Notes from last night’s City Council meeting
Here are my comments and notes from last night’s meeting of Stow City Council:
New Economic Development Activity – Over the past decade, we have made Stow into one of the most business-friendly cities in Ohio. We didn’t do this for the sake of business alone–but for the sake of our residents, who will not need to worry about a tax increase or a cut in services thanks to our strong income tax base. Here are a few new developments:
- The Circle-K convenience store at the corner of Stow and Fishcreek roads will be renovated. The building was 40 years old, and it shows. Sales had slipped 30% over the past few years. It’s a $3.9 million project, which will help our schools and make the corner look more attractive. Construction will begin sometime next spring/summer.
- Stow will be the new home to the corporate headquarters of Great Trails Council – Boy Scouts of America. There will be 29 employees with a total payroll of $1.5 million. The group is moving from Akron to a building at 4500 Hudson Drive (across from Ellsworth).
- Stow also landed the corporate headquarters of ACRT Services, which conducts vegetation management work and meter reading for utilities. There will be 50 employees and payroll of $5.5 million. ACRT will fill a vacancy at the Clunk Building, near the Stow Courthouse.
Charter Amendment – Last month, Mayor Costello proposed an amendment to Stow’s charter to impact term limits in two ways: (1) Not count a partial term toward an elected official’s 8-year limit. (2) Prevent an elected official from resetting his/her term limit clock by resigning from an office early.
In my opinion, the language would have confused voters. I offered an amendment to Jim’s original proposal, which was adopted. The proposal needed 5 council votes to get on the November ballot; it got only 4. I voted “yes” because I thought it was a fair question to ask the voters.
I predicted that Jim’s proposal lacked the requisite 5 votes, so I came prepared with a second version of the charter amendment–a version that would only address the second issue (preventing an elected official from resetting his/her term limit clock by resigning from an office early).
This second version did pass, by obtaining 5 votes. Voters will have the opportunity to decide the issue on November 6. I believe it’s a common-sense language clarification. It reaffirms this community’s desire to have meaningful term limits.
Dangerous Dog Ordinance – Council unanimously approved an amendment to our dangerous dog ordinance. A dog-bite victim will now have the opportunity to be heard in an appeal, just like the dog owner can be heard. Giving due process rights to victims is a welcomed trend lately (see Marcy’s Law, adopted into the Ohio Constitution in November 2017).
Fox Den Update – Good and bad news about Fox Den Golf Course. First, the bad: Course condition has suffered as the course’s water well has run dry. Council approved a new well, which will be drilled in October. Now, the good: The course earned $221,000 in revenue during July–the best month on record. I also think we made the right decision by reconstructing holes 5 and 6. Hole 5 was one of the goofiest holes in Northeast Ohio until we converted it to a par 3 (and hole 6 into a par 5).
Goodbye, Steve –
Council honored Steve Ivanov, who ran Steve’s Professional Dry Cleaners for 50 years, and is now retiring. Steve is the epitome of the American Dream. He emigrated from a socialist country, served in Vietnam, opened a small business, worked incredibly long hours, and enjoyed great success. God bless Steve and his family.
- Stow will present Summer Sunset Blast on Sept. 1-2, with live music, food, adult beverages, a petting zoo and fireworks. Click here for more details. It’s a great event.
- City council will meet next on Sept. 13.