HUBER HEIGHTS — A Huber Heights resident asked city council Monday night to create a social media use policy for council members.
Toni Webb told council that one of its members has used social media to hurt her business and family.
“What exactly is it I am supposed to do to protect my business and my son’s job from one council member who is obsessed with endless attacks in posts on social media?” she asked.
“There is but one council member sitting on the dais who uses social media on a nearly daily basis to attack, harass, bully and intimidate residents and it needs to stop,” she said. “I am not looking for a ban on social media use by council. I am asking you to modify the rules of council and to adopt language immediately that sets social media policies and holds you, our elected officials, accountable with appropriate consequences if those policies are not adhered to.”
Webb was careful not to mention names, but it was clear that she was referring to Council Member Janell Smith. No members of council responded to Webb’s request.
Webb was not the only person addressing council Monday.
Resident Mansel Hagan appeared before council for the second meeting in a row to complain about neighbors dumping waste on his property or in Willow Creek. City Manager Rob Schommer said Hagan’s complaints from the previous meeting had been addressed and that his current complaint about chemicals entering the creek would be investigated.
Mark Hess of Five Rivers Metro Parks presented the case for the district’s tax levy request on the November ballot. Hess told council about the park district’s parks and services and explained that it current 10-year tax levy runs out in 2019. Due to lower property values, the district is collection $2 million less in taxes than it did almost 10 years ago. The levy request is for a renewal of the 1.8-mill levy with an additional .2 mill.
Council also welcomed Joe Braden of the Ohio Auditor’s Office, who presented Huber Heights Director of Finance with the Auditor of State’s Award with Distinction. Less than 5 percent of the public bodies audited by the state qualify for the award with distinction.
Mark Bruns of the Huber Heights Chamber of Commerce was on hand to introduce new chamber administrative assistant Rebecca Pfiffner.
Council had one other bit of good news Monday. By a unanimous vote, council approved a grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Assistance to Firefighters Program for $216,846. Council also approved the city’s 10 percent match of $21,684 which, when added to the grant, will be used to purchase self-contained breathing apparatus replacements for the fire department. Council members thanked Fire Chief Mark Ashworth for his staff’s work in securing the grant.
Also on Monday night:
- Council approved the 2019 health insurance plan for employees. City Manager Rob Schommer reported the 2019 contract will not include any increases in rates for the city.
- Council approved a resolution that extends the moratorium on unlicensed massage operations within the city for another 90 days. The ban is in place while new legislation that restricts such businesses is prepared. Schommer said the new ordinance may be ready for council’s review at the next work session. Councilman Richard Shaw asked City Solicitor Gerald McDonald for information at the next work session on how to close businesses located in Huber Heights that “are not performing legal massage business.”
- Council also discussed the recent confusion over rates charged by Republic Services for city trash collection and recycling. Schommer said the city has met with Republic and has resolved questions raised by residents over the rates. Councilman Glenn Otto asked that the city compile and release a typical amount that residents can expect to pay on their regular quarterly bill for basic service. Schommer also reported that in 2017 the city recycled 1,796 tons of material and expected to exceed that number by about 100 tons in 2018
- In response to a question from Smith, Schommer said the bulk of the work on the city’s dog park should be completed this fall but there may be some parts of the project that might not be completed until next spring. After being questioned by Smith about problems with city hall’s new sound system, Schommer said city officials were meeting with the vendor on Tuesday to resolve the issues.
- Council moved to second reading an ordinance approving the Montgomery County solid waste management plan.
Reach Dave Lindeman at (937) 684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.