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March 2, 2020 Council Minutes

Posted on April 1st, 2020 by

Once approved, a link to the official council minutes will be at the bottom.

COUNCIL MINUTES

March 2, 2020

St. Clairsville City Council met in Council Chambers on Monday, March 2, 2020.

Jim Velas, Council President                             Kathryn Thalman, Mayor

Perry Basile, Council, 1st Ward                         Open, Public Service/Safety Director

Mark Bukmir, Council, 3rd Ward                      Open, Finance Director

Terra Butler, Council, 4th Ward                        Elizabeth Glick, Law Director

Linda Jordan, Council-At-Large                       Don Smithberger, Super. of General Services

Beth Oprisch, Council-At-Large                       Tom Murphy, Planning & Zoning Administrator

Frank Sabatino, Council 2nd Ward

Mike Smith, Council-At-Large

Council President Pro Tempore Beth Oprisch calls the meeting to order and leads Council and attendees in the Pledge of Allegiance.

ROLL CALL:

Basile  Here                                                      Oprisch  Here

Bukmir  Here                                                   Sabatino  Here

Butler  Here                                                      Smith  Here

Jordan  Here

President Pro Tem Oprisch welcomes everyone and introduces herself as Councilman at Large, but explains she is filling in as President Pro Tem.  Mr. Velas is unavailable this evening, and he sends his regrets.  She also states that the Director of Law [Elizabeth Glick] is unavailable today.  The Mayor is ill.  President Pro Tem Oprisch states we don’t yet have a Finance Director, mentions the Mayor’s report and that the Service Director has resigned.  She concludes by adding her appreciation for everyone attending, stating she will do her best to answer the questions and won’t be shy in saying “I don’t know, if I don’t know.”

MINUTES:

President Pro Tem Oprisch states the first thing we want to do is pass the minutes for the last meeting which was February 18, 2020. 

Councilman Sabatino addressed Council Clerk, stating at the last meeting I had had four statements on there, and none of them were included in the minutes.  I had Larry Taylor, the guy from the gas company, I talked to Jim Zucal, I talked to Chief Arbenz, and Mayor Thalman.  And, they were all omitted; I have 0 for 4.  Is that plugged in?  I mean, you using a recorder?  Clerk responds, “Yes, sir, I am.  I think that when President Velas is back, if you would direct your concerns to him.  I think he would appreciate hearing your input.”

Councilman Sabatino  Yea, but you are the one that did the minutes though, don’t you?

Councilman Smith  Directing a question to President Pro Tem Oprisch, do you want to hold off then on passing these until next week?

President Pro Tem Oprisch  Frank [Sabatino], so if I am hearing you, you would like the minutes amended?

Councilman Sabatino  Yea, they need added to the minutes.

President Pro Tem Oprisch  OK.  Can you submit that to us?

Councilman Sabatino  Yea, and they were quite lengthy.  I mean, you know, I can’t remember everything that I said there.  I know I talked to those four people.  And, you know, you’d have to go back on the disc or whatever you know to get you know my, what I had said, my quotes.  So, you know, I don’t know if you [Clerk] are listening to the tape.

President Pro Tem Oprisch  Well, I don’t think that we are wanting the minutes to be verbatim.  But if you feel like they didn’t capture what you said, then I feel like let’s get that in writing so that we can capture it, so that we can then approve the minutes.  And, we are fine with not approving them this time.  Linda [Jordan], you had a ?

Councilwoman Jordan  No, I will submit my amendments as well.

President Pro Tem Oprisch  Amendments in writing? 

Councilwoman Jordan  Yes. 

President Pro Tem Oprisch  Submit that to Roberta [Clerk] in writing, copy Jim [Velas], and same with you, Linda [Jordan]?

Councilwoman Jordan  Yes. 

President Pro Tem Oprisch  And, let’s just hold off on approving the minutes.

Councilman Sabatino  I have one more request.  Seeing how I had four of them omitted, you know, and uh, and these meetings get to be lengthy, uh I’d like to make a request that I receive a non-edited copy of the minutes from here on out.  And, if I need to, I will pay for the accessories.

President Pro Tem Oprisch  I’m not sure that I understand what you mean.

Councilman Sabatino  A copy of the disc.

President Pro Tem Oprisch  You want a copy of the disc?

Councilman Sabatino  Yes.

Councilwoman Jordan  Yes.  I would like a copy of it as well for every meeting.  I see there are two here.  I’ve received January 21st, but that’s it so far.

President Pro Tem Oprisch  So, if you guys feel like you want to listen to the meeting again, is what I am hearing, right?  You want to hear the disc.

Councilwoman Jordan  Yes, we want, well I personally, want an unedited copy of the disc.

President Pro Tem Oprisch  OK.  So, I’m not trying to make any sweeping changes with Jim’s  [Velas] absence so let’s bring it to Jim and discuss it.

Councilman Sabatino  [interrupted] OK, but, I thought Roberta was doing the minutes [unintelligible] you know, and I read the four people where she would find what I said.

President Pro Tem Oprisch  So, you are going to submit us that in writing and we are going to make the adjustments, and then we are going to talk with Jim about how we can get discs or recordings of the meetings to people. 

Councilman Basile  Pardon.  I’ve got a question.  Don’t we have them uploaded already so you can listen to them?

Clerk  To the website, no.

Councilman Basile  No.  I mean on YouTube and Facebook.  They are not uploaded?

Clerk  Well, I haven’t done it.  If someone else put them up, I can’t speak to that.

Councilwoman Jordan  Yes, Kathy, Perry [Basile], would always record it on the recorder and so until December we used the recorder.

Councilman Basile  That broke.

Councilwoman Jordan  Well…

Councilman Basile  So, it is being recorded onto another, what do you call them?

Councilwoman Jordan  When did it break?

Councilman Basile  At the first meeting, it stopped recording.

President Pro Tem Oprisch  So, let’s hang onto this, we are on minutes right now, let’s just hang on, we are going to talk about… Councilman Basile  It stopped recording.  Oprisch  [continues] we will talk about this when we get to what this stuff is, OK.  But, I hear what you guys are saying and I’ll make sure that I pass that on to Jim [Velas], so we can talk about the best way to get you guys what you need in order to approve the minutes.

Councilman Sabatino  So, the minutes will get corrected then? 

President Pro Tem Oprisch  You are going to submit us that in writing, and we are going to make the amendments.  OK?

Councilman Sabatino  Fine with me.

President Pro Tem Oprisch  Great.  So, I’m just going to make a note here, you will submit the changes that you are requesting in writing.  Linda [Jordan], you too, right?

Councilwoman Jordan  Yes.

President Pro Tem Oprisch  Anything else on the minutes which were not talked about? 

CORRESPONDENCE: 

President Pro Tem Oprisch asks the Clerk to read a letter from The Belmont County Bible Reading Task Force in regard to the upcoming 28th Annual Bible Reading Marathon and celebration of the National Day of Prayer on the Courthouse Plaza.  [letter attached]

CITIZENS HEARING:  Daniel Barritt, a representative of the Council of Churches, answered questions from Council.  President Pro Tem Oprisch asks Mr. Barritt if he has anything he would like to add to the letter.  Mr. Barritt replied that it is a pleasure to be able to read God’s word on the Courthouse steps, and he mentions that there are a lot of folks involved in the readings which lead right up to the National Day of Prayer.  Mr. Barritt encourages people to come out and to let him know of their interest in reading.  President Pro Tem Oprisch asks Linda [Jordan] if she would like to add anything since she is on the Committee.

Councilwoman Jordan  No, I will just say that anybody that does it, especially your first time, you actually feel very, very blessed to, as he said, right on City square once a year, you get to do that and that’s it.

President Pro Tem Oprisch asks if anyone on Council has any questions.  Councilman Smith adds that Council typically approves that, 100%.  Mr. Barritt explains that it is the City’s tent which is used, and the City provides electricity and the Police Department takes care of the parking spaces there.  There is a lot of cooperation in the past, and we appreciate that.

President Pro Tem Oprisch asks for a motion to approve City participation in the National Day of Prayer event.  Councilman Sabatino makes the motion, a second is offered by Councilman Smith.

ROLL CALL:

Basile  Yes                                                       Oprisch  Yes

Bukmir  Yes                                                     Sabatino  Yes

Butler  Yes                                                       Smith  Yes

Jordan  Abstain

Roll Call Vote:  Six (6) Yes       Zero (0) No     One (1) Abstention       Motion Approved

ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS:

President Pro Tem Oprisch  explains that next are Ordinances and Resolutions.  We have a resolution [Resolution Number 2020-5] confirming the appointment of Annette Williams as Director of Finance from and after March 2nd and declaring an emergency.  Council discussed this during the last meeting.  Do we have questions?

Councilwoman Jordan  I don’t know whether we need to do this in Executive Session since it is personnel related.

President Pro Tem Oprisch  I think that is going to be your call.

Councilwoman Jordan  There are just a couple of things that I don’t recall in this resolution, specifically, the two week vacation.

Councilwoman Butler  Yes, we did.  [Another Councilmember confirms that it was discussed.]

President Pro Tem Oprisch  OK.  We are going to first need a motion for suspending the rules and declaring an emergency.

Councilman Smith moves that the rules requiring Ordinances and Resolutions to be read on three separate readings be suspended and declaring an emergency.

Councilman Bukmir  asks if Council is allowed to enact or vote on anything without our legal counsel here?  Wouldn’t it be prudent to wait?

President Pro Tem Oprisch states that this [Resolution Number 2020-5] was forwarded to her, and in the absence of everyone, she believes Council still can do this.  She asks if it would be better if the legal counsel were here, I think so, but this is something that needs to be done.  This was talked about at the last meeting and she feels as though Council needs to proceed.  President Pro Tem Oprisch adds that she has not been given information that Council cannot do this.

Councilman Bukmir  asks if Mrs. Jordan’s questions were answered?

President Pro Tem Oprisch  I thought two people said yes.  Nobody said no.

Councilwoman Jordan  So, everyone recalls discussing that two week vacation?

Councilwoman Butler  I do .

Councilwoman Jordan  Do you, Mark [Bukmir]?

Councilman Bukmir  Quite honestly, I can’t say yes or no.

Councilwoman Jordan  See, I don’t remember, that stood out.  I don’t recall discussing that.

Councilman Smith  We talked about it for a couple minutes actually.

President Pro Tem Oprisch  So, Linda [Jordan] asked the question.  Two people said yes, they remember, and nobody said no they didn’t.  So, we have a motion on the floor right now to, Mike [Smith], yours was to suspend the rules?

Councilman Smith  That is correct.

President Pro Tem Oprisch  If there is more discussion that needs to be had, we have a motion on the floor.  So, do we need more discussion?  Or, do we have a second to the motion?

Councilman Basile  Seconds the motion on the floor [regarding emergency consideration of Resolution Number 2020-5].

ROLL CALL:

Basile  Yes                                                       Oprisch  Yes

Bukmir  No                                                      Sabatino  No

Butler  Yes                                                       Smith  Yes

Jordan  No

Roll Call Vote:  Four (4) Yes                Three (3) No                Motion is Not Approved

At 7:45 P. M., President Pro Tem Oprisch requests that Council enter Executive Session according to 121.22, to deal with personnel matters.  The motion is seconded by Councilman Smith.

ROLL CALL:

Basile  Yes                                                       Oprisch  Yes

Bukmir  No                                                      Sabatino  No

Butler  Yes                                                       Smith  Yes

Jordan  Yes

Roll Call Vote:  Five (5) Yes     Two (2) No                  Motion is Approved

At 7:46 P. M. President Pro Tem Oprisch asks everyone to excuse Council so the Executive Session can begin.

At 8:29 P. M. Councilman Smith makes a motion to come back into regular session; Councilwoman Jordan offers a second.

ROLL CALL:

Basile  Yes                                                       Oprisch  Yes

Bukmir  Yes                                                     Sabatino  Yes

Butler  Yes                                                       Smith  Yes

Jordan  Yes

Roll Call Vote:  Seven (7) Yes              Zero (0) No                 Motion is Approved

President Pro Tem Oprisch  There will be no action taken after the Executive Session.

[Unintelligible comments among several Council members.]

President Pro Tem Oprisch  We have a motion on the floor to adjourn the meeting, offered by Councilman Basile; a second is offered by Councilman Smith, who adds that we should continue the meeting when the Law Director is here this week.

President Pro Tem Oprisch  I don’t think it is a continuation.  We adjourn this meeting, and then we call another meeting.  We can’t continue a meeting over 24 hours.

Planning & Zoning Administrator Murphy  According to the other reports here, I had some quick information I was going to give.

President Pro Tem Oprisch  Right now, we have a motion to adjourn.  If we have a second, we need to have a vote.

ROLL CALL:

Basile  Yes                                                       Oprisch  No

Bukmir  Yes                                                     Sabatino  Yes

Butler  Yes                                                       Smith  Yes

Jordan  Yes

Roll Call Vote:  Six (6) Yes                   One (1) No                  Motion is Approved

President Pro Tem Oprisch  The meeting is adjourned.

March 2, 2020 Council Minutes