Session 24, December 18, 2023

Mayor Robert Benson called the 24th Regular Session of Council to order on Monday, December 18, 2023.  Mayor Benson began the meeting with a prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance.  This public meeting is being recorded.  Members answering roll call were Josh Smith, Molly Lehman, Daniel Rouse, Justin Cline, Joe Kammer and Carla Carl.  Also attending the meeting were Fiscal Officer Kim Meek-Obed, Village Solicitor Attorney Terry Seeberger, resident Chauni Skirtich, Mayor Bob’s wife Patsy, and Stark County Commissioners Bill Smith and Richard Regula and Pastor Dennis Landow and Fire Chief Rick Annen arrived around 7:30. 

Mr. Smith made the motion to approve the minutes of the December 4, 2023 meeting and Mr. Cline seconded. Carl yes, Kammer yes, Cline yes, Rouse yes, Lehman yes, Smith yes. Six yes votes.  Motion carried.  Minutes approved.

 Mayor Bob Benson asked that council observe a moment of silence in the memory of Bethlehem Township Trustee Mark Dearing, who passed away recently.


 Coissioner Richard Regula spoke about working closely with Mayor Bob Benson and he read a Proclamation in Honor of Mayor Benson’s retirement, effective December 31, 2023.

 Commissioner Bill Smith also spoke on the years working with Mayor Benson and thanked him for his years of service.

 Reverand Landow said he was just here to show support for Mayor Benson.


 Fiscal Officer Kim Meek-Obed reported that she has received the numbers for 2022 back from the State Auditor’s office regarding the reconciliation numbers and she has forwarded it on to the council members and before she signs it and sends it back to the State Auditors officer, she would like council and/or the Finance Committee to go over it to make sure they agree with it.  Ms. Lehman agreed that it is a good idea for the Finance Committee to review it before it is sent back to the Auditors.


 Resolution 2023-38 a resolution directing the Fiscal Officer to provide a new address for a parcel within the Village.  The parcel address is identified as 50 Sisterhen Court on the Deed but the post office thinks it is 36 Ohio Street. Motion to have Kim do this made by Ms. Lehman, seconded by Mr. Smith.  Rouse yes, Cline yes, Kammer yes, Carl yes, Smith yes, Lehman yes.  Six yes votes.  Resolution passed.

 Mr. Seeberger suggested that the Ordinance 17-2023 which had been tabled at the previous meeting should be sent to the Safety Committee for review.

 Ordinance 18-2023 an ordinance to award the 2024 Street Paving project. Motion made by Ms. Lehman and seconded by Mr. Smith to table this until January after the Finance Committee looks at the finance numbers. Carl yes, Kammer yes, Cline yes, Rouse yes, Lehman yes, Smith yes.  Six yes votes.  Ordinance Tabled.


 Mr. Seeberger reported that he has been in contact with American Legal Publishing and the cost to update our Ordinances would cost about $1500 to $2000 and an additional $395 to update on-line.

 Mr. Smith made a motion to move forward and pay any outstanding invoices with American Legal Publishing and get the ordinances updated.  Ms. Lehman seconded.  Kammer yes, Carl yes, Rouse yes, Cline yes, Lehman yes Smith yes.  Six yes votes.  Motion carried.

 Mr. Seeberger also reported that Bob DeHoff communicated with him that he is working with Alan Harrold to find the $200,000 funding to move forward with the Fohl/Sterilite intersection project.

 Mr. Seeberger stated that he started working with Mayor Benson around 1996 while working on the JEDD.  He has worked with Mayor Benson as the full-time solicitor since 2015.  He stated that he has enjoyed working with the mayor and enjoys working with the Navarre Village Council.


 Reported that at the beginning of 2023, Heather Maloon started working ½ hour longer each day and has kept track of her hours and would like to be paid that amount before the end of the year and have her salary going forward adjusted to the new work schedule.  Council acknowledged that they did promise to adjust her pay for that extra time.  Motion by Mr. Smith to pay Heather Maloon the back pay for 2023 in the amount of $2748 and adjust her salary.  Second by Ms. Carl. Kammer yes, Cline yes, Lehman yes, Smith yes, Rouse yes, Carl yes.  Six yes votes.  Motion carried.

 Mayor Bob Benson stated that today is his granddaughter’s birthday and he would like to publicly wish her a Happy Birthday.  He then discussed some things that have happened in the village while he was in office.


 Mr. Wisselgren reported that he and Mr. Seeberger have been talking with RCAP and there is an opportunity to get a 0% interest loan for 30 years for wastewater plant and we are applying for a grant.

 Mr. Wisselgren reported that he and the Fiscal Officer have discussed the I.T. situation and feel that we should not go with a provider that we have to pay a retainer to but should move forward with hiring Tech Works on an as needed basis at this time.  Mr. Smith made a motion to move forward with getting the I.T. Service with Tech Works and Ms. Lehman seconded.  Rouse yes, Kammer yes, Smith yes, Cline yes, carl yes, Lehman yes.  Six yes votes.  Motion carried.  Mr. Wisselgren will contact Tech Works.

 Mr. Wisselgren reported that he met with Ernie & Debbie Lehman regarding moving the Kiosk at the Water Dept.  They came up with a location for it and he contacted the contractor about moving it.  The contractor said it will probably be after the first of the year but they will get it moved as soon as possible.

 Mr. Wisselgren commented on working with Mayor Benson for the last 23 years.


 Ms. Carl reported that she sat in on an Ohio Healthy Aging Grant webinar.  The grant is due by January 5th, so it may be something to look at for next year.  She also mentioned that Mayor Benson married her and her husband 22 years ago and thanked him for his service.

 Mr. Kammer said he needed to talk to Zack about putting something on the sign for a church that wants their Christmas Eve service on the sign.  He said we all had a great time at the retirement dinner for Mayor Benson last week.

 Mr. Cline reported that there was a robbery at Navarre/Bethlehem Park.  There were some things stolen.  He reported that the Fairless food cupboard is operating at Holy Family Parish on Thursday the 21sr and could use some volunteers if anyone is available or knows anyone.  He stated that he was interviewed by the Independent newspaper today about the mayor.

 Mr. Rouse stated that he appreciates everything Mayor Benson has done in his time as Mayor.  He also said he thinks the waste dumpster needs to be moved when we upgrade the sewer plant.

 Ms. Lehman asked how we are coming with the signs on Sterilite and Mr. Wisselgren reported that it was completed.  She reported that she had a call from 77 Brewhouse that they would like to have a food truck festival in the summer.  He was interested in the Village participating in that.  She also reported that she enrolled in the OSU zoning class that starts in January.  She gave an update about the fence behind Nickle’s, Stark Parks is going to proceed with removing the fence and then Nickle’s will be contacted again.  There is Coffee with Council on January 20th at Rise Up Café 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.  She expressed that Mayor Benson has made her first experience with local government a very positive one.

 Mr. Smith asked if the vacation issue has been handled. Mr. Wisselgren stated that it wasn’t an issue, that it was just brought up as “what if someone asks” and no one has asked, so it was not an issue.  He stated that he would like to have council members stay over for a little bit for a brief council of the whole meeting.  He stated that the next meeting will be on January 8, 2024.  He is going to try to get a Finance Committee meeting set as soon as possible.  He stated that it has been a pleasure working with Mayor Benson.


 Ms. Carl moved to approve bills and claims in the amount of $115,102.32.  Mr. Smith seconded.  Kammer yes, Rouse yes, Smith yes, Carl yes, Lehman yes, Cline yes.  Six yes votes.  Motion carried.

 Mr. Kammer moved to adjourn the meeting and Ms. Lehman seconded.   Smith yes, Carl yes, Rouse yes, Kammer yes, Lehman yes, Cline yes.  Six yes votes.   Meeting adjourned at 8:03 pm.

______________________________                        __________________________   

Kim L. Meek-Obed, Fiscal Officer                             Justin G. Cline, Mayor