Council debates how to fill vacancy

By Dave Lindeman - For the Courier

HUBER HEIGHTS — Huber Heights City Council is a down to seven members after voters recalled Janell Smith in the Nov. 7 election. In a work session prior to Wednesday night’s council meeting, council members tried to figure out how to fill the vacancy.

The city’s charter says council has 30 days after the election results are certified to fill Smith’s Second Ward council seat. If council cannot agree on a new member during that time, Mayor Jeff Gore will then appoint a new member.

The election results were certified on Nov. 27. So the clock is ticking, but on Wednesday council members couldn’t quite decide on how to get the job done.

Should applicants be interviewed in private or in a public meeting? Should they be quizzed with identical questions or in a more flexible format? Should they give a five-minute introduction speech or simply submit their qualifications in writing?

Those questions were never quite answered, although council did appear to be leaning toward holding the interviews in public. Finally, Council Clerk Tony Rodgers suggested that the city release information that applications for the vacant post are being accepted and will be taken until Dec. 7. Council could then interview applicants at the Dec. 11 council work session and then make a decision at its Dec. 17 meeting.

That looks like the direction things will take, unless, of course, council can’t decide on a candidate. Then it will be up to Gore – something he said he hopes doesn’t happen.

Gore said he would much rather have council come to agreement on a new member since that is the first option listed in the charter. One way or the other, council should have a new member by the end of the year.

In other business Wednesday night, council:

Approved a resolution for the purchase of land on Rip Rap Road for a well field. The city had been prepared to invoke imminent domain for the land, but did manage to negotiate the purchase from the landowners. The city will pay $120,000 for the 17.89 acres needed for the well field.

    • Approved an ordinance setting rules for operation of food trucks inside the city limits.
    • Approved an ordinance that removes the requirement for pre-sale exterior inspections of houses by the city. The inspections will still be conducted if requested.
    • Approved an ordinance that sets height requirements for attached additions to homes, such as covered patios and car ports. The limit is 14 feet to ceiling height.
    • Approved the creation of the City of Huber Heights Military and Veterans Commission to coordinate veteran-related activities in the city. Members will be appointed by city council.
    • Approved the transfer of a liquor permit from TGI Fridays at 7777 Old Troy Pike to Al’s Smokehouse Bar and Grill.
    • Approved the 2019 city budget. The city budget for 2019 comes to a total of $88,606,079.

Council’s next meeting will be Dec. 17, 7 p.m., city hall. Council has work sessions scheduled for Dec. 4 and Dec. 11, 6 p.m., city hall.

By Dave Lindeman

For the Courier

Reach Dave Lindeman at (937) 684-8983 or on Twitter @HH_Courier.

Reach Dave Lindeman at (937) 684-8983 or on Twitter @HH_Courier.