Youngstown council didn’t have enough members at meeting to pass legislation

By David Skolnick


City council met Wednesday, but didn’t approve any legislation because not enough members were present.

The seven-member council needs six members at a meeting to pass proposals by emergency measure.

With Councilwomen Lauren McNally, D-5th, and Basia Adamczak, D-7th, not in attendance, the body gave first readings by votes of 5-0 to more than 50 pieces of proposed legislation it was prepared to approve at the meeting.

The proposals will be considered for adoption at council’s next meeting Dec. 20.

Among the major items that received first reading was an ordinance to have the board of control settle a lawsuit that questions the legality of using water and wastewater funds for economic development projects.

The proposal would permit the board to choose between issuing $1.45 million in credits to its water customers or transferring that amount from the general fund to the water fund.

Other provisions in the proposal include “that any water grant shall be granted per and subject to a written policy and procedure as agreed to by the parties,” the city will pay all court and litigation costs and “reasonable attorneys’ fees” from the water fund, the complaint will be dismissed, and “there is no admission of liability by either party, and neither party is to be considered the prevailing party.”

The lawsuit, filed last year by four water customers, sought to stop the city from using water and wastewater funds for economic development projects, primarily downtown.

City Law Director Martin Hume has declined to comment to The Vindicator about the proposed settlement.

Council also gave a first reading to a resolution urging outgoing Mayor John A. McNally from hiring or promoting nonessential positions funded by the general fund through the end of his term, which ends Dec. 31.

“Now is not the appropriate time to fill positions with our financial situation,” said Councilman T.J. Rodgers, D-2nd and chairman of the finance committee.

The city’s general fund is projected to have a $2.5 million to $3 million deficit by the end of 2018.

The Vindicator reported Nov. 19 that McNally had approved the promotions of four law department employees, including three with raises of more than 10 percent, and promoted another employee to wastewater construction engineer with a 15 percent raise.

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