Local resident appreciates mayor, council


By A.J. Kaufman - For the Inquirer



GALION- Galion City Council members convened on Dec. 13 for the second-to-last time in 2022. Inside the Municipal Building, following approval of minutes from the Nov. 22 regular and Nov. 29 special meetings, several ordinances were analyzed.

First however, Galion resident Bob Zettler addressed the council, expressing appreciation for the city’s efforts during a rainstorm earlier this year, performing “yeoman’s work” at Aspen Terrace Condominiums.

“Bottom line for us is that it was a synergistic effort that produced some seriously good results and some conversations that we normally would not have,” Zettler concluded on his summary. “We ought to be quick to tell you thank you all for listening…and for coming down and doing the work. It made everybody happy and we wanted you to know that.”

After a third reading of the ordinance allowing Galion residents to have the option to discharge consumer grade fireworks on their property, 2nd Ward Council Member Melissa Frank shared her personal experience July 4 and claimed they are dangerous. 3rd Ward Council Member Mike Richart cited Independence Day situations and is also concerned about safety incidents. He wanted to send the matter back to committee “for further study.”

“My position is preventative. I’m looking at the safety of citizens now,” Frank explained in part. “I don’t want to see anybody get hurt, and I think this is a good measure to prevent animals and people from getting injured and letting the community know that it’s not okay to fire off those type of grade fireworks in communities where houses are so close together…I want to make Galion the safest place we can for our citizens.”

The ordinance did not pass, with the council voting 4-3 to in fact send the issue back to committee.

After initial introduction in early November, a final reading of ordinance to annex roughly 50 acres of the Powers Reservoir back into Galion City limits finally passed 7-0. The potential of infringement on any nearby residents was laid to rest by a survey revealing the property on Railroad St. will not have any issues.

A Union contract — Ordinance 2022-101 — passed 6-1, with Council Member-at-Large Paula Durbin voting no on the five percent raise.

Mayor Tom O’Leary said, “This will seem like a bargain in three years.”

He noted that percentages of employer obligation for health insurance remain the same.

“I think we’re compensating our employees as well or better than many other public employers in the area,” the mayor added. “We haven’t relied on one-time COVID dollar fixes, we didn’t use CARES Act to fund this…we are using user fees and income taxes to pay them.”

O’Leary ended the evening by saying the 2023 city budget is a “slow-moving process” with carefully-taken steps and a focus on “making some tough decisions.”

By A.J. Kaufman

For the Inquirer