WAUSEON – Four new council members sat on Wauseon City Council on Tuesday evening.
Mayor Kathy Huner was sworn in to newly elected council member Brandon Tijerina for the term January 1, 2022 to December 31. December 31, 2023. He fulfills the remainder of the mandate of Jeffrey Stiriz, who died suddenly last year. Harold Stickley, Sarah Heising and Steve Schneider were also sworn in for the term from January 1, 2022 until December 31. 31, 2025.
Nominations were then opened for the post of chairman of the council – a post that heads the council and takes on the responsibilities of mayor when the mayor is unable to do so.
After current President Shane Chamberlin nominated Scott Stiriz for the position, the motion was moved and seconded and Stiriz was elected to the position which has a term of January 1, 2022 until December 31. 31, 2023.
The council heard reports from the fire and police chiefs, the director of the civil service, the director of finance and the legal director.
• Fire Department: Chief Rick Sluder reported that the new EMS contract has been started, unfortunately the Fire Department is unable to occupy the central station because they are waiting for garage door parts. Stickley asked if there was a schedule for the parts and Sluder didn’t. Heising asked about a visit to the central station and Mayor Huner said plans were underway but nothing was finalized. Sluder also reported that a civil service review will be held to fill two vacant positions.
• Police Department: Chief Kevin Chittenden reported that the police are in the process of filling a full time position. He also reported that “the vacation has been quite calm and quiet for the police department.”
• Public Services: Director Keith Torbet reported that Mike Riegsecker started on January 4 at public works. Currently, public works are dismantling the Christmas decorations. During the holidays there were a few line breaks that had to be taken care of and Torbet also said he continues to work to ensure the water plant is fully staffed.
• Finance Department: Director Jamie Giguère is working towards the 2021 close. She indicated that the city’s income tax currently stands at 4.4 million, an increase of 16% compared to 2020 and 3.8% compared to 2017.
• Legal Department: Director Thomas McWatters reported working on TIF documents and legislation. As previously reported in The Crescent-News, this legislation would provide tax breaks for businesses entering the city. McWatters believes the proposed schedule will work with three readings of the TIF order and the last reading in an emergency. He still plans to negotiate with the union and the mediator for the end of the month.
In other news, the city council:
• heard at second reading an ordinance which provides for a municipal legal director and deputy legal directors and fixes the rates of remuneration.
• heard a third and final reading of a resolution which allows the mayor to request the qualifications of an engineer.
• scheduled a public hearing on Seneca Drive’s tax incentive order for January 17, 2022 at 5:00 p.m.
• appointments approved to various boards and commissions: Charter Review Commission, Sarah Heising and Steve Schneider, term of office January 1, 2022-Dec. 31, 2022; Community Reinvestment Area Housing Council, Harold Stickley, term January 1, 2022-Dec. 31, 2024; Civil Service Commission, Sandra Barber, term of office January 1, 2022-Dec. 31, 2027; Maumee Valley Planning Organization, Keith Torbet, term January 1, 2022-Dec. 31, 2022; Park Council, Russ Pauley, Jan 1, 2022-Dec. 31, 2026; Pride Wauseon, Steve Brown, Kevin Nelson and Scott Stiriz Preservation and Design Review Board, term Jan 1, 2022-Dec. 31, 2024; Tree Commission, Laura Kamp, Dan Nelson and Kurt Stuckey, term January 1, 2022-Dec. 31, 2024.
• mourned the loss of the recently deceased Curt Fauver. He was a member of the municipal council and mayor of the city. Fauver loved Wauseon and will be missed.