Huber Heights council may override Mayor’s veto

By Dave Lindeman - For the Courier



File photo

HUBER HEIGHTS — It appears as if Huber Heights City Council will override Mayor Tom McMasters’ veto of the city’s energy aggregation program. Only the absence of council member Mark Campbell prevented that from happening at Monday’s council meeting.

McMasters vetoed the aggregation plan approved by council that would have hired a consulting firm to manage the program for the city. The goal is to offer residents a chance to save money on utility bills by opting to join the program.

In his written veto issued on Aug. 31, McMasters said, “The supporting materials presented by city staff in making the recommendation were wholly insufficient for council to make an informed decision. Additionally, the legislation did not enumerate council’s instructions to the city manager in a manner that gives confidence the consultant contract would include council desired requirements and recourse if those requirements were not met.”

Council had approved the program by a 5-3 vote with council members Richard Shaw, Tyler Starline and Glenn Otto voting no. Since it takes six votes to override the veto, it appeared as if council would have to go back to the drawing board for the program.

But last night after resident Cena Buchannon challenged council about the program, Shaw made an announcement that changed everything.

After Otto and Starline explained they supported the idea but not the way the contract was originally approved, Shaw said he had changed his mind and now planned to support the original legislation.

“Sitting here today I have made the decision to reconsider my vote,” Shaw said. “But unfortunately with the absence of one council member we simply do not have the votes to make it move forward.”

Shaw said the elapsed time since the mayor’s veto has allowed him to do extensive research concerning the aggregate program and the companies that submitted proposals for the program. He said that when the original vote was held, he was not ready to support the plan as presented but now was confident it was the right thing for the city.

“That was my intent here tonight was to reconsider my vote and make myself the sixth member of council to overturn our mayor’s veto,” he said.

“As someone who sits on the charter review committee, I will tell you that my interpretation of the mayor’s veto does not provide a time frame in which the vote needs to be reconsidered. Thus, taking it off the agenda tonight allows it to be brought forth for a vote at the next council meeting without new legislation.”

That means council is likely to reconsider the energy aggregate legislation at its next meeting. With Shaw planning to vote with the original five members who supported Energy Alliances as the consultant, it appears the veto will be overridden and the original legislation would then move forward … unless, of course, something else changes.

Council’s next meeting is Oct. 10, 7 p.m., at city hall.

McMasters File photo

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.