Three-reading waiver falls short

Bethany J. Royer

June 4, 2014

Bethany J. Royer

Staff Writer


PIQUA — A vote to waive a three-reading rule came up short at Tuesday’s commission meeting in regard to an ordinance seeking to rezone a current heavy industrial parcel to one-family residential.

According to Stacy Wall, city law director, under Section 10 of the city charter, a 75 percent approval vote is required for a waiver, with commissioners John Martin and Bill Vogt voting against.

“Is there anything Cornerstone can do to change your mind?” asked Lucy Fess, city mayor, referencing the representative from the construction company who had approached the podium after an introduction to the ordinance by City Planner Chris Schmiesing. The latter provided the background to the ordinance where a recommendation for rezoning from the planning commission was met without opposition at a public meeting.

However, Commissioner Martin felt the ordinance did not warrant a waiver.

“In my opinion, this does not seem to be an emergency,” said Martin, citing there are certain rules to be followed for emergency waivers and, “I don’t see how this fits.”

No other response from either commission members or Cornerstone left the ordinance at a second reading. A special city commission meeting will be held at 9:30 a.m. Friday, regarding the ordinance (See rail).

Commission also gave second readings to the following:

* Repeal Schedule A and A-1 of Chapter 33 in the Piqua Code relating to wages of certain municipal employees.

* Vacating a portion of right-of-way so as to modify the alignment of a portion of public alley located between Nicklin Avenue and Camp Street.

* Vacate a portion of right-of-way currently surrounded by American Legion parking lot due to a potential building expansion.

Commission went on to give a first reading on an emergency ordinance on electrical rates regarding the city’s power sales contract with (and as a member of) AMP (American Municipal Power-Ohio Inc.). The contract “needs to be amended to reflect where we are today,” said Wall, meaning to reflect the changes and define what is “a power-related cost.”

“There are obligated costs, and those costs are coming due,” continued Wall, with the emergency being the need to meet the obligation which was adopted after waiving the three-reading rule.

Commission also dopted the following resolutions:

* Amending the city employment agreement with Gary Huff, city manager.

* A resolution regarding the Community Housing Improvement program application with an amendment to Section 3, paragraph 1 to read $33,500 per unit.

* A resolution on the Community Development Block Grant Formula Allocation program application.

Commission meetings are held at 7:30 p.m. every first and third Tuesday of the month, on the second floor of the Government Municipal Complex, in the commission chamber. The public is invited and encouraged to attend. For information on meetings, work sessions, and more visit piquaoh.org.

Bethany J. Royer may be reached at (937) 773-2721 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall