EAST LIVERPOOL – Little was said by a number of East Liverpool City employees, who were present at Monday’s regular council meeting. When offered the opportunity to speak during the personal privileges section of the meeting, they were successful; however, board members did not necessarily let them go unnoticed.
Whether they don’t feel appreciated or overwhelmed, employees haven’t said it.
General Councilor Craig Stowers appeared to have a bit of insight, pointing out that councilors were unaware of the personnel issues in the water service. Due to a labor shortage, the city’s downtown water office has been closed to the public for more than last week.
First Ward City Councilor Ray Perorazio was one of the first to recognize that council needed to take note of offering these people help with their issue, much of which has not been disclosed. during public discussions.
Third Ward Councilor Jeff Kreefer recalled that “(Need advice) to empower and take care of our employees. “
Stowers, who along with Ernest Peachey and Perorazio will step down from the board at the end of 2021, has accepted some of the blame for the ignorance. He told his colleagues, including those in the public who were due to take their seats in 2022, “As advisers, we vote on everything too quickly (without looking for impact).”
Board Chairman John Torma recommended that committee meetings be the appropriate venue for citizens and employees to get their questions answered and to voice concerns if they have any. There have been discussions about scheduling special meetings of the city’s licensing (5 p.m.) and utilities (5:15 p.m.) committees for the afternoon of Wednesday, December 12, although specific reasons to include in the official public notice were not disclosed as mandated. by the Ohio Code revised.
In another action, the council approved several ordinances regarding the finances for the end of the year, as well as its temporary appropriations for the first quarter of 2022. As explained by the municipal auditor Marilyn Bosco, the legislation which covers January 1 through March 31 to miss more than $ 130,000 in money from the city’s Local Governments Fund (LGF) because the state is keeping this money to make up for the $ 1.6 million in tickets the city has had collected. Some of the city’s COVID funds have been added to the budget to stabilize it as authorized, she said, adding that a phenomenal year of city income tax collection this year has also helped.
The credits also included money from the city’s share of more than $ 40,000 for the new ambulance, which will be purchased with a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that Fire Chief Bill Jones has collected earlier this year. The finance committee had recommended that the money come from both the capital improvement funds and the US bailout, believing it to be a worthwhile investment as the current ambulance has generated more than $ 131,000 this year. .
Mario Hernandez and Reese Kelly were appointed to the city’s Zoning Appeal Board, while Kelly was also appointed to the Housing Appeal Board at the behest of Mayor Greg Bricker.
Kreefer also said a few words about his outgoing council colleagues, speaking of the often unnoticed community service of Stowers and his family, Perorazio’s love for the east end of town, and Peachey’s calming influence on the board.
Nominations are being accepted until December 31 for the position of Council Clerk, with candidates being interviewed at 5:30 p.m. prior to the first Council meeting in January.