The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

Proposed laws and resolutions passed by local governments have traditionally been weighed down with legal jargon that makes little sense to the public, who often has to navigate around such words as “whereas,” “hereby,” “herewith,” and “thereby” in an attempt to understand what is actually being passed.

In an effort to make the documents less confusing, Oregon is looking at improving the language of proposed measures on their agendas to make them clearer and more transparent to the public.

Administrator Mike Beazley said communities across the country are drawing up their proposed ordinances “in plain language.”

“Other than for ceremonial ordinances or resolutions, it would eliminate the `whereas’s and replace it with the plain language summary and background. It’s something I want to do. Ultimately, it’s council’s call. Instead of poetry, we’d have prose,” said Beazley.

When the city buys a truck, for instance, the summary background would note why the purchase was needed, that there’s money in the budget to purchase the truck, and that the city received bids to purchase the truck “in a plain language system rather than `whereas, whereas, whereas,’” said Beazley.

Northwood City Council voted 4-1 in favor of an ordinance that amends the city’s taxation code to eliminate the 10 percent income tax disbursement into the capital replacement fund and reallocate it into the general fund.

Currently, there is approximately $1 million in the capital replacement fund. Finance Director Toby Schroyer said the 10 percent income tax disbursement into the fund each year was approximately $300-$400,000. Since all capital replacement expenditures have been frozen, the $1 million will remain in the fund and be used only for emergencies.

The ordinance only requires future capital replacement disbursements be reallocated to the general fund.

The city hopes to reduce the strain on the general budget, which has been cut as a result of fewer income tax collections in the last 12 months.

Before the ordinance, the city had disbursed 70 percent of income taxes into the general fund, 20 percent into the capital improvements fund, and 10 percent into the capital replacement fund.

Now that council has voted to eliminate the capital replacement fund, 80 percent of the income tax will be disbursed into the general fund, and 20 percent into the capital improvements fund.

Oregon City Council unanimously agreed at a meeting April 26 to create the full-time position of “environmental specialist” for three years to develop, implement, coordinate and manage the city’s Stormwater Inflow and Infiltration (I&I) Reduction Program.

The program is a requirement of the city’s National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit that must be established by June, 2012, according to Public Service Director Paul Roman.

The position will also help the department with other environmental issues related to the wastewater treatment plant’s NPDES permit requirements, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency stormwater phase II regulations, Wolf Creek Riparian Corridor project and Big Ditch Wetland Mitigation documentation, inspection, and reporting, according to Roman.

The main reason to create the position instead of hiring a consultant is to save money by not paying overhead and profit, as well as travel expenses to a company or firm, according to Roman.

Voters in the Woodmore Local School District Tuesday will decide 2.99-mill, 5-year emergency levy to cover the cost of operating expenses.

If passed, the levy would generate about $450,000 annually, according to district figures.

The levy would replace a 4-mill levy scheduled to expire at the end of the year.

Voters in Sandusky County will see a 0.8-mill, 5-year additional property tax levy on the ballot. If approved, it would be used to fund mental health counseling and related services for children and adults.

The townships of Ballville, Madison, Rice, Townsend, Riley, Woodville, Green Creek, York, Scott, Washington, Jackson, and Sandusky will have electric aggregation issues on their ballots.

Townships that approve aggregation will be allowed to form buying pools for purchasing electrical power.

Residents who don’t want to be included in a pool will be allowed to opt out if the measure is passed in his or her township.

 

Four Waite High School graduates were honored as Distinguished Alumni at the 46th Annual Purple and Gold Dinner celebration held April 17 at St. Michael Centre, Oregon.

The 2010 inductees included Romules L. Durant, class of 1994 (education and community service); Victor Kissoff, class of 1954 (business and community service); Michael D. Lorton, class of 1972 (medicine, law and community service); and Stanly R. Starkey, class of 1965 (business and community service).

Dr. Romulus L. Durant was born to Benjamin and Carolynne Durant on Dec. 11, 1975. He and his siblings became very involved in athletics, helping his parents, who coached at both Franklin and Birmingham elementary schools.

He played most of his little league football for the East Side Raiders, where he became known for wearing his jersey labeled “Hit Man.”

At Waite, he earned multiple awards for athletics as a three-year varsity letterman and two-year captain. His prowess earned him team awards of “Best Linebacker” and “Most Valuable Defensive Player” three times. In addition, he was twice voted All-City and All-District Teams, and also received All-Ohio distinction for his play as a middle linebacker. He earned a football scholarship to the University of Toledo, where he was a four-year varsity letter winner and was twice awarded the Jon Binder Award, given for exemplifying true heart and courage.

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