HUBER HEIGHTS — The city of Huber Heights has a new law director.
City council Monday night voted to appoint Gerald McDonald as the city’s law director. McDonald had been serving as the city’s temporary law director since the resignation of Alan Schaeffer in December.
McDonald is from the law firm of Pickerel, Schaeffer and Eberling, the same firm as Schaeffer. He has served as the City of Vandalia’s Law Director since 2005 and has been Huber Heights’ Assistant Law Director since 2006. He also provides legal services to other municipalities and townships regarding real estate and development matters.
McDonald is a 1993 graduate of the Stetson College of Law and holds a Bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University. He is admitted to the bar in Ohio, Florida, and Michigan.
Mayor Tom McMasters made sure his feelings on hiring McDonald were clear before the vote was held.
“I am quite disappointed that this whole process, the interviews were done in executive session,” McMasters said. “I fully believe that the public has the right and council has the responsibility to hold discussions in public.
“That’s one of my issues with this particular law firm that they are quite the enabler for council to have executive sessions and have a lot of really important discussions in the background.”
McMasters also cited issues he had with the former law director and said “we’ve had multi years here where we’ve gone into contracts with basically no protection for the city.” He said the public has received “no insight on how going forward we’re going to have any changes on those issues.”
Council members listened to McMasters’ concerns, then voted unanimously to hire McDonald as law director through Dec. 31 of this year.
Also Monday night, council:
- Approved changes in the city’s rules of council. Among the changes include a new way of conducting council work sessions, with city council members taking turns chairing those meetings. The new rules also include limiting work sessions to four hours; more specific guidelines for evaluations of the city manager, law director and clerk of council; and other clarifications about how legislation and other matters are handled.
- Passed on to second reading a number of ordinances and resolutions concerning the next phase of development in the Carriage Trails subdivision. The legislation affects 141 new lots. Council will discuss questions about the legislation at the next work session and will move onto the second reading at the next council meeting.
- Approved application for grant funds from Lowe’s Community Partners for playground equipment.
- Approved a resolution to seek bids for sanitary sewer repair on Fishburg Road west of Rosebury Drive and on Beth Road between Shady Oak Street and Bavaria Place.
- Appointed Emily Hill to the Citizens Water and Sewer Advisory Board to a term expiring Jan. 1, 2019.
- Appointed Ronald Bertling to the Citizens Water and Sewer Advisory Board to a term expiring Jan. 1, 2020.
- Approved resolutions that will allow the city to enter into a grant agreement with the Ohio Department of Transportation for the next two phases of the Chambersburg Road improvement project.
Council Member Tyler Starline announced a Ward 3 public meeting will be held at city hall March 3 from 4-6 p.m.
Council Member Richard Shaw has scheduled a Ward 1 public meeting on May 20 at 3 p.m. at TGI Friday’s. Shaw also said the International House of Pancakes opening is now set for March 20.
Council Member Judy Blankenship reminded residents about the Huber Heights Performing Arts Hall of Fame celebration to be held March 10-11.
Council Member Nancy Byrge announced a Ward 5 public meeting will be held April 11 from 6-8 p.m. at the library. She also announced she will host an open forum on the proposed charter amendments at the senior citizens center on May 13 at 6:30 p.m.
Reach Dave Lindeman at 937-684-8983 or on Twitter @HH_Courier.