By 1812Blockhouse

The Shelby City Council meeting held this week was notable for the extensive input and discussion on election procedures and candidate filing deadlines, sparked by the participation of the Richland County Board of Elections.

Key Election Discussion: The Director of the County Board of Elections, Matt Finfgeld, accompanied by Deputy Director Jan Zimmerman, addressed the council on an ordinance impacting filing deadlines, a topic discussed previously. They highlighted the importance of aligning local deadlines with state guidelines to ensure consistency and efficiency in election preparations. The director emphasized that having a 90-day filing deadline, as opposed to the current 75-day period, would better synchronize Shelby’s procedures with the rest of Ohio’s counties, facilitating smoother election administration.

Zimmerman explained that the extended deadline would allow more time for verifying candidate petitions, conducting necessary logistical preparations, and addressing any potential challenges well before the election date. The board also pointed out that the current 75-day deadline limited residents’ ability to protest a candidate’s eligibility, as it leaves only one day for such actions.

Council members engaged in a thorough discussion, weighing the benefits of the proposed change against the traditional timeline. Some members expressed concerns about the impact of an earlier deadline on potential candidates’ decision-making processes, while others recognized the operational advantages for the Board of Elections. In the end, Council allowed the measure to go to a final reading on July 1.

Committee Reports:

Finance and Personnel Committee: The committee reported a successful financial month with the second-highest May income tax collection on record. Withholding and individual income taxes increased, while business taxes saw a slight decline. The committee approved and will post the financial statements and cash investment reconciliation for May 31, 2024.

Street Committee:

  • Shelby Solar Array: The solar array is under maintenance due to a lightning strike. Replacement of the transformer, estimated at $100,000, is expected to be completed by late September. The array supplies 4% of the city’s electricity and has saved $492,000 since 2021.
  • Power Supply Report: The city’s power sources include coal (35%), hydro (25%), and the solar array (4%).

Safety Committee:

  • Solicitor Ordinances: The Police Department is reviewing ordinances concerning solicitors, with potential amendments forthcoming.
  • Police Equipment: The department is updating its tasers to the latest model.
  • Health Department: Mosquito traps are being set, and preparations for the Bicycle Day booth are underway.

Mayor’s Report: The mayor noted the new flashing beacon lights at the Main Street crosswalk and urged residents to use them for safety. Residents were also asked to reduce electric consumption during peak power alerts.

Project Coordinator’s Report:

  • Shelby Avenue Waterline Project: Bucke Excavating was awarded the bid at $475,600.
  • London West Bridge: Construction will start in early July, with completion expected by November 22nd.

Legislative Actions: Several ordinances proposing amendments to the city charter were passed through their second readings and will be presented to the electors for approval.

Resolution: Resolution number 26-2024, thanking Maryanne Hawk for her service on the Shade Tree Commission, was passed.

Next Meeting: The next council meeting is scheduled for July 1st, where the Declaration of Independence will be read. The meeting adjourned at 7:39 PM.

For more detailed information and updates, residents are encouraged to visit the city’s official website.

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