CW Council approves diversity and equity resolution

By Linda Dillman
Staff Writer

Canal Winchester City Council voted unanimously on May 17 to approve a resolution decrying racism.

A group of council members—Jill Amos, Pat Lynch and Chuck Milliken—worked for months on the resolution, which was inspired by local activism and events and follows a May 12, 2020 action by the Franklin County Board of Health declaring racism a public health crisis.

In the adopted resolution committing to diversity, equity and inclusion, “(the) City of Canal Winchester aspires to maintain and enhance an environment in which all individuals are welcome and included.”

As part of the process, council members are encouraged to attend Canal Winchester Community Health Action Team meetings when possible and provide verbal reports at the following council meeting.

According to the resolution, “…(the) City Council will continue to address items of action concerning DEI. City Council will continue to participate and engage with personal and public dialogue to gain a better understanding of these issues, including but not limited to racism.”

Council also affirms the rights of all people to peaceably assemble against all forms of injustice and inequality and believes it would be beneficial to its residents that the city administration and elected officials seek out or continue to attend training on DEI and implicit biases, including racism, and how to mitigate them.

“That in the spirit of DEI, City Council is committed to being a welcoming body to all who live, work, and recreate in the city…and…City Council condemns racism and discrimination in all forms.”

When the county board made its declaration about racism being a crisis, member Dr. Arthur James said measured racial differences are the consequence of the cumulative disparate impact of centuries of policies, practices, and systems that intentionally provided advantage to some while, simultaneously, intentionally subjecting others to disadvantage.

“The Franklin County Board of Health has taken the initial step of mitigating the impact of racism by acknowledging the historical and contemporary impact of the ‘opportunity disparity’ caused by racism and its influence on the health of African Americans, Native Americans, and other marginalized groups,” said James.

Other CW news
•Council heard the first reading of ordinances setting the salary of council members and the salary and fringe benefits of the mayor, all effective on Jan. 1, 2022.

There are no changes in salary and benefits levels as they remain the same as last year. Currently, the council president is paid $7,251 annually, the vice president is paid $6,921 per year and council members are paid $6,592 on an annual basis.

Members are eligible to enroll in or opt-out of single medical/hospitalization coverage and purchase dental and vision coverage.

The mayor’s salary is set at $100,842. He is also entitled to medical/hospitalization coverage—single or family—and dental, vision and insurance benefits on the same terms, conditions and requirements as city employees.

•Finance Director Amanda Jackson said the city saw a significant jump in income tax revenue in May, resulting in an almost 13 percent increase in total collections from the same time last year.

“While this is very positive, I anticipate collections to level off in the next two months,” said Jackson. “Our expected revenue for the year is still on target to exceed 2020 collections.”

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