By Katelyn Sattler
Obetz City Council took some time getting organized for the coming year.
On Jan. 10, council members Mike Kimbler, Robert Kramer, and Guiles Richardson, who all won re-election, were sworn in by 20th District State Representative Richard Brown. Newly elected Councilman Todd Gibbs was sworn in by Mayor Angela Kirk.
Councilman Mike Flaherty was elected council president pro-tem for a one-year term. He will preside over meetings in the absence of the mayor. He is eligible to vote on matters as a council member when presiding over meetings but, unlike the mayor, may not vote as the mayor in the event of a tie vote while he is presiding over meetings.
Council will meet Jan. 12 in closed executive session to discuss contract terms relative to development agreements. The meeting may include the discussion of abatements or TIFs. Obetz officials said the meeting’s purpose is to inform council about development.
“I will need direction on how council wants me to act with the company (-ies),” said Obetz City Administrator Rod Davisson.
Davisson gave a past example of a company that moved into Obetz and wanted to protect its location from competitors.
“The pieces needed to be done privately,” said Davisson. “When negotiations were complete and contracts signed, then the matter came before council as an ordinance.”
A development agreement from the closed executive session could come before council at its Jan. 24 meeting.
Fire department news
Hamilton Township Fire Chief Martin Hafey said the department made 510 runs in Hamilton Township and Obetz (126 of those in Obetz proper), 28 fire run, and 98 EMS runs. He also said there have been issues with trucks and fire trucks that are getting straightened out.
“We attended both the Lockbourne tree lighting and Obetz tree lighting ceremonies. As part of that, we passed out almost 500 activity books for the children,” said Hafey.
Hafey said the department has had about four members out on COVID leave, “just like everybody else.”
Other Obetz news
•Council passed an ordinance making a probationary appointment to the police department. Obetz City Council indicated it could hire Luther Copley for the position. Copley is attending the police academy and is assistant superintendent of the service department
•Resident Jerry Benson said the Obetz Historians filed for a 501(c)3 so the group can be classified as a non-profit. He also said the group has found someone to write a book about Obetz’s history.
•Resident Andy Borders asked if there is an update to the Mason’s Sand & Gravel’s alleged EPA violations. Davisson said he is not sure, but will check on it.
•The planning and zoning commission meeting was moved to Jan. 19 at 6 p.m.