MOUNT VERNON — It was a light agenda for Mount Vernon City Council on Monday, with the main order of business being appointments to various committees.
Councilman Mike Hillier was appointed to the Regional Planning Commission, with Councilwoman Rebecca Jordan as alternate. Also appointed to the RPC was Mayor Richard Mavis, with city engineer Cameron Keaton as alternate. Mark Zanghi and Anton Krutsch were appointed to RPC as citizen members.
Hillier was also appointed as the representative to the Heritage Centre Association and Nancy Vail as representative to the visitors bureau.
A resolution to appoint James William Alley to a five-year term on the Zoning Board of Appeals was given its first reading. Vail said her concern is not with the candidate, but rather the length of time he would serve.
“That’s a long time for a volunteer to serve,” she said.
A resolution to appoint George Curry as the citizen member to the recently created taxicab board also received a first reading, as the legislation gave no length of term.
Mavis told council the Greater Downtown Management Council will meet Thursday and will discuss parking issues. Hopefully, he said, a group will come to council in February and make recommendations on solving parking issues.
He also noted the Fourth of July is on a Sunday this year. Plans are being discussed as to if and how the fireworks display will be coordinated with First Friday events.
Jordan asked whose responsibility it is to make sure sidewalks are clear of snow. She said an area of concern is North Mulberry Street at the corner of East Vine Street and Ohio Avenue, where snow from the plows is being pushed on the sidewalk. Safety-Service Director Dave Glass said it is the property owner’s responsibility to clear the snow.
Jordan said she received letters from corporations in support of the Area Development Foundation. She noted the letters were all similar in form and wording, and questioned whether they were individually written. Vail agreed the letters seemed to follow the same template.
Vail and Dice commended Geoff Oliver on the detailed and informative report he submitted on the work of the parks department. Dice commended Oliver and his crews for all of the work done at Foundation Park.
Mavis said Oliver plans to address council about possible expansion of the Walk of Honor on Public Square.
Hillier reminded residents who live on snow emergency streets about removing vehicles when 3 inches of snow have fallen. Councilman John Fair asked what the penalty was for citizens who disregarded the snow emergency signs. Glass said the penalty could be a citation and having the car impounded, but that past practice has been to tow the vehicle around the corner and out of the way. Mavis said in the past he has asked that cars not be towed until an attempt has been made to reach the owner, so that the elderly or a resident on vacation would not have their car impounded.
Fair suggested council look at the ordinance regarding parking during snow emergencies to see if it needs revised to give it more teeth. In response to his question as to who declares a snow emergency and how residents know they need to remove their vehicles from those streets, Mavis said he declares the snow emergency.
Councilman Chuck Dice and Fair welcomed council members Vail and Jay Maners; Maners responded by saying he appreciates the warm welcome he’s received.
Dice and Councilman Hawkins also commended the street crews for the good job they have done with the snow and cold temperatures.