TO THE HONORABLE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF ELYRIA, OHIO:
The RULES COMMITTEE held a meeting on MONDAY, JANUARY 27, 2020 at 6:00 PM in Council Chambers.
RULES PRESENT: Committee Chair Madison, Callahan, Jessie, Tollett
OTHERS PRESENT: Law Director Deery, Mayor Whitfield, Safety Service Dir Brubaker, Assistant Finance Director Farrell, Water Plant Superintendent Jacob, Fire Chief Mack, Building Official Farkas, CD Manager Almobayyed, Cemetery Div Superintendent Given, Councilperson Keys, Councilperson Oswald
The matter of the Charter Review Committee for the Year 2020
REFERRED BY: Council Clerk Office
Chair Madison started by reading Section 21.07 of the Charter Review and that beginning in 1970 and every year there after a review of the Charter will take effect
In January 1970, and in January of each tenth year thereafter, the Council shall appoint five qualified electors of the City holding no other office, appointment or employment in the government of the City, as members of a Charter Review Commission. Such Commission shall review the Charter of the City and within one year after such appointment, recommend to Council such alterations, revisions, and amendments, if any, to this Charter, as in its judgment are desirable. After consideration of the recommendations of the Charter Review Commission the Council may submit all or any of such proposed alterations, revisions, or amendments to this Charter in the manner provided by Article XVIII, Section 9, of the Constitution of Ohio. The members appointed to the Charter Review Commission shall serve without compensation. Meetings of the Charter Review Commission shall be open to the public.
Chair Madison went on to say that they are here this evening to carry out the work of the Charter Review. Mr. Madison read the list of the recommended Charter Review members; Pete Shilling, Phil Mercardo, Marty Rowe, Jim Behmer, Bonnie Ivancic, Scott Borthwick, Mary Siwierka, Sharon Furcron, Stephanie Malanowski, Cate Smith.
The floor is open for discussion. Mr. Tollett nominated Phil Mercardo. Mr. Jessie nominated Marty Rowe. Mr. Baird asked where the list of names came from. Chair Madison said the names were submitted by the Rules Committee Members to the Council Clerk’s Office. The list of names was passed out to everyone on Council.
Mr. Callahan said that he submitted one person and he believes some called into the office to be considered. So the answer to Mr. Baird’s questions is some names were self submitted and others were submitted by Council Members. Out of the list of 10 names, 5 will be chosen. Mayor Whitfield said within this first month he’s noticed that some changes will need to be made on matters that really impact the operations of City Functions. He feels that the folks that the committee appoint are residents that will be brought into it and that it’s not just going to be a ‘check-box’ exercise. They will want to dive in and have the time and experience to devote to it. Mr. Callahan said that he sees folks that want to be involved and engaged in the process. Unfortunately they can only choose 5 and these folks have come forward one way or another. Mr. Callahan made his nomination for Jim Behmer.
Mr. Madison made his nomination for Cate Smith who is in the audience.
Mr. Tollett made another nomination for Terry ‘Pete’ Shilling. Mr. Callahan feels Mr. Shilling would be an excellent choice. Chair Madison asked for any feedback.
Mayor Whitfield said the he wants to stand up for diversity, there are 4 males and one female on the panel and there are other women who have been nominated and he wants the committee to consider diversity and keep it in perspective, he stated that there are no African Americans on this list and asked the committee to think about that.
Mr. Callahan stated that he respects the Mayor and his opinion and he feels everyone that has been chosen is worthy of serving on this committee. It’s unfortunate that they can only choose 5. He said that he feels comfortable with the person that he nominated. Mrs. Davis nominated Ms. Furcron and she feels Ms. Furcron would be an excellent candidate for this. Mr. Madison decided to withdrawal his nomination of Cate Smith and to nominate Sharon Furcron for the sake of diversity.
Mayor Whitfield commented that they booted one woman and replaced her with another. He said the dynamic is that they want diversity to be in perspective.
Mr. Callahan said that he understands the Mayor’s point. And he asked the Mayor if he will be planning on having more committees where he will be appointing members. That perhaps if some of these folks that are on this list could be appointed to serve on other committees? Mayor Whitfield said the Charter is something that he finds very important and that we need to get it right, since it’s done only every 10 years and it’s something that’s impacting the daily operations of the City. He does feels there are a number of ways to engage some of these other gentlemen that are on the list.
Mr. Baird said that he served on this committee in 2010. He said that the Law Director serves on it because there are a lot of legal issues that come up. He said that all the folks that were nominated care about the City and he understands about diversity, but we want qualified folks. Mayor Whitfield said that Sharon Furcron works in the Corporate sector in Operations and Cate Smith is an attorney. Their qualifications might exceed some of the other candidates.
Mr. Jessie stated that he would withdraw his nomination of Marty Rowe and in place, nominate Cate Smith.
Chair Madison said that at this time they have the list of five names to be considered;
Pete Shilling, Phil Mercado, Jim Behmer, Sharon Furcron and Cate Smith.
Councilperson Mitchell said that it is important that we do have diversity because the City is very diverse, we have women and men who care very deeply about our City. She feels the selection is very good, we’re moving the City forward and the Charter is very important. And since we only work on it every 10 years, we need to get it right.
Mr. Callahan moved and Mr. Jessie second to authorize a resolution to appoint 5 residents to the ‘said’ committee.
Mr. Jessie made a motion to adjourn and second by Mr. Callahan.
MOTION CARRIED Rules Committee adjourned at 6:15 P.M.
The evening’s meetings continues with the Community Development Committee at 6:20 P.M.
Respectfully submitted by, Colleen Rosado, Council Clerk Secretary