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What Happened at the Nov. 12, 2012 Committee Meetings of Stow City Council

At-large councilman Mike Rasor shares his notes from the Nov. 12, 2012 meetings of the committees of Stow City Council.

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!

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Larry Kinnan November 13, 2012 at 12:57 PM
I would like to commend Mr. Rasor on his stand for not giving the Mayor blanket authority to enter into contracts on behalf of the city. Separation of powers is a key firewall that prevents officials from trampling the rights of people through edicts and back room deals. It is too bad we don't have more people like Mr. Rasor at the state at federal level to stop this type of power grab.
Melissa Bysura November 13, 2012 at 02:43 PM
Mr. Rasor has been a breath of fresh air for this city. Thanks for keeping 'em honest Mike!
Jack Kelly November 13, 2012 at 07:33 PM
Once again, that freaking church thinks it can do whatever it darn well pleases. Perhaps these churches with that type of attitude need to be paying ALL of their taxes. If it is determined these mineral rights ARE the cities, then I would expect the city to go after the driller AND that church.
Jeff Mittiga November 13, 2012 at 09:50 PM
I believe that the City of Stow should have the authority to regulate or ban hydraulic fracturing within our city limits. Some of these drillers are just out to make a quick buck and could care less about the health and safety of residents. In my opinion, City Council should consider a resolution to ask our state legislature to restore this authority so that city governments have the ability to protect their communities.
Jeff Mittiga November 14, 2012 at 11:24 PM
I hope that Drug Mart will reconsider this move. The 5 acre property they are moving to is a scenic property. One of the few remaining green space areas on Fishcreek Road. Its a refuge for deer and other wildlife. I hate to think of that property being bulldozed and paved over with asphalt and concrete. Drug Mart seems to have plenty of customers at their current location.
James Thomas November 16, 2012 at 04:57 PM
Once again freaking Jack Kelly thinks he can persuade with vitriol. No Luck Jack.

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