Monday, March 24, 2014

North Canton Should Respect Rule of Law and Recognize Citizen Initiated Healthcare Ordinance


Prepared Comments Made to
NORTH CANTON CITY COUNCIL
March 24, 2014
On February 27, 2014, North Canton Mayor David Held released a confidential legal opinion given by Law Director Tim Fox regarding the 2012 Initiative to Limit Health Care Benefits for Part-time Elected Officials. This action by Mayor Held was carried out despite the Law Director's written admonition to council members not to make the opinion public.
The release of the opinion contained a cover letter from North Canton's highest ranking elected official that stated the following:
The people of North Canton spoke clearly on the matter and I believe that the people of North Canton have a right to know the implications of the November 15, 2013, Legal Opinion on their vote in order to preserve the integrity of the election system.
I personally followed that decision and I encourage all elected officials to follow that decision. Furthermore, I am releasing the November 15, 2013 Legal Opinion on the matter because I believe that a transparent discussion will follow and allow the city to resolve the matter and move forward.
I do not believe that the ordinance approved by the voters of North Canton on November 6, 2012, should be challenged [emphasis added]. I believe that we should adopt the ordinance by personal practice in this term and ratify it for future effective terms.
The recent discovery that four councilmembers deceptively continued to use the City's health plan after the December 1, 2013, deadline was termed unconscionable in a March 2, 2014, Repository editorial titled, "Citizen's request for public records led to disclosures."
A previous Repository editorial on February 21, 2014, titled, "Residents should be mad as hell," the Editorial Board asks, "In what universe can officials simply bury legislation approved
by voters and pretend it doesn
't exist? 

Four members of North Canton City Council have attempted to fix the problem they created when they ignored the outcome of a citywide vote in 2012. Most taxpayer monies have been returned to City coffers. And I thank you.
Admitting a wrong is hard for anyone, even harder for public officials who know the admission of wrong is going to undercut the trust the public has in them and in the institution they are a part of.
In recent weeks, City Council has agreed to abide by the 2012 Initiative, which we all know is a duly enacted North Canton Ordinance that became effective December 2, 2012.
Although taxpayers have recovered most of the public funds that were taken to provide insurance in violation of the ordinance, the next question that presents itself to this body is this: Should North Canton City Council expend taxpayer funds fighting the taxpayers in a lawsuit?
The return of thousands of dollars to the city coffers by four Councilmembers and public apologies is recognition of the Healthcare Ordinance passed by the voters of North Canton. What will be gained in fighting the taxpayers at this point? You and members of Council must show voters that you respect the election process by ending the subversion that has gone on.
The residents you are sworn to represent will gain nothing from any litigation on this issue. Council will be abdicating their duty to safeguard and spend public monies wisely if City Council chooses to challenge the Healthcare Ordinance.
I ask at this time that City Council follow the expressed position taken by North Canton Mayor David Held and not challenge the ordinance approved by voters on November 6, 2012, and codify the ordinance passed by the voters.
It is not worth the financial expense to taxpayers nor is it worth the further erosion of trust of City Council or the loss of political capital that you yourself will suffer 

Thank you,
Chuck Osborne, Resident
City of North Canton

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Distinguished Ohio Law Firm Recommends City NOT Enter Into Economic Development Agreement


Prepared Comments Made to
NORTH CANTON CITY COUNCIL
February 18, 2014

        There is an issue that has been hanging over the heads of North Canton City Hall for many months and that is whether or not North Canton should ratify the proposed Mutual Economic Development Agreement with the City of Canton and the townships of Jackson and Plain. 

        One could speculate why there has been such a long delay on this decision, but one thing is certain. There can be no do-overs on this. Get it wrong and the beneficiaries in this agreement will get the last laugh and your children, when they are the age you are now, will still be bound by the terms of this agreement and asking long after you have departed this world why anyone would have accepted such an agreement. 
         Mayor Held retained the services of an expert in the field of economic development from the distinguished Ohio Law Firm of Bricker & Eckler. This firm has practiced in the field of economic development for several decades. 
 
        Christiane Schmenk, the attorney from Bricker & Eckler who analyzed the Mutual Economic Development Agreement, is herself a former Mayor of Marysville, Ohio. 
 
        Marysville, a community of approximately 22,000 residents in the greater metropolitan area of Columbus has a very interesting philosophy that I think is applicable while we all discuss the merits of this agreement. 
 
        The philosophical statement on Marysville’s Website is found under the tab titled Government and the tab titled, Residents. The dropdown box for each of those tabs reveals a link labeled, Transparency in Government. The opening statement of this page reads, “Elected officials and city executives have a responsibility to the taxpayers and members of the community to make sound decisions that benefit present and future generations.” 
 
        This is a philosophy that is especially applicable today as the fifty-year term of the proposed agreement in question will impact future generations, and then some. 
 
        I ask that all council members put aside loyalties and politics as they consider their vote on the economic development agreement. I ask that you consider the analysis and the recommendations of the expert who has been asked to advise you and the administration on the best course of action. 
 
        The six-page analysis is an informative and enlightening report. In summary, the report states that “the Agreement is incomplete…. [and asks the City] to give up future rights… without the ability to understand what it might gain in return…. [The agreement] lacks critical information that would allow it to make an informed decision whether the Agreement is in its citizens’ best interests.” 
 
        The report continues with “…this Agreement is more aptly characterized as an ‘anti-annexation’ agreement, not an economic development agreement.” 
 
        In conclusion, Christiane Schmenk, the legal expert states unequivocally “…I recommend against entering into this Agreement.” 
 
        I do not believe there is a single individual on this council body who has the necessary credentials to evaluate the proposed Economic Development Agreement to the extent of Mrs. Schmenk. 
 
        Experts in a wide range of specialized fields of endeavor are consulted for their expertise. We seek them for assistance in making decisions in which our knowledge is limited or nonexistent. We seek out medical doctors, engineers, lawyers, pharmacists, CPAs, and hundreds of other specialists when we need sound advice and information. 
 
        One does not seek out experts for advice and then disregard the advice that is provided. 
 
        The citizens of North Canton would expect this council to abide by the expert advice you have received. 
 
        Moving forward on the recommendation you have received from the Law Firm of Brickler & Eckler is your duty.  Vote NO on the Mutual Economic Development Agreement with the City of Canton and the townships of Jackson and Plain. 
 

Thank you,
Chuck Osborne, Resident
City of North Canton

Monday, January 27, 2014

Proposed Elimination of Verbatim Minutes Diminishes Citizens’ Oversight of the Actions of Public Officials


Prepared Comments Made to
NORTH CANTON CITY COUNCIL
January 27, 2014 

            Accurate and complete records are vital building blocks of our history. They should not be filtered, interpreted, or summarized by any individual.  

            As an example, I would like to quote from a General Affidavit submitted to the U.S. Pension Office in support of a request for a pension for my great-grandmother, Nancy Lindenberg, a widow of a veteran of the Civil War. It is dated June 26, 1910. The statement was submitted by Starling Marshall, a family friend who served several terms as a Kentucky legislator in the early part of the twentieth century. Mr. Marshall states: 

            “We were well acquainted with Christian Lindenberg, alias Christian Linburg, and Nancy Lindenberg living on adjoining farms, residences within hailing distance of each other, and know that Claimant and the soldier lived together until his death, and that they were never divorced, but lived and cohabited as man and wife, up to date of his death, May 10, 1910. We also know that Soldier left no other child or children claimed for by this or any other marriage, but Harry Lindenberg who was under 16 years of age at time of Soldier’s death. On the filing of her claim May 20, 1910, we know this from an intimate acquaintance, seeing Claimant or Soldier almost daily for several years up to his death. We also know that Claimant has not remarried since Soldiers [sic] death.” 

What would we be left with today if those words on this affidavit had been summarized or paraphrased? I am certainly glad that the National Archives in Washington, D.C., has not summarized or paraphrased records entrusted to its care. 

A speaker’s words, spoken or written, are his/her own and not for someone to interpret. Would anyone want his/her words filtered or re-interpreted and then preserved in said manner for posterity? I think not. 

In actuality, the demands of summarizing or paraphrasing someone’s words would require more time and effort than simply transcribing those words verbatim, not to mention the risk of inaccuracies introduced by restatement.  

As public officials conducting the public’s business, why would you even consider letting someone summarize or paraphrase your words on public issues? Verbatim transcripts protect you. Why would you want to open the door and let someone put words in your mouth?  

Like the words of Starling Marshall that I read to you, your words will be preserved for generations to read. I am sure each of you would prefer that an accurate complete record of your words be kept. 

The proposal to eliminate transcribed verbatim minutes of Council meetings, Planning Commission meetings, Zoning and Building Board of Appeal meetings, and Appeals and Variances meetings is a mistake and will diminish citizens’ oversight of the actions of public officials. 

Ending the tried and true practice of verbatim minutes does not bring about any cost savings for taxpayers as acknowledged by Council President Jon Snyder in answer to a question asked by Councilmember Peters.  

How can cutting corners and diminishing the historical account of the actions of North Canton City government benefit citizens and taxpayers? 

Last Tuesday, Law Director Fox repeatedly said that audio recordings, which would be maintained in the “Cloud” under the proposed elimination of verbatim transcripts, could be taken to a transcriptionist and transcribed at a rate of $200 per hour. 

Anyone who has observed a transcriptionist transcribe a meeting would observe the transcriptionist using a transcription machine, one that is pre-programmed with the names of expected speakers at the meeting. The transcription machine works in tandem with the transcriptionist’s own recording of a meeting. 

 I called Premier Court Reporting and talked to a transcriptionist and was told in no uncertain terms that transcribing a meeting which she had not attended and recorded would be extremely difficult. Further, she could not certify such a transcript. In short, a citizen could not obtain an accurate transcript as stated in this scenario, at any cost. 

It is very disheartening to hear North Canton’s Law Director claim that a citizen could simply take an audio recording and have it transcribed verbatim when that is not really feasible. 

North Canton City Council has kept verbatim minutes of Council meetings for decades. It is a permanent, accurate record of the action of public officials. 

Yesterday I spoke to Daryl Revoldt, former Mayor, past President of City Council and longtime member of North Canton City Council regarding the proposal to discontinue the practice of transcribing verbatim minutes of City officials at public meetings. 

Mr. Revoldt was unequivocally opposed to the proposal to end verbatim transcripts and told me that I had permission to present his position against this proposal. He also gave me his cell phone number to give to many of you on this Council body so each of you could hear his position on why verbatim minutes have served North Canton and its citizens well.  

I ask that Ordinances No. 13-14, 14-14, 15-14, and 16-14 to end verbatim transcription of Council meetings, Planning Commission meetings, Zoning and Building Board of Appeal meetings, and Appeals and Variances meetings be tabled or voted down.  

Without summarizing or paraphrasing on my part, Mr. Revoldt’s last words to me on this proposal were:  “Ending verbatim transcripts would be an unwise decision.” 
 

Thank you,
Chuck Osborne, Resident
City of North Canton

Monday, November 25, 2013

Why is the North Canton Law Director Allowed to Intimidate Citizens and Dominate All Dialog at City Council Meetings?


 

Prepared Comments Made to
NORTH CANTON CITY COUNCIL
November 25, 2013 

            As most everyone in this room is aware, North Canton City Council is made up of seven elected representatives. Members of City Council are elected from each of the City’s four wards and three at-Large council members are elected by the voters citywide. 

            Anyone in attendance at a North Canton City Council meeting of yesteryear would be totally at a loss to explain the transformation of a North Canton City Council meeting of today.  

            As a member of North Canton City Council in the early part of the last decade (2001-2003), I would like to contrast the transformation I have witnessed in how City Council meetings have changed in this short time.  

In the good old days, as I would call them, citizens were allowed to speak at the start and conclusion of all four Monday night council meetings. Citizens were welcomed and their input on any issue they desired was heard without time limits or intimidation. 

            Today, that is not the case as citizens are time-limited and can only speak on alternating Monday night council meetings and only at the outset of a Council meeting. Council members show little interest in what residents have to say and disparage citizens after they have spoken. 

            Many times I have seen citizens attend a City Council meeting hoping to address their Council representatives in an open forum only to discover that their interest in the process of government occurred on the wrong Monday night meeting of Council. This happened to a resident last week when she was denied a chance to speak openly at last week’s public Council meeting on an issue under discussion by Council. 

            And of course, residents of the City who pick the correct Monday night meeting to address North Canton City Council will run headlong into North Canton’s new Law Director, Tim Fox, when their five minutes are up.  

Are we paying Mr. Fox the salary he is paid to be a timekeeper and to intimidate citizens of North Canton? 

            Why is Law Director Fox dominating nearly all the dialog on issues before City Council? 

This is not how North Canton City Council meetings were conducted in the good old days! 

            Mr. Snyder, you are the President of City Council. It is your responsibility to conduct City Council meetings. I am at a loss to explain how or why you have chosen to allow the City’s Law Director to take control of council meetings.  

The same question applies to the rest of the members of City Council. 

Mr. Fox is NOT an elected representative of the voters of North Canton.  

            Law Directors in the good old days only spoke at City Council meetings when their legal expertise was requested. Law Director Fox should not be making policy and dominating discussions that come before Council. Many of you have seen how past Law Directors conducted themselves: Roy Batista, Tom Treadon, Randy McFarren, Paul Pusateri, and Hans Nilges.  

North Canton Law Director Fox is out of control and his interferences during the meeting and domination of dialog on issues needs to come to an end. 

Switching topics, I would like to address two pieces of legislation that are to be voted on tonight.
 
            In regards to the proposed tax abatement for Insight Realty, LLC:

Mr. Snyder, at the end of last week’s meetings you announced that North Canton needed “revenue enhancement” and that you plan to recommend a Park Levy be placed on the ballot for North Canton taxpayers to consider next year. 

In light of the fact that citizens have heard all year long of the City’s financial plight and now your intention to place a Park Levy on the ballot in 2014, how can you justify a tax abatement for 15 years for Insight Realty, LLC? And to boot, Councilmember Mark Cerreta says that the intended recipients of the real property tax exemption already has a substantial presence in North Canton.  

Knowing the City’s financial plight and now knowing your intentions to ask taxpayers to support a new tax levy for City Parks while at the same time moving ahead with a tax exemption to Insight Reality is insulting to the citizens of North Canton. 

Ordinance No. 70-13 should be voted down.  

Lastly, I would like to address aspects of Ordinance No. 80-13 that propose to retitle the position of Chief Operator – Water Treatment Plant to Superintendent – Drinking Water Plant with a sizable increase in salary for the new position. 

For several years now, one half of the salaries of the City Administrator and the City Engineer have been paid out of the Water Fund. I seriously doubt that Mr. Grimes and Mr. Benekos spend half of their time on water issues. 

Paying general fund expenses out of enterprise water funds I believe is illegal. But assuming that the two highest paid City officials, the City Administrator and City Engineer, do indeed spend one-half of their time on water related issues, as their pay would indicate, why do the City’s taxpayers need to fund yet another high-paid position to deal with water issues, titled Superintendent – Water Treatment Plant? 

Ordinance No. 80-13 needs to be reworked and I would urge that it be tabled. Keep the present title of Chief Operator – Water Treatment Plant. There is no reason to create another high level position in water that will be filled with yet another patronage appointment by the Mayor. 
 

Thank you,
Chuck Osborne, Resident
City of North Canton

 

 

 

 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Political Patronage and Cronyism Alive and Thriving as North Canton Searches for Water Superintendent


Prepared Comments Made to
NORTH CANTON CITY COUNCIL
November 11, 2013 

            Since June of this year, the Held Administration has known that its long-time Water Superintendent was going to retire at the end of October leaving a vacancy that cannot be filled by just anyone off the street. Rich Steinhebel, the recently retired water superintendent had all the necessary water certifications to hold the position and many years of experience in the operation of a water treatment plant as well as in water distribution. Mr. Steinhebel was a hands-on working head of the City’s Water Treatment Plant. 

            One would think that over the last four months the Held Administration would be doing a publicized search for an individual with all the necessary qualifications but apparently that has not been the case. 

            Last week, while I was in attendance at a hearing before the Ohio Elections Commission in Columbus, of all places, I learned that Mayor Held had offered the top position, of what I would call North Canton’s Water Czar, to local attorney Warren Price. 

            Mayor Held, how does an attorney, with no certifications or experience in water treatment and water distribution merit consideration, let alone an offer of employment, as North Canton’s Water Czar?
 
            And Mr. Snyder, I must ask you the same thing as you were the one who broke the news to all of us at the Elections Commission when you approached attorney Warren Price alleging that Mr. Price had a conflict of interest and should recuse himself as the attorney  for Jamie McCleaster and Hillary Mueller. You stated that City Council was writing the job description for the position so Mr. Price could fill the vacancy as Superintendent. 

            Prior to the hearing before the Elections Commission, Mr. Price confirmed to all of us in attendance that he indeed had been approached by Mayor David Held and had been offered the position but that he, Mr. Price, had declined the offer some weeks earlier.  

The ploy to scare off legal representation for Mr. McCleaster and Mrs. Mueller failed. Mr. Price remained as their attorney.  

Sorry to say, but despite the unequivocal denial by Mr. Price that he had declined Mayor Held’s offer of the position, it was disheartening to watch the President of North Canton City Council Snyder continue to insist in the hearing that Warren Price had accepted the position. It appeared to me that the President of North Canton City Council was questioning the veracity of Mr. Price.  

If Mr. Price were indeed about to be confirmed as North Canton’s Water Czar, why would Mr. Price have agreed to represent Mr. McCleaster and Mrs. Mueller against you and Mrs. Kiesling?  

Mr. Snyder, why would you continue to question his integrity?  

Mrs. Kiesling, as Vice-President of City Council, I ask: Are you comfortable that the Administration would offer the Water Superintendent’s position to an individual with no technical expertise in water?  

I was further disheartened to watch Mr. Snyder waffle under oath during the hearing and proclaim he was unable to confirm for the Elections Commission his very own words from a recording of a North Canton City Council meeting.  

If the Held Administration and the highest ranking officials of North Canton City Council are not questioning the process of filling the critically important position of Water Superintendent for the City of North Canton, who is? 

When is North Canton going to implement improved hiring best practices when filling high level positions in the City?  

Why isn’t there a search process written into the city’s personnel procedures that outline the proper way in which high-level leadership positions are to be filled in the city?  

Why aren’t individuals expected to be technically qualified for the position they are offered? 

Why is the employment process in North Canton always cloaked in secrecy? 

Mayor Held, there is no manner of transparency and accountability in cronyism.  

Cronyism should not be the accepted method to finding qualified individuals to fill high-level leadership positions in the City of North Canton.  

Most certainly it is not a way to fill such a critically important position as North Canton’s Water Superintendent. 

North Canton leadership must do better than this!
 

Thank you,
Chuck Osborne, Resident
City of North Canton

Monday, September 30, 2013

North Canton Resorts to Extortion and Blackmail in the Name of Economic Development


 

Prepared Comments Made to
NORTH CANTON CITY COUNCIL
September 30, 2013
 
            I would like to address last week’s presentation regarding the proposed JEDD for Cain Toyota which is, in part, the basis for entering into a mutual economic agreement with the City of Canton and the townships of Plain and Jackson to be voted on tonight as Resolution No. 63-13. 

            I listened intently last Monday night and took close notes as Council President Snyder described the following: That Cain Motors could no longer meet their water needs with a well and that the City of North Canton was better positioned to extend a water line some great distance to Cain Motors as opposed to the City of Canton who would have to extend its waterline from 38th Street to provide water service. Mr. Snyder also said that Cain Motors would be afforded inside water rates in spite of the fact that Cain Toyota is outside the North Canton City limits. In exchange, Cain Motors would agree to the imposition of a two percent municipal income tax. 

            Wanting to dig deeper into the facts of this situation, I was able to meet the next morning with David Cain, the owner of Cain Motors. 

            I introduced myself to Mr. Cain and the first thing I said was, “I believe you are being blackmailed and I also believe the City of North Canton is being blackmailed.” Without hesitation Mr. Cain said, “I agree!” 

            What I learned next from Mr. Cain astounded me as he told me that his BMW dealership was presently a water customer of the City of North Canton and that the BMW dealership has received water from the City through a four-inch waterline for many years.  

I am very upset in the total misrepresentation of this entire situation at last week’s council meeting. North Canton has water lines already in place right across the street from Cain Motors and have been a North Canton water customer for years.  

Mr. Cain told me that when he built the BMW dealership several years earlier, he simply made a request for water services from North Canton and it was provided without delay.   

Mr. Cain related to me that his current request for expanded water service for his Toyota dealership has gone on for five months with numerous cost estimates from the City. Over the months of delay, he has appealed to State Representative Kirk Schuring and then to State Senator Scott Oelslager to prod North Canton into action. Three calls made to North Canton Mayor David Held for assistance were never returned. 

I am not sure when the idea of a JEDD was presented to Mr. Cain and the accompanying demand that an income tax be imposed, but Mr. Cain knew that the Toyota dealership could not open as scheduled without water service. As the weeks and months went by, he asked everyone he talked to why this wasn’t a simple business deal. North Canton has a product to sell and he wanted to buy it.

These demands on Cain Motors are nothing more than extortion and blackmail and I hope Mr. Cain seeks legal representation. 

North Canton has thousands of outside water customers. Are we going to let them become pawns in these games with the City of Canton and the townships of Plain and Jackson? 

The City of Canton is providing no services in this proposed JEDD and yet, like a mafia thug seeing easy money for the taking, they are slated to receive one third of the income tax collected for participating with Plain and Jackson Townships.  

This is not a collaboration of governments but a conspiracy of governments that border North Canton, designed to forever end annexations by North Canton in Plain and Jackson Township.  

Promises of additional income tax collections from the construction of two new hotels have been made to sell this pig-in-a-poke agreement. Hotels employ mostly minimum wage part-time employees. Not much in the way of income taxes here. And then you want to split it three ways?  

Extension of water service generally brings along with it annexations which allows North Canton to expand its borders in the future. The only other benefit to North Canton in extending water service outside the City is the added revenue from the higher outside water rates that subsidize inside rates, thus keeping water rates low for inside water users. 

For Mr. Cain, this was never about water rates but simply a need for more water. The offer of inside rates to an outside water user violates our long-standing water rate policy, is patently unfair to all North Canton water customers, and undermines the financial integrity of the City’s water fund. 

David Cain of Cain Motors has been very generous in supporting community events in North Canton and is known to many of you. I am stunned this City is treating Mr. Cain in this manner.  

North Canton water is enjoyed far beyond municipal boundaries. The City has spent decades putting in place this infrastructure. Do not now change course on all that this City has built. The current political climate will change in the future negating catastrophic proposals such as the one now before you.   

Consideration of this JEDD for Cain Motors by City Council simply makes this City and all of City Council a party to extortion and blackmail.  

I ask that you not pass Resolution No. 63-13. It simply moves the City closer to surrendering its autonomy as well as its prospects for a successful future.     

 
Thank you,
Chuck Osborne, Resident
City of North Canton

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Apparently North Canton City Council Places Loyalty to Its Members Above Service to City Residents


Prepared Comments Made to
NORTH CANTON CITY COUNCIL
September 16, 2013 

            Tonight I would like to address the poor attendance record of some members of North Canton City Council and make recommendations for legislation that will help to make Council attendance at public meetings more transparent and economically fair for taxpayers.  

            I have spoken privately to Council President Snyder on this subject on numerous occasions and recently to Mr. Peters, Chairman of Council’s Personnel & Safety Committee. 

            I will preface my remarks by stating that in my two-year term on City Council I do not recall any absences of the seven members of Council during the entire two-year term that was December 1, 2001, through November 30, 2003. Mr. Snyder has told me that is his recollection as well. 

            Sadly, that is not the case today with the members of the current City Council. 

Almost weekly there are at least one and sometimes two council members absent. On February 11, 2013, voting on legislation, scheduled for passage as “an emergency,” was delayed for an hour until a sixth member of Council arrived to garner the required minimum votes for passage. Apparently the declaration that legislation was needed as an emergency meant little for this late arriving member of Council. 

This situation was repeated at another Council meeting April 15, 2013, when only five of seven Council members were present to vote on “emergency legislation,” scheduled for passage at a Special Council meeting.  

More often than not, each week a vote is taken to excuse a Council member, sometimes two Council members, from scheduled meetings that require their attendance. Apparently North Canton City Council places loyalty to its members above service to City residents as members of Council are routinely excused. And whether a Council member is absent or not from a publicly scheduled meeting all members are paid just the same. 

How many of us in the real world get paid for not showing up for work? Rhetorical questions, as we all know that “no work means no pay” and that if one is habitually late or absent from work one will find him/her- self no longer employed. 

Two years ago, I began tracking the attendance of council members and this is what I have discovered: 

            Mr. Snyder, I would say you would qualify for a “gold star” as by my calculations you have missed or been tardy for only three of 127 publicly scheduled Council meetings which equates to 98% attendance. 

            Mr. Peters ranks second, missing or being tardy for eight out of 127 meetings, equating to 94% attendance. 

            Mr. Foltz ranks third, missing or being tardy for 9 out of 127 meetings, equating to 93% attendance. 

Mrs. Werren ranks fourth as she has missed or been tardy 6 out of the 65 meetings since her appointment in mid-term which equates to 91% attendance. 

Mr. Cerreta and Mr. Griffith tie for fifth as each has missed 13 out of 127 meetings which equates to 90% attendance. 

Mrs. Kiesling ranks at the bottom as she has missed or been tardy for 35 of 127 publicly scheduled Council meetings, equating to a 72% attendance rating. 

I guess I am getting old as I harken back to an earlier time period and remember when people had a different work ethic. We all remember an aging relative who would tell us how things used to work.
 
I would urge at this time that Council put in place legislation that requires the Clerk of Council to keep attendance of Council members at all publicly scheduled meetings. Further, I would ask that members of Council not be paid for meetings which they do not attend. 

I would also like to say that continuing to approve of non-attendance of Council members at publicly scheduled Council meetings could make Council party to what could be termed theft in office as the taxpayers are paying for services that are not being rendered as an ongoing matter of business. 

Mr. Snyder, I would like to thank you for a fine attendance record. For the rest of Council, you made a commitment to your constituents to represent them. Showing up four evenings a month for City Council meetings is what you promised your constituents and it the very least that the public expects from you.  

Members of North Canton City Council should show in every way that their loyalty is to City residents, first and foremost.
 

Thank you,
Chuck Osborne, Resident
City of North Canton