City Council makes appointments


By Dave Lindeman - For the Courier



Tim McMurdo of The HomeOwnership Center explains his organization’s services to the Huber Heights City Council on Monday evening.

Tim McMurdo of The HomeOwnership Center explains his organization’s services to the Huber Heights City Council on Monday evening.


Photo by Dave Lindeman

HUBER HEIGHTS — Who gets to go where was the main point of debate at Monday night’s Huber Heights City Council meeting.

On a night when council handled mostly routine matters, questions about which council members would serve on what commissions took up most of the meeting.

The discussion started with appointments to the First Tier Suburbs Consortium, a group made up of representatives from cities surrounding Dayton. A motion appointing Mayor Jeff Gore and Councilman Mark Campbell to the consortium with Andy Hill as alternate was questioned by Janell Smith.

She asked why Councilman Richard Shaw, a current city representative to the consortium, was being replaced.

Shaw had been elected as a member of the consortium board of directors at the end of 2017 but would not be able to fill that position if he was not appointed by council as one of Huber Heights’ representatives to the consortium. Smith said she felt having all new members from the city representing the consortium was not in the best interests of the city – the city’s other representative last year was Judy Blankenship, who retired from council at the beginning of this year.

Council Member Nancy Byrge said she supported giving council members who haven’t been on committees the opportunity to take part. “I think it’s more beneficial for all of us to have the knowledge of different organizations and to build networks than to have people who serve on those committees year after year,” she said.

When the vote was taken, the motion passed 5-3 with Smith, Shaw and Glenn Otto voting no.

The issue surfaced again when a motion was taken up to appoint Byrge as representative to the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission and Otto as alternate. Smith was the city’s representative in 2017 and said she wanted to serve in the same capacity again.

Otto said he was willing to step aside to allow Smith to serve as alternate but Smith indicated she wanted to be the primary representative to the MVRPC. Byrge was not willing to give up the appointment, so in the end council voted unanimously to approve Burge and Otto, then Otto withdrew and council voted to appoint Smith as the alternate.

City Engineer Russ Bergman will be the city representative and Assistant City Manager Scott Falkowski will be the city alternate.

After the meeting, Shaw said he wasn’t surprised by the changes.

“There was no doubt in my mind that Smith, Shaw and Otto were going to get voted off all the committees,” he said. Shaw said he already had informed members of the consortium he probably would not be a representative this year and said he believed “there was disappointment in the way political games are being played in the city. It doesn’t send a good message to the region.”

Also affected was the list of city attendees for the March meeting of the National League of Cities in Washington., D.C. The March 12 city council meeting already has been canceled due to the number of council members who have been approved to attend. Along with City Manager Rob Schommer and a member of the city staff, Gore, Otto and Campbell are on the list to make the trip. Councilman Andy Hill informed council he could not make the trip, which left an approved spot open. Both Smith and Shaw expressed interest in attending the meeting. Gore said council would discuss what to do about the open spot.

Meanwhile, Burge said she thought cancelling the council meeting in March was sending the wrong message to city residents. Gore said it appeared there would be five council members present, which would be enough to hold a meeting, so there is a possibility the canceled meeting might make a comeback and be held after all. A decision on that meeting will be made in the near future.

Council will hold its next regularly scheduled meeting on Feb. 12, 7 p.m., at city hall. Council will conduct a work session on Feb. 6 at 6 p.m. at city hall.

Tim McMurdo of The HomeOwnership Center explains his organization’s services to the Huber Heights City Council on Monday evening.
https://www.hhcourier.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/35/2018/01/web1_housing-guy.jpegTim McMurdo of The HomeOwnership Center explains his organization’s services to the Huber Heights City Council on Monday evening. Photo by Dave Lindeman

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.