Village Council Meeting 9.7.2021, by Sue Miklovic
Pastor Rob Johnson, from St. Luke’s Lutheran Church was present for the first time at a North Baltimore Village Council meeting, to offer a word of prayer and blessing before the meeting officially began.
The meeting was the first one for September, now returning to the regular set schedule after three months on an altered summer schedule (which has been the village’s practice for many years).
Before the meeting got into the agenda, the mayor asked for a moment of silence in honor and memory of the 20th anniversary of 9/11.
After a peaceful beginning, the 2 ½ + hour meeting quickly switched to a temper-rising hot mess with Mayor Goldner rapping her gavel and declaring Councilman Cook “Out of Order”
I’m not exactly sure if I got the gist of what caused the explosion of loud voices, but it appeared to be frustration with the amount of time it takes to complete some village business processes. Mr. Cook seemed to become increasingly agitated when talking about replacement parts for broken light fixtures in the roundabout unavailable for excessively long periods of time (14 months); also when an emergency street repair/sinkhole didn’t receive top priority/immediate attention to maintain safety of citizens; He also said the mayor gave incorrect information to someone wishing to file as a candidate for election to council, to which the mayor responded, “Are you accusing me of tampering with candidates?” which led to the gavel coming down on the table.
The Mayor shared the Village Trick or Treat will be held on Sunday, October 31 from 6:00pm until 7:30pm. The village Halloween parade will be Saturday October 30 starting at 7:00 PM. The parade is sponsored by the North Baltimore Chamber of Commerce and they will be selecting the parade theme.
The finance officer Tony Swartz shared a letter that he had received concerning the village’s application for a USDA grant for purchase of a new police cruiser. The letter stated that it appeared the village had sufficient funds to finance the new vehicle without the assistance of the grant, and their application was denied. The financial balances they referred to is money that is already earmarked for other uses. Mr. Swartz says there are other programs available they can use for financing.
Police Chief Lafferty shared more information in a handout , to give more details for his request to add two sergeants to the village police force, and eliminating an assistant chief position. The two sergeants would be called an Administrative Sergeant who would focus on paperwork and administrative duties, and a Road Sargeant whose primary responsibility would deal with the road crews. The two sergeants would receive cross- training to be able to perform both duties as needed. More updates to come.
The Public Works Superintendent job description was shared with the council members. Earlier in the meeting the mayor had recommended the promotion of Josh Long to the DPW Superintendent position, but the council voted to go into executive session to discuss the matter further before offering the position to anyone.
The Public Utilities committee recommended approval of the purchase of two replacement vacuum regulators for the water treatment plant in the amount of $7820. They also approved the lettering and wording for the new water tower.
Also talked about at the meeting:
Mr. Brillhart shared that Todd Dickerson, the village’s Economic Development consultant will be attending the September 14th meeting with an update on his current projects.
Mr Brillhart reported the ODOT/TMACOG/Rail Development Commission, etc group has determined a truck access/ local access study needs to be done to verify the improved site needs that exist along the I -75/ State Route 18 corridor through North Baltimore. Stay tuned for more.
Tim Engard asked about the status of the sidewalk that CSX still hasn’t repaired from 1 1/2 years ago during the North Main Street 100 block project.
It was also mentioned that the South side of the tracks on Main Street from November 2006 have still not been taken care of by CSX.
It was also mentioned that the drainage issue caused by CSX with village resident Shirley Hutchinson is still unresolved.
Councilman Aaron Patterson talked about the E. Walnut St paving project that was part of the Neighborhood Revitalization grant. It is still a mess and needs some resolution. The county engineers were in charge of that. It was said that final payment for that project will not be made until the situation is taken care of.
Several resolutions and ordinances were read towards the end of the meeting. (Those that received their 3rd and final reading are posted in another story here on theNBXpress)
The council went into executive session with no action taken, other than to add a Special Meeting to be held prior to the beginning of the Committee of the Whole meeting Tuesday, September 14, 2021 at 5:30pm.