Resident says use auxiliary officers for events

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The city of Reynoldsburg should better utilize its auxiliary police officers, according to one concerned resident wwho spoke at the June 25 meeting of City Council.

Resident Richard Donovan lamented the loss of public events such as the Fourth of July parade. The city decided to eliminate the public events, which require quite a bit of police overtime, in an effort to balance the 2007 budget.

"I know that money’s tight," Donovan said. "My problem is the security of the parade and other regular events fall onto the shoulders of the Reynoldsburg police."

Donovan said the city used to have a larger fleet of auxiliary police officers, who worked many of the community events for free.

"We let that go away," he said. "I certainly hope something changes."

Following the meeting, Mayor Bob McPherson said it’s true that the city has fewer auxiliary police officers now than in previous years.

"There just aren’t that many police officers out there who want reserve positions," he said. "Most officers who have their certification want full-time jobs – they don’t want to work for free."

He emphasized that any certified peace officers who are interested in obtaining an auxiliary police position with the Reynoldsburg police are welcome to apply.

"We’re always hoping to put reserves on," he said. "We’re always open to that."

Also during the meeting, Council President William Hills suggested creating a working committee to review areas of the zoning code.

"Let’s put it all in one package and try to work with it," Hills suggested.

McPherson agreed, "We definitely have a need to review the zoning code and putting a small group together to do that is a good idea."

In other news, council heard readings of legislation:

•Intending to match funds by the Franklin County Community and Economic Development Department.

•Authorizing the mayor to seek financial assistance from the Ohio Public Works Commission for funding of various capital infrastructure improvement projects.

•Approving the final list of special assessments for the replacement of sidewalks and driveway approaches in the fourth and fifth phases of the city.

•Adopting the tax budget for the fiscal year beginning in January. Council also held a public hearing on this topic prior to the meeting. There was no discussion within council and no public comment. City Auditor Richard Harris said this is just a formality. "Every year, the city of Reynoldsburg needs to submit a tax budget to the county auditors," he said. "This administrative thing has been around since the 1920s."

•Authorizing and directing the clerk of council to certify grass and weed cutting costs for collection by the Franklin and Licking county auditors.

Council also held a closed executive session to consider compensation for public employees, and for council to meet with the city attorney to discuss pending court action. No action was taken following the closed session.

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