then the driller has done what is tantamount to theft from taxpayers, in my opinion. Stay tuned on this one…
-- I called a Roads & Safety Committee meeting, and we discussed two pieces of legislation. The first prohibits hunting on city land. This is a liability issue for the taxpayers.
-- Second, Mayor Drew asked the committee to give her blanket authority to enter into emergency-aid contracts with one or more communities anywhere in Summit or Portage counties. As chairman, I refused to bring this legislation for a vote. To give the administration a blank check on these contracts is an abdication of our duties as your representatives. Our city has a charter that sets forth a separation of powers. I am wary of any attempt to hand off the legislative duties to the executive branch. We will likely approve any one of these emergency-aid agreements, but we won’t get lazy and issue that blanket authority. We owe the residents a better effort than that.
-- Matt Riehl and I will hold our monthly meeting with residents tomorrow (Tuesday) at 5:30 p.m. in the second-hall conference room at City Hall. Please stop by. I invite some tough questions!