By Lori Smith
Standing-room-only conditions and a lack of parking spaces is leading the city of Pickerington to consider whether it’s time to expand mayor’s court.
At the April 17 meeting of Pickerington City Council, Mayor Lee Gray suggested it is time for the city look into adding a second day of mayor’s court each week.
“Pickerington has grown, the court has grown,” Gray said following the meeting. “We’re trying to evaluate what we can do to improve the overall experience.”
Mayor’s court is currently held from 3:30 p.m. until later in the evening most Mondays at Pickerington City Hall, and is run by Magistrate Kelleen Roth and a Court Assistant Molly Schwartz. Adding a second day of mayor’s court every week will increase expenses for the city, Gray noted, and an appropriations adjustment will need to be made. However, he believes it will be a good public relations move for the city.
“Most people who are in court are already having a bad day,” Gray said. “If we can make it a more comfortable experience for them, then we should.”
In other news:
•Council agreed to indefinitely table proposed legislation pertaining to Redbud Commons, a 55-and-over community underway at Diley Road and State Route 256. There was concern about whether the city or state needed to approve proposed changes regarding the foundation plans for the upscale apartment complex. However, Law Director Phil Hartmann said the company negotiated a deed restriction to replace the legislation, and the company is now free to continue the building process. Redbud Commons is expected to be completed this year.
•Council President Jeff Fix urged residents to take advantage of the city’s offer to help with income tax forms.
“I actually took the city up on the offer to do my taxes,” he said. “It took less than three minutes.”
The mayor added that it’s a service that makes Pickerington stand out from other communities stating, “You won’t get service elsewhere like you do here.”
•Council passed, by a vote of 4-2, legislation amending 2017 appropriations, including funds for software/server, police department training reimbursement, contract modifications for the Refugee Road project and increasing county auditor fees for real estate settlements. Councilmen Mike Sabatino and Jerry Dailey cast the dissenting votes, citing concerns because the expenditures were presented after-the-fact.