2012-12-01 / News

Mayor: Time to tweak Buckeye Lake Village Charter

By Scott Rawdon

BUCKEYE LAKE – It may be time to take a look at Buckeye Lake’s charter and make some adjustments, said Buckeye Lake Mayor Rick Baker Monday night.

“We’ve run into things where we don’t have the flexibility,” he said. Baker said the current charter can make it difficult to establish some administrative positions, and he’d like to review the procedures and possibly change them.

Overall, Baker said the village’s charter could use “little tweaks here and there.” He said the City of Newark revisits its charter and makes changes regularly. Baker said village council would need to appoint members to a charter review committee, and then the public would vote to approve or reject any proposed changes. Baker said he didn’t have any specific timeline for reviewing the charter, other than to ask council members to consider it. “I just threw it out there,” he said.

Council member Kaye Hartman agreed that this is a good time to review the entire charter and she hopes the process of selecting a review committee would begin in January. “This coming year is the year we should be looking at it,” she said. “I’m anxious to look at it.” She said the village dynamics have changed since the charter was written roughly 10 years ago. Hartman said she believes the charter, by its own rules, is supposed to be reviewed every five years and she’s been saying for a while that it’s time to fulfill that requirement.

When asked of there are any specific parts of the charter Hartman would like to see addressed, she said, “I think the whole thing practically needs to be rewritten. Hopefully, we’ll move ahead on (a review) pretty quickly. I think that’s important.”

Hartman said for those selected to be on a charter review committee, the experience is “intense,” but represents a relatively short time commitment.

In other village news:

• Director of Development Mike Cassidy said Monday night that he believes two derelict homes will be demolished in December, specifically 32 Lighthouse Lane, and 376 Myers Ave. A tree fell on the Myers Avenue home. Cassidy believes a home at 405 Union Avenue will be the next to be removed followed by the “tree house” next to Our Lakeside Diner on Ohio 79. A tree has literally grown through the structure.

Previously, Cassidy said investor Don Dick purchased the Holtsberry Addition property, which encompasses all the property from Bangkok City to Mike’s Auto, then along Grandstaff to the North Shore Boat Ramp. He said Dick wants to improve the property. Cassidy said the new owner wouldn’t ask any of the existing businesses to leave, but he will want the businesses to continue maintaining their properties or go somewhere else.

Tuesday, Baker said he was aware that the former Rib Shack building on that block was torn down, as well as a couple old sheds. Baker said he expects the village will work with Dick to remove a couple derelict houses on the block.

• Baker said the village is working with Big-O Refuse on a contract renewal without a price increase. He said he’s been very satisfied with Big-O’s service to the village. “I’m amazed what they’ll pick up,” he said.

• Monday night, Police Chief Ron Small said the department invites residents or anyone with knowledge of local crimes to contact the department online at buckeyelakepolice@yahoo.com. He said some people don’t want to be seen talking to police directly about a crime that’s occurred or something they have seen or heard that may help the department solve a case.

Baker said he hopes people take advantage of the service. “We’ve had some problems with theft,” he said. “It kind of wakes you up.”

• Council member Clay Carroll said he had a proposal to help appease residents who are upset that village council members won’t directly address them during the public comment portions of council meetings. Council President Charlene Hayden said previously that council will not address questions or comments until after the meeting or later so the meeting doesn’t become a heated and/or lengthy exchange between residents and council members.

Carroll suggested hearing out residents, and then refer the question or comment to the council committee chair that’s best suited to answer the question. That committee chair would have the option of answering the question during the council member comment section at the end of the council meeting or, if research is necessary, answer the question relatively early in the following meeting. The rules committee will discuss Carroll’s proposal.

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