William F. Hutson called the meeting to order at 9:00 a.m. with Adam Friedrick and Patricia G. Geissman present. The meeting opened with the Pledge of Allegiance and a prayer.
The minutes of the May 8, 2018, were emailed in advance. Mr. Friedrick moved to approve the minutes; Mrs. Geissman seconded the motion. Roll call showed all commissioners voting AYE.
Highway Engineer Andy Conrad presented and reviewed a resolution accepting and awarding the 2018 Medina County Equipment and Labor bid for the Medina County Highway Department. Mr. Friedrick moved to approve the resolution; Mrs. Geissman seconded the motion. Roll call showed all commissioners voting AYE.
Mr. Conrad reported that they have the mowers out and they opened a bridge that they did winter construction on.
The commissioners reviewed the permits issued May 3-9, 2018.
Finance Director Mike Pataky presented and reviewed the following resolutions: (1) amending the Annual Appropriation Resolution; (2) amending the 2018 Appropriations Resolution by transferring appropriations; (3) authorizing a cash transfer for the Medina County ADAMH Board; (4) authorizing the purchase of 7,300 gallons of regular unleaded gasoline for the Engineering Center; (5) allowing expenses of the Adult Probation Department; and (6) allowing expenses of county officials. Mr. Pataky requested payment of the weekly bills in the amount of $1,168,847.71. Mr. Friedrick moved to approve the six resolutions and to pay the bills; Mrs. Geissman seconded the motion. Roll call showed all commissioners voting AYE.
Human Resources Director Holly Muren presented and reviewed a resolution approving personnel changes for the employees under the jurisdiction of the Medina County commissioners. Mr. Friedrick moved to approve the resolution; Mrs. Geissman seconded the motion. Roll call showed all commissioners voting AYE.
County Administrator Scott Miller presented and reviewed the following resolutions: (1) approving an agreement for architectural design and engineering services for the renovation of 60 Public Square to accommodate county offices; (2) authorizing a non-disturbance and estoppel agreement with the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission and the City of Medina; (3) authorizing a supplemental agreement with the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency; and (4) authorizing a contract with Liturgical Publications, Inc. for publishing services. Mr. Friedrick moved to approve the four resolutions; Mrs. Geissman seconded the motion. Mr. Hutson noted that the Square is technically owned by the County, but the City of Medina maintains and operates it under a long-term lease. This is a good example of how the City and the County work together on projects. There was no further discussion. Roll call showed all commissioners voting AYE.
Chief Building Official Christopher Randles reported that there were 322 permits issued in April for an estimated evaluation of over $58 million. They performed 1,030 inspections in April which is an average of 49 per day. Currently, commercial review time is at 14 days and residential review time is at 5 days. They continue to investigate updating their software and will be visiting another community that uses a product they are looking at. He hopes to have a solid direction moving forward the next time he makes his report.
Commissioner Geissman stated that it is wonderful how quickly they are getting the work done for the builders; they must be very happy that the time has been cut down. Mr. Randles responded that he thinks the builders are happy and a lot of the credit goes to the staff in the office. They have done a fantastic job with getting this to the point it is at. He has some ideas to get the time cut down even further. In answer to a question posed by Mr. Hutson, Mr. Randles answered that the software they are looking at will assist in cutting the time down further. They are really looking at the customer experience.
Commissioner Hutson presented and reviewed a resolution proclaiming May 2018 as Building Safety Month. Mr. Friedrick moved to approve the resolution; Mrs. Geissman seconded the motion. Roll call showed all commissioners voting AYE. Mr. Randles reported that they purchased a new inspection tool which will be used to detect electrical currents in water sources. This floating tool will be used as a safety measure which will assist in the prevention of electrical injuries. They will be setting up a portal on their website so the public may complete an application and schedule an inspection; the testing will be free for local residents. He thanked their electrical inspector for finding this. Mrs. Geissman stated she thinks this is a wonderful idea.
MCDAC Director Brian Nowak presented and reviewed a resolution approving the Medina County Drug Abuse Commission (MCDAC) grant funding for FY 2018-2019. Mr. Friedrick moved to approve the resolution; Mrs. Geissman seconded the motion. Roll call showed all commissioners voting AYE.
Mr. Nowak presented and reviewed a resolution approving the Recovery Center of Medina County grant funding for FY 2018-2019. Mr. Friedrick moved to approve the resolution; Mrs. Geissman seconded the motion. Mr. Friedrick stated that the MCDAC Board’s vote was a 3-3 split. The primary difference was the success seen at Edwin’s in Shaker Heights was primarily directed toward felons where what we are looking at here is addicts. In his opinion, the three no votes did not make the connection that he has had success there and will have success here; it is an apples-to-apples comparison. He argued for a yes vote at the meeting that night. He explained that with both resolutions, they come to the commissioners as recommendations. He feels it is important to approve the resolution not only because of the money, but to demonstrate that the commissioners are in full support of what they are doing. Mrs. Geissman agreed. Mr. Hutson noted that they actually asked for $25,000, but this allows for a total of $12,500;Mr. Friedrick stated that this happens fairly regularly. Mr. Hutson stated that we have had programs in effect for a long time and this is something new and different; it’s worthwhile to invest in it to see if we can produce different numbers and to go in a different direction. Mr. Friedrick added that it is completely in line with the mission of MCDAC and what those dollars are supposed to spent on. There was no further discussion. Roll call showed all commissioners voting AYE.
Deputy Treasurer Judy Barabas reported that they are kicking off the 2018 Fix It Funds home improvement loan program sponsored by the treasurer and Westfield Bank. This program has been in place for 16 years and offers county home owners low interest, fixed rate home loans (two percent lower than Westfield Bank’s current home improvement loan rate). In the past two years, they have done 52 loans totaling $770,993.00. The program allows homeowners with a home value up to $250,000 to apply for a loan with loans ranging from $5,000-$50,000 and there is no limit on the borrowers’ income. Qualifying home improvements can be for things such as windows, landscaping, air conditioning and remodeling, but luxury items such as hot tubs and swimming pools do not qualify. This is a great program.
Planning Services Director Rob Henwood presented and reviewed a resolution accepting and awarding a quote for the Township of Montville park improvement project. Mr. Friedrick moved to approve the resolution; Mrs. Geissman seconded the motion. Roll call showed all commissioners voting AYE.
Loretta Kreiger, 55 Circle Drive, Medina, stated that the voters turned down the sales tax request on May 8 by 64 percent. On May 9, the commissioners foolishly decided to spend taxpayers’ money by requesting a special election to put the sales tax back on the ballot. This election will cost approximately $112,000 per the Board of Elections. The commissioners have ten days to withdraw their request. If the request is not withdrawn before the ten day is up, they will still have to pay 65 percent of the cost. She stated that special elections are a waste of taxpayers’ money. She suggested waiting until the general election on November 3; it won’t cost $112,000. She stated that in her opinion, there should never be a special election especially one for taxes. She requested that the request for a special election for the sales tax be withdrawn today.
Mr. Hutson stated that from his perspective, they put certain things in motion because the Code requires from a timing standpoint that they put certain things in motion by a certain date. Given the results of the election, the Board should consider pulling it from the August ballot and regroup to determine the appropriate course of action for November.
Mrs. Geissman explained that they were looking at an option because the funds are needed and they were following the Ohio Revised Code as to when they had to take this to the Board of Elections; they couldn’t wait until after they found out the election results. She stated that she didn’t think any of the commissioners, when they had two-thirds of the people telling them they do not want the increase, would be stupid enough to go forward with that. She noted that as a longtime commissioner, she was sorry that they weren’t more vocal when they were having their discussions to make sure that people realized they were looking at an option, and the only way they could have that option was to take a vote and do what they did before the election (i.e. public hearings.) She stated she didn’t think any of the commissioners would not listen to the general public. She agreed with Ms. Kreiger’s comments regarding the cost of a special election. Had it been a 200 vote difference, then she would support the special election, but the results were an overwhelming “no.”
Mr. Friedrick agreed with Mrs. Geissman with regard to the magnitude of the defeat. He explained that the commissioners are small government conservatives. They heard last week from Job & Family Services Director Jeff Felton regarding the number of kids that need custody right now have tripled and those dollars must come from somewhere. Regarding the jail, Mr. Friedrick explained that when he started with the county, they had four unfilled pods open and one pod not open. Now all five pods are filled and we are paying to send folks to Geauga County. Both of these have occurred due to the opiate epidemic. In addition, we are the only county in the state where all of the general fund costs are accumulated through 0.5 percent and are only one of 4 counties that do not have a social services levy. He stated he would challenge someone to find a government entity that runs things as frugally tight as Medina does, which is why they went to the sales tax. A sales tax is the least evil of all taxes, but they did a poor job of educating people of why this is necessary. The commissioners would not have put this out to the voters unless it was absolutely necessary. He agreed to put it on the August ballot is a waste of taxpayer dollars and the wrong thing to do at this point.
Mr. Hutson added that he had a meeting with the Sheriff last week and was informed that the jail was designed to hold 250 inmates and at that point in time, they had close to 300. Mr. Miller stated that yesterday they were at 310 and are again over 300 today. Mr. Hutson explained that this is a systemic problem. It involves the Sheriff’s Department and moves through the prosecutor’s office, the courts, probation, etc. All of these departments are being impacted by the drug crisis. He agreed that August is not the right time and they need to regroup.
With no further business to come before the Commissioners, the meeting recessed at 10:05 a.m.
At 10:12 a.m., the Commissioners began the Discussion Session in the Commissioners’ Conference Room.
Hood Road Guardrail
Andy Conrad discussed a letter that was sent by the Medina Township trustee to the commissioners referencing the
Hood Road guardrail; he shared photos of the area of concern. He stated that they have made some recommendations
to the township over the last couple of years, but at this point, things have eroded badly enough that if they are
going to keep the road in passable and safe condition, they will need to hire a technical engineer due to the very
fragmented shale. He noted that he was surprised the letter was sent to the commissioners as it is a township road
rather than a county road.
Richard Marco and David Hood, both residents of Hood Road, were in attendance. Mr. Marco stated that Hood
Road is important to the families that live on that road and was surprised to hear that the township was considering
closing Hood Road. Mr. Hood expressed concern regarding safety services vehicles being unable to reach residents
if the road were closed or made one way only. Mr. Marco stated that he believes there has to be an engineering
study completed to determine whether to repair it or move it; to abandon it would be detrimental. Mr. Conrad noted
that abandoning it would be a tough thing to do. Mrs. Geissman stated that the township needs to look at it and she
was unsure why it came to the commissioners; it needs to be fixed sooner rather than later. The commissioners
agreed that this is something the township needs to take care of.
After discussion, Mr. Conrad offered to reach out to the township this week to begin a dialogue with them.
Mike Kovack introduced summer intern Chris Spartano from Ohio University.
Mr. Hutson introduced Megan Holly; Megan is the new assistant clerk who will be working closely with Rhonda
Beck to support the commissioners.
Scott Miller presented and reviewed a resolution approving the withdrawal of the 0.2% sales tax from the August 7th ballot. Mr. Friedrick moved to approve the resolution; Mrs. Geissman seconded the motion. Roll call showed all commissioners voting AYE.
Mr. Miller reported that the Sheriff’s office is upgrading from Emergitech to Zuercher, which has law enforcement software that goes with the 911 system. This includes computer-aided dispatch, mobile dispatch, location and mapping, jail administrative functions and financial functions. The quote is $328,558 and Mr. Miller asked if the commissioners are okay going forward with this purchase at that price. The commissioners agreed.
Mr. Hutson reported that he has been speaking with Westfield Insurance and their furniture vendor. Westfield is replacing their office furniture and the county has the opportunity to purchase the old furniture at approximately $15-$20 per work station (scrap value). There is also a cost for a vendor to come in, design it and set it up. This is an opportunity for the county to upgrade a good quantity of workstations and furniture at very little cost.
Mrs. Geissman commented that the trailer holding the bicentennial bell and the courthouse facade looks wonderful. Mr. Hutson reported that the trailer will be pulled in parades throughout the year.
Chief Building Official
David Williams stated that the county made a great hire in Chief Building Official Christopher Randles; he is a great asset to this county.
There being no further business, Mr. Friedrick moved to adjourn the meeting; the motion was seconded by Mrs. Geissman. Roll call showed all commissioners voting AYE. The meeting ended at 10:31 a.m.
RESOLUTIONS PASSED MAY 15, 2018
- 18-0429 Proclaiming May 2018 as Building Safety Month
- 18-0430 Allowing claims and authorizing issuance upon the treasurer in settlement of such list of claims
- 18-0431 Accepting and awarding the 2018 Medina County Equipment and Labor bid for the Medina County Highway Department
- 18-0432 Amending the Annual Appropriation Resolution
- 18-0433 Amending the 2018 Appropriations Resolution by transferring appropriations
- 18-0434 Authorizing a cash transfer for the Medina County ADAMH Board
- 18-0435 Authorizing the purchase of 7,300 gallons of regular unleaded gasoline for the Engineering Center Commissioners’ Minutes Page 4 of 4 May 15, 2018
- 18-0436 Allowing expenses of the Adult Probation Department
- 18-0437 Allowing expenses of county officials
- 18-0438 Approving personnel changes for the employees under the jurisdiction of the Medina County commissioners
- 18-0439 Approving an agreement for architectural design and engineering services for the renovation of 60 Public Square to accommodate county offices
- 18-0440 Authorizing a Non-Disturbance and Estoppel Agreement with the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission and the City of Medina
- 18-0441 Authorizing a supplemental agreement with the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency
- 18-0442 Authorizing a contract with Liturgical Publications, Inc. for publishing services
- 18-0443 Approving the Medina County Drug Abuse Commission grant funding for fiscal year 2018-2019
- 18-0444 Approving the Recovery Center of Medina County grant funding for fiscal year 2018-2019
- 18-0445 Accepting and awarding a quote for the Township of Montville Park Improvement Project
- 18-0446 Approving the withdrawal of the 0.2% sales tax from the August 7th ballot
All deliberations concerning official business and formal actions by this Board of Commissioners were conducted in an open public meeting this fifteenth day of May 2018.