December 3rd 2019 Council Meeting
Tonight the newly elected, and the reelected, were sworn into office. State Senator Kristina Roegner attended to swear in Mayor Shubert. Random fact – Hudson has not had a Mayor who is a member of the St. Mary Parish in 150 years. Given St. Mary Parish was founded in 1860, the last Mayor from this Parish was one of the earliest members.
Council Members Sutton, Bigham, Schlademan, and I were subsequently sworn in by Mayor Shubert.
Residents were permitted to make public comments prior to the election of Council President because of the interest in this most recent election. Town Hall had standing room only. And that included people standing down the steps without a view of the chamber at all. Several residents came forward in support of William Wooldredge and several in support of me. All council was permitted to remark on this election of council President prior to taking an actual vote. Without getting into too much detail, Council President Wooldredge retained his position in a 4 to 3 vote. You should know it was all very civil and there is no animosity between us. Bill is a good man and has served Hudson for many years. I believe Hudson residents want change and so I ran for this position, and said what needed to be said, in support of that election. Video of the meeting should already be available if you would like to view the discussion. It is located here.
The fact is even yesterday, the day after our council meeting, many of us worked together in support of a local Hudson business and event. It signaled that there can be real unity when we all recognize Hudson needs matter more than our differences on issues.
One of the early issues in discussion related to High Point Park and the potential purchase of property on Crown Point Dr potentially being used as an access point to this park. A resident of Crown Point spoke during Public Comments on this issue and relayed that the residents of Crown Point were very opposed to this access point. Council largely concurred and believe that the Park Board should first put together a plan for all unused parks, designate future uses for each, and recognize that just because the Park Board owns land it does not mean we need to develop every inch of Hudson. Some land should just be left land.
Consent Agenda highlights:
Dr. Williams and I have been appointed to serve as the City Council Representatives to the Volunteer Fire Fighters’ Dependents Fund Board for the 2020 term.
The City will enter into a contract with Great Lakes Recycling (DBA Simple Recycling) to provide a residential curbside recycling program for discarded textiles and small household appliances. By small, think smaller than a dishwasher. They won’t take a refrigerator, but they would take toaster ovens, likely microwaves, etc.
Annually we need to enter into agreements for the defense of indigent people who commit misdemeanor offenses. Felonies are covered by the county I believe. This comes up annually. Our cost for defense in 2019 was sub $700.00.
The only larger discussion occurred around the 2 items related to Voice over IP VBB resolutions. There was a cap placed on VBB’s ability to sell VoIP beyond a $200k limit and they need to seek authorization when they sell above that level, and additionally need to buy services to supply that VoIP service. It was agreed to allow it to go to $295k. VoIP is a profitable area for VBB. The added $95k in cost will generate about $35-40k in profit annually. Anything that can add to VBB’s profit is a good thing, especially without further investment.
The only other major spending item was a remount of a vehicle for the EMS. We remount vehicles every 6 years; we have 3 ambulances. We enter a remount every 2. A new vehicle costs $235k whereas a remount only costs $148k and provides the City with essentially a new vehicle and our current box equipment with a savings of $87k.
Legislative Agenda highlights:
Council pulled forward item 19-147 in its readings and passed it immediately due to the nature of that item. In short, it allows a special assessment to be used for businesses who wish to improve the energy efficiency of their property. This assessment would allow a business to defer the costs of energy efficient upgrades and pay for that over time through a summit county program. It was pulled forward because it requires approval from adjacent municipalities before it can move from one town to the next. Twinsburg and Macedonia both want this as well and have been waiting for Hudson to pass it. We will likely see a residential version soon. Let me know if you want details on how this works. It’s a no cost – no risk item for Hudson.
Item 19-158 Council approved a roll-over of $950,000 in notes in anticipation of the issuance of bonds related to City Hall. This comes from my workshop review of the item. This money was spent and put into a note previously. It is simply a re-issuance of the note because that short-term note was expiring. It does not represent new money being spent.
19-171 Brings our language regarding firearm use within the city up to code with the state language preempting local ordinances. There is a lot of detail I have provided on this in the workshop. Short version, you can still bow hunt deer. You can not fire guns unless in the defense of yourself or your property. Language change, but no substance chance.