By Ris Twigg
The new mayor of Obetz was sworn-in by U.S. Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH) at Obetz Village Council’s Jan. 13 meeting alongside two council members and a new deputy chief of police.
Mayor Angela Kirk took the oath of office, followed by returning councilman Michael Flaherty, new councilman Derek Varney and Police Chief Brian Jeffers, who had served 18 years in Obetz prior. Interviews to fill Kirk’s former council seat are set for next week.
“I think that for us, we are more aligned now with the community and what they want, whereas before we may not have been,” Kirk said. “I’m ready to move forward and make you all happy — well, as happy as I can.”
Council approved an ordinance for Obetz’s annexation of 13.8 acres of land from Hamilton Township. The land, located on Alum Creek Drive between Toy Road and Bixby Road, will be used for commercial space, including a gas station, hotel and more e-commerce.
Some of the land that Obetz has annexed over the last few years will be rezoned this year, following the passing of another ordinance during the Jan. 13 meeting. Most of the land is slated for park development and community facilities, said Rod Davisson, Obetz economic development director.
Village charter review
This year the Obetz Village Charter is set to be renewed. The charter, which is updated every 10 years, acts as a guiding document for which all of Obetz’s operations flow, Davisson explained.
A group of residents are appointed by council to identify what should go into the updated charter. Those ideas are then placed on a ballot and voted on by the community.
“As we get ready to become a city here…we want to make sure that’s all up to date,” Davisson said. “So we will gather a group of citizens (and) go through that charter with a fine-tooth comb to make sure it is the most advantageous to the village of Obetz.”
There’s no set timeline for when the charter updates and the appointed committee will be established. Davisson expects those things to come to fruition this spring. He also doesn’t expect many major changes to the document, but Kirk said it “definitely needs updated” since much has changed in Obetz over the last 10 years.