Whitehall police praised, scolded

One resident offered praise, while another expressed her disdain for Whitehall police officers at the June 17 Whitehall City Council meeting.

Barb Penn shared how grateful she is for the diligent work of Det. Todd Horning and Officer Tony Fields for recovering some stolen property for her.  

"It was excellent police work for the last few days," said Penn.  

She also commended Roslyn Fetch, of the service department, for her expedience in posting yard sale permits on the city Web site.  

"They can be printed out, and it’s like free advertising for a few days," noted Penn.

Janiece Miller had some different experiences to relay about police officers regarding a boy who recently visited Whitehall.  

"On Monday, June 9, after only one hour, the boy was (allegedly) attacked by a juvenile for wearing a blue hat," said Miller.  

She indicated that one officer responding allegedly didn’t want to take a report explaining that her out of state guest would probably not be able to come back to testify in court.  

She also alleged the officer insinuated that because the youth was wearing the hat to one side, it probably escalated the incident.  

Miller’s complaint didn’t stop there. She said that on Friday, June 23 a woman ran screaming up to her van as she drove down Doney Street.  She appeared hysterical and was running from someone. Miller called 9-1-1 from her cell phone, but didn’t want to open her doors. The woman approached another car, who allowed her in and drove off.

Miller said a man came running down the street allegedly yelling that he was going to kill the woman. Miller said that she waited seven minutes on the phone, but never saw any police officers respond.

Miller told council that she wrote a letter about these incidents to Police Chief Richard Zitzke.  Mayor John Wolfe assured her that he would contact Zitzke next day.  Zitske could not be reached for comment.

Other Whitehall news

•Council adopted an ordinance deleting professional office and clinics as a permissible use at the industrial park on Poth Road.  

According to Wolfe, when Village Network located in the office portion of the old Kroger facility, it did not follow code. The teaching component of their service was not permissible. When told to vacate, litigation began. Judge Harland Hale allowed them to stay.

Even though it will be grandfathered, the organization will have to bring that part of the building in compliance with code standards. The new ordinance will avoid it from happening again, according to Wolfe. It was also noted that if the company continues to grow, it will not be allowed to expand, but will have to relocate.

•Council approved appropriation transfers from various general fund expense accounts in the amount of $25,000 for a salary to hire a deputy of information technology. The mayor said more than 50 applications were received and he hopes to have someone hired soon.

•Council also approved levying special assessments for property maintenance and mowing several addresses throughout the city, totaling over $13,000. The city wants residents to realize their crews are not a maintenance service, and owners will be charged $200 each time.

•A first reading was given to an ordinance that would raise plumbing plan reviews and permit fees. Commercial plan reviews would cost $125 (1-1000 fixtures), and residential $50/unit. Residential permits and first fixture would cost $75/unit, number of remaining fixtures will be $10/each. Commercial permits and first fixture would cost $125/unit, and number of remaining fixtures will be $20/each.

•The next council meeting will be July 1 at 7 p.m. There will be a public hearing adopting the Port Columbus Area Development partnership – Joint Economic Development Strategy as a guide for development, redevelopment, future capital improvements and public investment.  The partnership includes Whitehall, Gahanna and Columbus.  

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