My notes from tonight’s meeting of Stow City Council are posted below:
Tonight, all but two pieces of legislation passed unanimously.
First, the pay raise for the engineer passed by a 4-2 count (with Riehl and me voting “no”). I have talked about this legislation ad nauseum. I think raises are inappropriate when we don’t balance our budget. I’m not close-minded, but I just can’t picture an exception to that rule. I won’t vote to increase spending in any manner when we are in the red.
Second, I was the only “no” vote on a fee increase for participants in Stow Youth Services. The legislation also included two provisions mandated by the Ohio General Assembly: that juvenile records be sealed in 6 months and that cities cannot charge a fee for sealing those records.
In the end, I don’t think there should be a barrier (no matter how small) for a young person to take advantage of Stow Youth Services. Although a 15-year-old might not recognize it at the time, SYS gives him or her a chance to avoid a criminal record. Ten dollars can, and will, affect a 15-year-old’s decision as to whether to use SYS (and the priceless long-term benefits to his future) or going to court. If you disagree, you must not know many 15-year-olds.
Additionally, I am wholly fed up with the city pushing through new fees here, and new fees there. It’s death by a thousand cuts. This fee raised more revenue than the fee it replaces. So I was proud to be the only “no” vote.
City council will now begin its month-long summer recess. You might be wondering: Why would a body that only meets four times a month get a month-long vacation? Believe me, I have fought that battle too many times. Our next meetings will be the week of September 10.
Here are some other news items regarding our city:
– In July, Stow set a record for water use. City residents pumped more than 102 million gallons of water. It was a dry month and a hot month. ....