(Posted April 14, 2017)
By Sandi Latimer, Staff Writer
London, like make cities, has been affected by drug addiction, and officials are discussing what to do about it.
“I have been talking about organizing a town hall meeting to discuss the issue of drug addiction in our community,” London Mayor Pat Closser told London City council at its April 6 meeting.
Conversations with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, the Madison County Sheriff’s Office, and the Mental Health and Recovery Board have resulted in what Closser calls the Madison County Community Conversation to be held May 17 in the London High School auditorium.
Doors will open at 5:15 p.m. with resource tables set up that county residents can visit until 6 p.m. when seven panelists will speak. Tables will be available again after the program.
Panelists will represent law enforcement, the judicial system, the school system, the Madison County Health Improvement Plan, recovery programs, faith-based programs and someone in long-term recovery.
“Why not the EMS (emergency medical services)?” asked Fire Chief Todd Eades. “We deal with them every day.”
“These seven areas are from the recommendation of the Attorney General’s Office,” Closser said. “You’re first on the list (for future meetings). This is only the first one, but it won’t be the last one.”
Each of the seven panelists will have 10 minutes to speak and be available to answer questions from the audience.
“This will be a great way to help people understand the issues surrounding addiction and recovery, to understand the judicial process for those in trouble with the law, and to learn about the programs available to help and support all affected by the issue,” Closser said.
“No” to Ohiocheckbook.com
By a 4-3 vote, council rejected the opportunity to put the city’s financial dealings on the state approved www.Ohiocheckbook.com site as many of their Madison County counterparts have done.
The site was created by Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel to allow political jurisdictions to post their financial work online so the public can go online and see where their money goes, said Trint Hatt, sponsor of the resolution up for its third reading.
City Auditor Nick Szabo spoke against having the finances put online.
“I don’t think we need a website for that,” he said.
Hatt explained how the public can go to the web site and see the checks written to whom and for how much.
“I can do that,” Szabo. “All they have to do is call me and I can do a print-out.”
Several political jurisdictions in Madison County have embraced the www.Ohiocheckbook.com program, among them being West Jefferson, Plain City, Somerford Township and Paint Township.
Voting against the resolution were council members Brenda Russell, Lora Long, Richard Minner and Josh Peters.
“I’m disappointed,” Hatt said of the vote.
Council gave unanimous approval to a resolution to acquire, with donated funds, the vacant property at 386 Hawthorne Ave., adjacent to the municipal pool.
Councilwoman Brenda Russell said the long-time vacant house posed a health and safety issue.
Flags for the city
Closser accepted 20 flags from Rick Hays, president of the local chapter of the Woodmen of the World. The organization regularly donates flags to the city to replace weather-worn ones.