HUBBARD Lawmakers question decision process

The zoning board chairman said if the council members don't like the meeting process, they can stay at home.
HUBBARD -- Two city lawmakers are questioning how zoning board of appeals decisions are made.
Councilman William Williams, D-at-large, said during Tuesday's council session that at one meeting the appeals board received a request for a variance on the size of a shed and approved it that same night after the meeting adjourned.
"That was ridiculous. I hope that something like that doesn't happen again. It doesn't look good for the city," Williams said.
Williams said he isn't concerned with the board's rulings, but rather how the decision was reached.
Council President John Datko asked Law Director Gary Gilmartin to talk with board members.
"I've talked to them over the past year and I'm not sure if anybody's listening," Gilmartin told council.
Complaints: Reached after the meeting, board Chairman Anthony Bassett said Williams has repeatedly complained about the meetings.
"If he [Williams] doesn't like the ways it's run, tell him to stay at home," Bassett said, noting the meetings have been run the same way for years.
Councilwoman Bonnie Viele, D-1st, said there are no meeting agendas and she has been asked to stop tape recording the meetings.
"It's too bad," Bassett asserted. "If they [Williams and Viele] don't like the way we have the meetings, they don't have to come."
Williams said he was unsure what to do, adding that if the board is dissolved, another board will have to be appointed.
In another matter, council agreed to purchase three electric generators in a $2 million deal with American Municipal Power of Ohio Inc.
The city purchases power from AMP Ohio at a wholesale rate and resells it to its retail customers.
Joe Slick, city electric superintendent, explained the city will purchase the generators for AMP Ohio, which will finance the purchase.
Once operational, the city will be assured during hot weather the generators will produce a power supply at a reasonable rate when rates are their highest. At the same time, Slick said, it will increase AMP Ohio's capacity.
Slick said the city will be obligated for $338,389 annually for 20 years for the cost of the generators. After 20 years, the city will own them.
Profit: At the same time, the wholesaler will pay the city $350,000 a year for power it uses from the generators. Thus, Slick said, the city will earn the difference, or $12,266 annually with no out-of-pocket expenses.

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