Council talks tree trimming, pickleball courts


During their first meeting of the month on May 9, Galion City Council members analyzed several consequential items.

To start, Ordinance 2023-24, authorizing bidding for tree cleaning and trimming, received a second reading.

“I think it’s imperative we get this passed,” Second Ward council member Melissa Frank explained. “I am also looking at this from a health perspective; if we don’t do this and have another storm, somebody could get hurt.”

After Third Ward council member Mike Richart concurred and seconded the motion, a vote to approve the measure was unanimous.

A discussion occurred about moving forward on projects at Heise Park, including converting the existing tennis courts to pickleball courts. These will be funded by Freese grants. Members voted unanimously in favor of the ordinance.

Mayor Tom O’Leary said he expects multiple pavers to bid on the project. Members and the mayor also discussed adding more affordable housing within the area.

Near the meeting’s conclusion, while council member-at-large Paula Durbin did not reiterate her call for O’Leary to resign, she now said, “He needs to resign.”

Before the gathering commenced, two residents chose to address the council.

Galion YMCA Director Terry Gribble expressed concern about more parking lots to benefit the local community. He’s seeking a parking lot at the corner of Gill Avenue and Erie Street.

Samantha Davis read a lengthy statement about “visibility and inclusion,” claiming — without presenting specific examples — that discrimination against LGBTQ Galionites must be curtailed and asked the city to fly the “progressive pride” flag. She compared its importance to the Blue Lives Matter flag and also criticized police actions at the national and local levels.

A.J. Kaufman is a correspondent for the Galion Inquirer.

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