This week Maple Heights City Council has meetings on Monday, Wednesday and many will be attending one of the two events on Thursday night.
Rules and Eliminations
Earlier tonight (Monday, June 16, 2014) at 6 PM in the Senior Center Council held a Committee of the Whole meeting with Assistant Law Director Blair Melling present to field questions about Rules of Council. An amended Rules of Council Ordinance, introduced by Council President Albers, will have first reading at the regular council meeting on Wednesday, June 18, 2014, at 7 PM in the Senior Center.
Following the Committee of the whole meeting tonight was a Public Works and Safety Committee meeting to discuss a Charter Amendment to eliminate the position of Council President. Eliminating the position of Council President would save the City around $17,000 including salary, OPERS and Medicaid contributions. The committee was discussing the administrative consequences of the position being eliminated. Many cities elect a council president from members of council and pay that person a few thousand dollars extra for the added responsibility. Since eliminating the position of Council President is a Charter amendment, it would be on the November ballot for residents to vote on if Council passes this Ordinance.
Contradictory Solid Waste Fund Legislation and a Tax Credit Decrease that Results in an Income Tax Increase for Residents Working Outside the City
Five pieces of legislation will be read at the Regular Council Meeting on Wednesday, June 18, 2014. Two contradictory pieces about the Solid Waste Fund, a Charter Amendment Income Tax Increase, a piece amending the Rules of Council and a resolution supporting the Ohio Voter Bill of Rights.
The Mayor has brought forward a piece of legislation to do away with the Solid Waste Fund, as recommended by the City’s new Finance Director, and transfer the balance and all subsequent funds into the general fund. While Councilman Ceferatti has introduced a piece of legislation stating that the funds from the special assessment on residents tax bill that are credited into the Solid Waste Fund can only be used to pay for Solid Waste Removal and no transfers from that fund shall be allowed without consent from Council.
A Charter Amendment has been introduced, by Mayor Lansky and Councilman Adams, to reduce the Income tax credit from 100% to 25%. Who will this effect? Any Maple Heights resident who pays income tax and works outside the city. Right now these residents receive a credit when they file their income tax for 100% of the amount that is withheld from their paycheck for the city they work in and then if that city’s rate is less than Maple Heights 2.5% income tax they pay the difference to Maple Heights. For example, if you work in a city where the rate is 2%, 2% is withheld from your paycheck and then you pay the remaining .5% to the city. If this Charter Amendment were to pay this same person would pay 2% to the city they work in, the .5% difference to Maple Heights and an additional 1.5% to Maple Heights (because now instead of getting a 100% credit for that 2% paid to the city they work in they are only getting a 25% credit) bringing their income tax to 4%. Most city’s have a 100% credit and those who have less have a smaller income tax rate to start with (RITA Income Tax Rat Table). If this ordinance is passed by Council, residents will it on the November Ballot.
Council President Albers has introduced an amended Rules of Council. The legislation has too many changes to count, but here are a few:
- two times for citizen comments at Council Meetings
- time for citizen comments at committee meetings
- dress code for council
- changing “member of audience” to “person” when describing who the Sergeant of Arms may eject from meetings, at Council Presidents request, if they are “disruptive”
- adding “after recognition from the Chair” in many places (meaning that if she doesn’t recognize the council person… see the item above)
- Removing the reference to Roberts Rules of Order for use in the absence of any other rule
Councilman Trojanski put forward a resolution supporting the Ohio Voter Bill of Rights which is group who has petitioned the Attorney General for a statewide Charter Amendment making early voting, voting by mail and showing proof of residency easier but at the same time cracking down on voter fraud.
State Rep. Barnes, State Auditor Yost and County Councilman Pernel Jones, Jr. Come to Maple Heights
State Representative Barnes and State Auditor Yost are coming to Maple Heights on Thursday June 19, 2014 from 7-9 PM at the St. Andrews Eastern Orthodox Church (map) in Maple Heights to discuss the City’s Fiscal Watch Status.
Also, at the Maple Heights High School starting at 6 PM is a kick-off event with County Councilman Pernel Jones, Jr. to launch Students of Promise a Closing the Achievement Gap initiative for mentoring 9th grade boys open to Maple Heights, Garfield Heights and Warrensville Heights.