An array of topics were covered at the Tuesday, August 26 meeting of Port Clinton City Council. This was the second meeting of council where public comments were moved to the beginning of the meeting. Among the public comments were comments regarding a previous article ran in The Beacon about the continuation of a group called Friends for Port Clinton. In the article Port Clinton Mayor Vince Leone was quoted as saying if CORD’s ballot initiative passes (where citizens vote in the handling of city park affairs), it could affect future events and festivals in Port Clinton.
Rick Noderer, a member of CORD, spoke saying that in the copies of event forms that have been approved by the City states nowhere that the form is a lease. Noderer then quoted The Beacon article stating that the mayor said events and festivals in Port Clinton will fall victim under the initiative if passed.
Noderer then quoted the Ohio Revised Code 721 which has to do with leases (the code can be found online at codes.ohio.gov/orc/721).
“If these documents (referring to the event forms) constitute as leases,” said Noderer, “then the Leone administration has broken the law by not following the Ohio Revised Code.”
In rebuttal, Mayor Leone said, “I want to propose questions about the initiative. If I would have thought CORD’s initiative was clear, I wouldn’t feel the need to ask questions. You propose good questions, I would like to also know the answer to them.”
Debby Krofft, also a member of CORD, also referenced the City’s event forms saying, “I have an event form for an event I am doing. According to Ohio Revised Code there is to be a 2/3 vote by council to clear my event if it is a lease. Please tell me where is the 2/3 vote for my lease if it is indeed a lease.”
Jane Storrs was next to make public comments. She accused Noderer of weasel-wording the article in The Beacon he was referencing. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines weasel word as a word used in order to evade or retreat from direct or forthright statement or position. Storrs also directly asked Noderer “How many people are in CORD? Where are your meetings held?”
In closing, Storrs said, “We should be ashamed to treat each other in the way we are as citizens of Port Clinton.” Storrs admitted that she herself had said things she regretted in heated online arguments, but wanted to be clear that everyone should work together and stop working against each other.
After Storrs’ comments, President of Council, Linda Hartlaub, addressed Noderer and asked if he would like to answer Storrs’ questions about CORD.
“I have already used my allotted time today, Madame President,” responded Noderer.
“Well I am President of Council, I am granting you time and a chance to respond to questions directly asked of you,” said Hartlaub.
Noderer said that he might answer the questions at the next city council meeting under the public comment.
Other public comments brought before Council were residents supporting Jon Waters and the question of the destruction of a tree by City workers.
The mayor in his report said the City is moving forward with the rest of the Fulton Street project and the Sixth Street waterlines. The City is currently going forward with trying to obtain grants to complete these projects.
Edna Hansen, City Treasurer, reported that the bed tax for the City has reached more than $92,000.
Safety Service Director’s Report
Safety Service Director, Tracy Colston, reminded residents to be careful in construction zones and to pay close attention especially in these areas.
Police Chief’s Report
Police Chief Rob Hickman stated, “On August 19 at approximately 4:55 p.m. your Port Clinton Police Department was practicing for an upcoming softball game against the United States Coast Guard Station in Marblehead when Port Clinton Fire Chief Johnson stopped and advised of a swimmer in distress that his son, Lukas Johnson, Service Department Mechanic for the City of Port Clinton) had spotted a swimmer off Brand’s Marina approximately 700 yards out and still had them in sight.
I requested a boat operator from the practice field and, you guessed it, they all came running out with both marine vessels being utilized for rescue.
The swimmer was found to be hanging on a large, blue floatation device and advised officers that he was out swimming and attempted to make it back to shore, but was extremely tired.
The swimmer was assisted to shore and transported to Magruder Hospital by North Central EMS.
Both myself and Fire Chief Johnson would like to give a sincere thank you to Lukas Johnson, Corbin Carpenter, Bruce Szilagyi, Dave Scott, Ellis Fuiava, Nate Edmonds, Ron Timmons and Mark Anderson.”
Resignation from Ward 1
Under correspondence, Linda Hartlaub, President of Council, reluctantly read Ron Aukerman’s resignation letter.
“Mr. Aukerman always comes to the table with great thought and perspective,” said President Hartlaub. “I am disappointed to see him go. He always highly researched subjects before every vote.”
During business from the council floor Aukerman gave a heartfelt goodbye.
“I want to thank everyone sitting at the table and people that sat at this table before me,” said Aukerman. “You don’t know how hard this job is until you’re sitting in this seat. I admire the administration, the fire and police chiefs. I apologize to Ward 1; what has to be most important to me right now is my family and job. It would not be fair of me to maintain this council seat.
“I value the importance of this job. When I go in, I go full in and I apologize to those I am leaving behind,” said Aukerman.
The next Port Clinton City Council meeting will be Tuesday, September 9, at 7:30 p.m. in the council chambers.