HUBER HEIGHTS — Huber Heights City Council approved contracts for 2017-2019 with a union representing three groups of police department workers Monday night.
City Council approved contracts with patrol officers, communications workers and records technicians, all represented by the Fraternal Order of Police. Union members will receive a 2 percent raise in 2017, 2.5 percent raise in 2018 and 2.75 percent raise in 2019.
Council Member Tyler Starline expressed council’s appreciation for the way negotiations took place.
“These are the first three of the union contracts that will go into effect in the next three years,” he said. “I wanted to take a moment to thank the police officers who do a lot of work for us in times that are anything but ideal, that they were the first three to reach an agreement with us and bring it to the council through the city staff.”
Negotiations are continuing with representatives from unions representing other city workers.
The new contracts were approved during a historic night for council. It was the first night council operated under new changes in the city charter approved by voters in November. Any new business introduced can now be passed more quickly by council, with resolutions eligible for passage on first reading instead of going through three readings, as was the case in the past. Old business introduced to council in meetings prior to Monday’s meeting must be approved using the old guidelines.
This allowed council to approve a number of items Monday night, including the purchase of replacement vehicle for the police department, approval of a mutual aid agreement with the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office, raising spending limits with computer software vendor CDW-G for virus protection, approval of a contract with the Montgomery County Public Defender’s Office, approval of year-end supplemental expenditures and approval of upgrades in the city’s financial and payroll software.
There also were a number of issues that are still working their way through the system under the old rules. Council passed to a third reading an ordinance to change the speed limit on Carriage Trails Parkway from 25 miles per hour to 35 miles per hour, an ordinance updating the city’s rules on door-to-door solicitors and a resolution of intent to upgrade the renovation of Field One at Cloud Park to create a premier baseball field.
Council will hear more about the recreation plan and see a presentation about a master plan for recreation at its next work session on Dec. 6.
Council also passed the 2017 budget.
Two new issues sure to attract some attention were mentioned at the meeting, as well.
Council Member Richard Shaw asked that council begin discussions on the possibility of a ballot initiative that would decriminalize marijuana inside the city limits. Shaw explained that other cities in Ohio have moved in the direction of no longer treating possession of less than 200 grams of marijuana or possessing marijuana paraphernalia as a criminal offense. Shaw said council’s role would be to approve the issue for the ballot then let the voters decide.
Mayor Tom McMasters said he would like to see council take up the issue of the pay structure for council members with the possible result of raising the pay scale for council members. Any such raise would not take effect until after the next council election.
Also on Monday night:
- Shaw announced the end of year community meeting for Ward One will be held at the Submarine House on Dec. 17 at 10 a.m.
- Starline reminded residents that there will be a community concert and tree lighting from 4-6 p.m. at Eichelberger Amphitheater. Cookies with Santa event will be held at the Huber Heights Athletic Foundation Center from 4-6 p.m. Thursday.
Council’s next scheduled meeting is Dec. 12 at city hall.
Reach Dave Lindeman at 937-684-8983 or on Twitter @ HH_Courier.