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Highlights from City Council May 4, 2023

Updated: May 8, 2023



Council Agrees to Move Public Comments to a 'Town Hall Meeting' Due to Recent Disruptions


City Council President, Mark McKay, presented City Council and attendees with a new City Council Meeting guide following a disruptive past few council meetings. Council members then agreed to look into only having the public speak on agenda items if they sign up prior to the meeting, and move all other public comments to a separate 'Town Hall Meeting'.


The new guidelines for City Council meetings are as follows:


New City Council Meeting Guide:


Please remember, City Council meetings are for everyone and behavior matters. We sometimes have young children, students, and boy/girl scouts attend these meetings. Everyone in attendance has the right to feel safe and comfortable at City Council meetings.


Please do the Following

  • Sign up to speak

  • Speak only from the podium

  • Direct remarks to City Council as a whole

  • Address elected officials and staff members by their titles

  • Keep your comments to 3 minutes or less

  • Present any handouts for City Council members to the Clerk of Council

  • Maintain an attitude of civility to elected officials, staff, and others in attendance


Please do not do the Following

  • Speak out of turn from your seat

  • Speak without being recognized by the President of Council

  • Use profanity

  • Talk over others

  • Badger elected officials, staff members, guest speakers, or other attendees

  • Use speech that is demeaning or insulting to others

  • Yell, shout, cheer, boo, hiss, etc.

  • Engage in disruptive behavior**


**What is Disruptive Behavior?

ORC 2917.12 Disturbing a lawful meeting

  1. No person with purpose to prevent or disrupt a lawful meeting, procession, or gathering, shall do either of the following:

    1. Do any act which obstructs or interferes with the due conduct of such meeting, procession, or gathering;

    2. Make any utterance, gesture, or display which outrages the sensibilities of the group


What to Expect

If it is determined that a participant’s actions or speech “outrage the sensibilities of the group,” a gavel warning will be issued. If the warning is not heeded, the Presidents of Council is prepared to instruct the authorities to immediately remove and have arrested the member of the public, elected offices or staff member who violates ORC 2917.12.

After the presenting of the new guidelines, M.McKay opened the floor for the Council Members to discuss and share ideas. All members agreed a Town Hall forum, where citizens are welcome to share their issues without the formalities of council would potentially help ease the frustrations of the citizens.


 


Law Director, Brett Rudduck, Addresses Recent 'Sunshine Act' Violation Accusations


Law Director, Brett Rudduck, responds to accusations from last City Council meeting that elected officials and city employees have violated Sunshine Act laws.


 


Mayor, John Stanforth, Recognizes City Employees


In light of National Economic Development Week (May 8–12,2023) Mayor John Stanforth presented Executive Director of the Clinton County Port Authority, Alex Beres, with a proclamation.


Beres started as executive director of the Port Authority in February 2023, after leaving his former position of policy analyst in the Office of the Secretary, with the US Department of Transportation in Washington DC. Beres brings several years worth of economic development expertise with him in both the private and public sectors, which have lead the Port Authority Board to entrust him with the role.


Mayor John Stanforth also discusses upcoming law enforcement memorial ceremony and commends Code Enforcement Officer, Annen Vance for her work to clean up the city.


 


Updates on Road Projects, School Crossings, and Option to Possibly End City Recycling Program


Safety & Service Director, Brian Shidaker, and City Engineer, Paul Goodhue, presented to City Council an update on several ongoing city projects, including: no turn on red not working correctly, oversized street signs downtown, and crossing projects to improve padestrian safety.


In addition, Shidakerto updates City Council on the costs of the city's recycling program along with the options to possibly make changes or end the program altogether for them to decide.


 


Independent Mayoral Candidate, Jason Stoops, Apologizes for His Part in Crime Concerns Group


During the public forum Independent Mayoral Candidate, Jason Stoops, offered an apology for "having been part of creating the Facebook page 'Wilmington Ohio Crime Concerns'." Stoops read the following statement:


“Members of the City Council,


I am here today to offer a sincere apology for my actions in having been part of creating the Facebook page "Wilmington Ohio Crime Concerns". While my decisions were made with good intentions, the group itself has turned into something that I deem inappropriate and hurtful to members of the council and our community.


I want to make it clear that the page was not created to cause harm or spread lies. Rather, a group of us were frustrated with the vagrancy issues we have here in Wilmington and felt our concerns were not being heard. In late September, a group of people met at two invite-only meetings about the vagrant problem and the programs Sugartree Ministries has to offer. After these meetings, we turned to social media as a way to express our frustration and to also urge others to be informed about our community and the issues we need to address.


I realize how social media can be used to manipulate the truth even more clearly than spreading real information. Once I decided to run for Mayor, I removed myself from the group entirely. The hate speech and false information made it clear that this was a page being used to manipulate people into believing that the current administration has not had the city as first priority. This is far from the case. Most of the people who are spreading rumors and ruining reputations aren't even from here or vested in the community. I feel personally responsible for helping this page and these people have a platform to stand on. I am angered hearing from Lee Sandlin that he has received death threats at his home after his address was shared. I am floored that someone had the audacity to place the threatening purge letter on the door of Sugartree Ministries. This is not how we make our community better.


I know that being a member of the City Council is a difficult job, and I respect the work each of you do to make our city a better place. I also want to apologize to Brett Rudduck, Annen Vance, the memory of Judge Daughtery, and any others who have been negatively impacted because of the misinformation spread by others on the Facebook page. Think of how much good these people have done for our community- rather than see the keyboard warriors' rumors, look at the actual hard work they put into our community.


Moving forward, I want to rebuild the trust that has been lost as a result of this page between the city administration and our community at large. I am committed to doing what it takes to inform the community of the truth and to turn the page in an already pretty good book. Again, I offer my deepest apologies and look forward to working constructively on the issues our community needs to address.


Thank you,

Jason Stoops”




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