Plain City Council will look quite different at its next meeting.
During Wednesday’s work session, council members prepared to appoint two new members to recently vacated seats.
The seats quickly became open when former Mayor Darrin Lane resigned and Council President Jody Carney took his position, then former Council member Darren Lee resigned.
Following Lane’s resignation, council posted an application for residents interested in being appointed to the governing body. Carney said the same pool of applicants would be used to fill her former seat and Lee’s vacant seat.
Carney said the village received just two applications. She added that the pair that applied sent theirs “as soon as possible,” almost immediately after council announced the applications would open.
Council appeared to be comfortable with appointing both applicants, Michael Terry and Lauren Giaimo, as Council member John Rucker moved to do so.
However, Village Solicitor Paul Lafayette advised council to stick to “just discussion tonight” as the work session agenda listed “council vacancies” as only a discussion item.
In a special meeting, like a work session, he said agenda items that will be acted upon should be specified in advance.
For that reason, council agreed to table Rucker’s motion until their next regular meeting, Oct. 26.
During the discussion, the board indicated they plan to appoint Terry to Lee’s former seat and Giaimo to Carney’s.
Lafayette noted that Carney has only been appointed as mayor until the May election. At that point, she must run for election if she would like to keep the position.
If Carney chooses to run for mayor and wins, Giaimo would keep her council seat. Otherwise, if Carney runs and loses or chooses not to run, she would assume her old council seat and Giaimo would no longer serve on council.
Carney said she felt Terry should fill Lee’s more certain seat, whose term will end at the end of 2021, because he has more experience with village committees.
Terry is currently a member of the personnel and finance committee and served as a co-chair of the village’s charter commission.
Before Terry and Giaimo are officially appointed and sworn in at the next meeting, Village Administrator Nathan Cahall said he will meet with each to give them a “crash course” and get them up to speed on current village happenings.
Council also discussed vacancies on various village committees.
Lee’s resignation from council also resulted in his departure from the planning and zoning commission. His wife, Tara, also left the Board of Zoning Appeals.
Along with her empty seat, there is another vacancy on BZA.
A vacancy was also created on the parks and recreation committee, as Carney was the council representative for that group.
Council member Shannon Pine currently serves on BZA, but said she would give up that position to assume Lee’s planning and zoning position. Pine is the alternate for the commission.
Giaimo indicated interest in serving on the capital improvement committee, so Council member Sherry Heineman said she would switch from that position to fill Pine’s BZA seat.
Then, Giaimo will fill the capital improvement role and Terry will fill the additional, vacant BZA position.
Carney said she will add a discussion item for committee appointments to the December work session agenda to reconvene and resolve any lingering issues.
Lastly, council voted unanimously to approve John Rucker as President Pro Tem.
Pine noted that Rucker has served as president before and his is the most senior council member.
In other business:
– Council discusses plans for sidewalk improvements throughout the Uptown District.
Cahall said the design will dictate how much the village can repair each year, and asked council what they envisioned.
“This is kind of the 800-pound gorilla in terms of cost,” he said.
Council members said they would like a design similar to an example shown by Cahall of a downtown area in Tipp City. The majority of the sidewalk is flat concrete but a decorative paver border surrounds it.
Council asked Cahall to research how much of the sidewalk could be completed to meet those standards, given the current budget, and provide that information before a decision is made.
– Council member Frank Reed, who attended the most recent parks and recreation committee meeting in Carney’s place, said the group is planning to host a Christmas Lights in the Park event.
He said the hope is to use the money that was intended for Fourth of July fireworks, which was not spent, to create the lights show.
It would be hosted at Pastime Park, Reed said, and community members could drive through and keep safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I think it’s a great idea,” Rucker said.
Cahall said there is at least $10,000 that was planned for fireworks and was not spent, which could go toward the event.
The village administrator said he would provide an update to council once he gathers more information.
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