COUNCIL PRESIDENT TOWNSEND B I'd like to welcome all of you to Massillon City Council for Wednesday, January 8, 2014.  We have in attendance with us this evening several city officials I don’t have my seeing glasses on these are for reading so I will acknowledge the mayor, the law director, the chief of police and fire chief, safety service director, street superintendant okay, community development director, I can’t see a thing wastewater treatment plant director, Doug Nist and the rest.  If I forgot you please forgive me and Ken Koher, Terri Argent and Beverly Lewis okay, I believe that’s it.  Did I call everyone?  Okay, thank you, thank you. I’m sorry I didn’t bring my distance glasses today.  For those of you who like to follow tonight’s meeting we have agendas over to the left for anyone like I as I stated who wish to follow the meeting.  Also if you look on the agenda under item #5 on the agenda is where the public can speak on any item that appears on the agenda and then under item #17 is where the public can speak on any item that does not appear on the agenda.  I'd also like to remind anyone with a cell phone please turn it off or turn it very far down. 


Roll call for the evening found the following Council Members present:  Milan Chovan, Sarita Cunningham-Hedderly, Michelle Del Rio-Keller, Nancy Halter, Ed Lewis, Paul Manson, Andrea Scassa, Megan Starrett and Shaddrick Stinson.

Thus giving a roll call vote of 9 present.


COUNCILMAN CHOVAN B Gave the invocation for tonight.  


COUNCILMAN CHOVAN – Chairman of the Police and Fire Committee led those in attendance in the Pledge of Allegiance. 

COUNCIL PRESIDENT TOWNSEND B Okay, before we get started I would like to make an amendment to the agenda.  We did receive the parks and other committee nominees from the mayor however our council clerk received them today which they were late and our plan was to put them on January 21 agenda.  However I learned today that I believe tomorrow the historical preservation meeting is set and next week the parks and rec. meeting is set for I believe January 16th.  So I want to make an amendment to the agenda and put those appointees on the agenda and I can put those under reports from city officials that would be actually letter C, A is auditor’s support and we’re going to move the mayor’s state of the city address to the end of our council meeting so she can have time to deliver that to us.  So actually it will be item C or group C of that.  Okay, anything else.  Okay, Resolution No. 1 is simply a resolution that will if vote yes we will accept to keep Mary Beth as our council clerk.  This is done every two years after the election cycle its customary it’s nothing new.  This is how she keeps her job.  Okay, with that said Madame Clerk, Resolution No. 1.

RESOLUTION NO. 1 B 2014                     BY:   COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE 

Appointing Mary Beth Bailey as Clerk of Massillon City Council and establishing salary for said position.


COUNCIL PRESIDENT TOWNSEND B Okay, as committee as a whole so I would accept Paul Manson that is your motion to accept Mary Beth and seconded by Councilman Chovan.  Roll call please.

COUNCILMAN MANSON moved for suspension of the rules and passage, seconded by Councilman Chovan.

The rules were suspended by a roll call vote of 9 yes.


COUNCIL PRESIDENT TOWNSEND B Thank you, Resolution No. 1 has passed and congratulations Mary Beth.  Okay, the next one is

COUNCIL CLERK BAILEY – I need to take my oath.

COUNCIL PRESIDENT TOWNSEND B Where’s Perry?  Perry, she needs to take her oath, okay.  Mary Beth, she needs to take her oath of office.  Okay.

LAW DIRECTOR STERGIOS -  Well, I can do it.  I said it twelve times the other night I think I can alright raise your right and repeat after me.

At this time Mary Beth Bailey took her oath of office as Massillon City Council Clerk.


COUNCIL PRESIDENT TOWNSEND B Okay, now we can move onto letter B this is the nomination of election of President Pro-Tem of Council.  And if I can recall from the meetings where we had to elect a Pro-Tem I believe it was done by ballot.  Is that correct after we after we have in the past if someone makes a motion that they’re willing to accept the position then at that point it goes you know whoever you chose say if we had two council members that wishes to be Pro-Tem and then at that point you guys will complete your selection on a piece of paper.  That would be the ballot.  So we need someone who wish to be Pro-Tem to make their selves known.  We have Paul Manson is there anyone else?  Do we have to do a ballot now? 

LAW DIRECTOR STERGIOS -  If you only have one nomination you can just do a voice vote. 

COUNCIL PRESIDENT TOWNSEND B Okay, that’s fair enough.  We only have one nomination which is Councilman Paul Manson I think we need a roll call to accept...

COUNCILMAN LEWIS B Point of order.


COUNCILMAN LEWIS B We don’t have a nomination we have someone that’s willing but no nomination.  Someone on the floor here has to nominate him.


COUNCILWOMAN SCASSA B I nominate Paul Manson for Pro-Tem.

COUNCIL PRESIDENT TOWNSEND B And we have that nomination so roll call to accept.



COUNCIL PRESIDENT TOWNSEND B Second by Councilman Chovan.  Okay, we’re all set?  Roll call to accept Paul Manson as our 2014 President of Council, President Pro-Tem of Council.  Roll call please.

Roll call vote of 9 yes to elect Councilman Paul Manson as President Pro-Tem.

COUNCIL PRESIDENT TOWNSEND B Okay, well, welcome Mr. Manson, your Pro-Tem.  Let’s move on to C adoption of council committee assignments.  Now does everyone have a copy the revised copy of the committee assignments?  Where the change were that was made last week was that the revised okay, okay.  I need a motion to accept the committee assignments.  Motion by Councilman Lewis, seconded by Councilman Manson.  Roll call to adopt the new committee assignments.

Roll call vote of 9 yes for the adoption of the committee assignments for 2014.

COUNCIL PRESIDENT TOWNSEND B Okay and as you can see I kind of jumped ahead of myself with the Invocation and the Pledge of Allegiance cause this is my first experience having to select Pro-Tems and bring Mary Beth onboard and things of that sort.  But I don’t think its going to mess with anything.  We can move onto #4.


COUNCIL PRESIDENT TOWNSEND - Madame Clerk, are the minutes of the previous meeting transcribed and open for public viewing?  (Yes, they are)  Are there any additions or corrections to the minutes?  If not the minutes stand approved as written. 



COUNCIL PRESIDENT TOWNSEND - Alright, we’ll move into introduction of ordinances Ordinance No. 1.

COUNCILMAN MANSON – Point of order.


COUNCILMAN MANSON – Yes, Mr. President, I’d just like to discuss something for a moment here..


COUNCILMAN MANSON – And you can cut me off if it gets too lengthy.  We had some controversy about the temporary budget that we passed on December 16th and I just wanted to bring a few points up here.  I don’t like to see things get too crazy and too out of hand and I and you’ve heard me complaining the whole month of December everybody that’s heard me.  We had six I went through it today we had six budgets proposed to us from sometime in October until the end we had two different things on the 16th of December that we talked about.  We even went into executive session to discuss some of it.  I even asked some questions out here before we went to a vote and we passed what we thought was a budget that adjusted our council clerk’s salary from the year before because we felt that it was something that just was not fair in what we had done.  And the administration said that we did not amend their budget and I really don’t want to get to the end of a big disagreement about that.  But I’ve been talking with the law director and I’ve looked at a lot of things and anybody that wants to look at the paperwork like I said we had six budgets handed to us on December 9th myself, Mr. Slagle and Mr. Peters signed to put a budget on for the 16th without evening having any a budget in hand said it would be coming later the information would come to us later on the 9th we made it clear what we wanted in that budget as far as how we were handling the council clerk.  I discussed this with the law director and some other people on council and I believe that after talking with them and talking to the auditor’s office that we can clear this up before we put the permanent budget place permanent budget in place by the end of March.  And I don’t think its something that we have to do right now we don’t have to revisit it we don’t have to bring another ordinance right now I just believe the best way for us to handle this right now is Mr. Lewis is going to be chairman of finance that he remembers knows what we talked about and we had no disagreement.  We had we thought we were voting on it as that and it was a unanimous vote.  So it would give the new people some time to kind of look at this thing a little bit and see what we were talking about.  But having said that I just want to let that alone I’d like to ask Mr. Lewis to correct that before we vote on the permanent budget or you know whatever we decide we want in there for that.  That’s it.

COUNCIL PRESIDENT TOWNSEND – Okay, Madame Clerk, Ordinance No. 1.

ORDINANCE NO. 1 - 2014                        BY:   STREETS, HIGHWAYS, TRAFFIC AND SAFETY

Authorizing the Director of Public Service and Safety of the City of Massillon, Ohio, to sign the Consent Legislation with the Ohio Department of Transportation for the D04-MOW FY 2014/02015, PID 96758, and declaring an emergency.



COUNCILWOMAN HALTER – Thank you, Mr. President.  This is an ordinance about its very simple it’s regarding Route 30 which is we all know is around the City of Massillon. The state has identified the need for mowing in that area.  They want us to sign off so that they can mow that area around Route 30.  There will be no City dollars spent for this so I am going to I’m planning on suspending the rules tonight unless there are some questions.

COUNCIL PRESIDENT TOWNSEND – Are there any questions for Councilwoman Halter?

COUNCILWOMAN HALTER moved for suspension of the rules and passage, seconded by Councilman Manson.

The rules were suspended by a roll call vote of 9 yes.


RESOLUTION NO. 2 – 2014                     BY:  COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE

Commending Donnie Peters, Jr., as a Member of City Council for the City of Massillon, Ohio.



COUNCILMAN MANSON – Yes, this is an ordinance recognizing Donnie Peters for his service to the City of Massillon and I’d just like to say it was a pleasure serving with him.  Not everyday but it was still a pleasure to serve with him. 

COUNCIL PRESIDENT TOWNSEND – Okay, I need a motion, what’s your motion Councilman Manson?

COUNCILMAN MANSON moved for suspension of the rules and passage, seconded by Councilman Lewis.

The rules were suspended by a roll call vote of 9 yes.


COUNCIL PRESIDENT TOWNSEND – Thank you, Madame Clerk, Resolution No. 2 – 2014 has passed.

RESOLUTION NO. 3 – 2014                     BY:  COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE

Commending Larry V. Slagle, as a Member of City Council for the City of Massillon, Ohio.



COUNCILMAN MANSON – Yes, thank you, Mr. President, I just like to say that I really would like to thank Mr. Slagle for the service he gave to Massillon and I’d also like to say what a great contrast it was between Mr. Peters and Mr. Slagle.  And to watch them initially I don’t think they really had a lot of respect for each other but as you saw the last two years they got along pretty well.  They, they still philosophically kind of opposites but they did finally develop a lot of respect for each other.  So I’d like to make a motion that we recognize Mr. Slagle Resolution 3.

COUNCILMAN MANSON moved for suspension of the rules and passage, seconded by Councilwoman Halter.

The rules were suspended by a roll call vote of 9 yes.


COUNCIL PRESIDENT TOWNSEND – Thank you, Madame Clerk, Resolution No. 3 – 2014 has passed.

RESOLUTION NO. 4 – 2014                     BY:  COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE

Commending Quenessa N. Hampton, as a Member of City Council for the City of Massillon, Ohio.



COUNCILMAN MANSON – Thank you, Mr. President.  I’d just like to say that Quenessa if she was only here a short time but I can tell you myself that I have a lot of respect for her.  I thought she did a very, very good job and I think that as a younger person she’s going to do very well in life.  I have no problem Shaddrick being here right today but I would have had no problem if Quenessa would have stuck around.  I thought she was an excellent council person. 

COUNCILMAN MANSON moved for suspension of the rules and passage, seconded by Councilman Chovan.

The rules were suspended by a roll call vote of 9 yes.


COUNCIL PRESIDENT TOWNSEND – Thank you, Madame Clerk, Resolution No. 4 – 2014 has passed.




A.  COPECO - $806.00
B.  WALTER DRANE - $5,291.92

COUNCIL PRESIDENT TOWNSEND – Thank you, Madame Clerk, I need a motion from Councilman Lewis to accept to pay the bills. 

COUNCILMAN LEWIS – Just a quick question. 


COUNCILMAN LEWIS – The bill from Walter Drane is that a typical bill that we receive every year or two years?


COUNCILMAN LEWIS – Okay and that’s about the typical amount is around the estimated amount?

COUNCIL PRESIDENT TOWNSEND – It’s his company that puts our ordinances and resolutions online.

COUNCILMAN LEWIS – I’m just I guess I’m asking is it typically around the $4,500 to $5,000 mark every year do we think?

COUNCIL CLERK BAILEY – It depends on how many changes had been to the code.  Yeah, it could be higher.

COUNCILMAN LEWIS – Yeah, I know it’s like 136 pages.  Yeah, then I go ahead I will move that we pay the bills. Seconded by Councilwoman Scassa.

Roll call vote of 9 yes to pay the bills.

COUNCIL PRESIDENT TOWNSEND – Thank you, Madame Clerk, the clerk will pay the bills and charge them to the proper account.



COUNCIL PRESIDENT TOWNSEND – Okay, as I stated the mayor will give her address to the city at the end of the meeting.  However, I do need a motion from Councilman Lewis to accept the auditor’s report.

COUNCILMAN LEWIS  – I move that we accept the auditor’s report for December 2013.

COUNCIL PRESIDENT TOWNSEND – Thank you, and seconded by Councilwoman Scassa.  Roll call to accept the auditor’s report.

Roll call vote of 9 yes to accept the auditor’s report for December 2013.

COUNCIL PRESIDENT TOWNSEND – Alright, thank you, as I stated we made a little adjustment to the agenda from the 4 appointments to the board and you guys don’t have a copy I don’t think so because it was planned on preserving this until January 21st.  But I’m going to read off the names and the boards if its okay with you guys.  We have:

Jeffrey Thornberry to the Health District Board
Robert Spencer to the Health District Board
Phil Elum to the Historical Preservation Commission
Bob Yund to the Historical Preservation Commission
Jeffrey R. Day to the Historical Preservation Commission
Robyn Bloom to the Historical Preservation Commission
Bob Richards to the Historical Preservation Commission
Council representative Andrea Scassa to the Historical Preservation Commission
Dave Irwin to the Parks & Recreation Board
David Gallagher to the Parks & Recreation Board

COUNCIL PRESIDENT TOWNSEND – Are there any questions?  There are no questions okay, I need a motion…

LAW DIRECTOR STERGIOS – Well the park and rec. board appointments need council approval. 

COUNCIL PRESIDENT TOWNSEND – Right (Okay) and the historical preservation (Yeah) they’re kind of all bunched together.  So I need a motion from Councilwoman Del Rio to accept the appointments to the boards.

COUNCILWOMAN DEL RIO-KELLER – All of the boards or just park and rec.?

COUNCIL PRESIDENT TOWNSEND – Pretty much well not including health…


COUNCIL PRESIDENT TOWNSEND  – But for historical preservation and parks and recreation board.

COUNCILWOMAN DEL RIO-KELLER made a motion to accept the appointments that Council President read for the Historic Preservation Commission as well as the two appointees to the Park and Recreation Board.   Seconded by Councilman Lewis.

Roll call vote of 9 yes to accept the Mayor’s appointments to the Historical Preservation Commission and the Parks and Recreation Board Commission.


COUNCIL PRESIDENT TOWNSEND – Are there any reports of committees? 


COUNCIL PRESIDENT TOWNSEND – Any resolutions or requests of council members?  Councilman Manson?

COUNCILMAN MANSON – Yes, just something I’d like to bring up here.  I’m going to be talking about it at the committee meeting Monday.  I had a conversation yesterday with Mr. Herncane from the community development and if you saw they had a Planning Commission meeting today at like 4:30 and there was a rezoning for University Drive has to do with the Ashland University facility.  Lemmon and Lemmon that want to purchase that and do some senior living and they’re asking to move that forward as quickly as we could.  Having said that its going to take three readings it will take a public hearing because of the rezoning and Mr. Herncane knows that the council rules say that things have to be in by Wednesday and he asked that we waive that and I said that I would bring that forward on Monday.  Like I said it was going three readings we’ll have six different meetings to discuss it if anybody has anything they want to discuss but we want to try and move that along.  Ashland wants to find out because of their deal with Drage and Lemmon and Lemmon wants to start on that.  So…

COUNCIL PRESIDENT TOWNSEND – Alright, thank you.  And I would like to remind council members on January 13th at 6:00pm Mr. Max Uhl from the State Auditor’s Office will be here to discuss the performance audit.  So mark your calendars for that. 

COUNCILMAN CHOVAN –  At what time?

COUNCIL PRESIDENT TOWNSEND – 6:00pm.  Okay, let’s move right along.  We’re now at second readings.





Amending CHAPTER 121 “COUNCIL” of the Codified Ordinances of the City of Massillon, by enacting a new Section 121.02(b) Rule 8.1 “Powers and Duties”, and declaring an emergency.



COUNCILWOMAN SCASSA – Thank you, Mr. President, second reading.


COUNCIL PRESIDENT TOWNSEND – Ordinance No. 157 has received second reading.  

ORDINANCE NO. 158 - 2013                    BY:   STREETS, HIGHWAYS, TRAFFIC AND SAFETY 

Authorizing the Director of Public Service and Safety of the City of Massillon, Ohio, to sign the Consent Legislation with the Ohio Department of Transportation for the D04-Herbicidal Spraying FY 2015, PID 96977, and declaring an emergency.



COUNCILWOMAN HALTER – Thank you, Mr. President, this is similar ordinance to the one that we just passed except this is regarding spraying along the road.  So if there are any questions we’ll get them answered tonight otherwise I would like to go ahead and suspend the rules.

COUNCIL PRESIDENT TOWNSEND – Okay, are there any questions?  Do you have a question Mr. Chovan?

COUNCILMAN CHOVAN –  Yes, thank you, it says for herbicidal spraying for fiscal year 2015 so we’re voting for that now for next year’s contract is that what this is?

COUNCIL PRESIDENT TOWNSEND – Would you like to call someone up?

COUNCILWOMAN HALTER – I’d like to call Mr. Dylewski up please.

ENGINEER DYLEWSKI – Mr. President, members of council, Ms. Halter?

COUNCILWOMAN HALTER – Mr. Chovan had a question.

COUNCILMAN CHOVAN – Yeah, on the ordinance I mean it says here that we want to sign consent legislation for the herbicidal spraying fiscal year 2015.

ENGINEER DYLEWSKI – That’s correct.  Their fiscal year is always run a year behind so.

COUNCILMAN CHOVAN – Are they June to June or are they actually a calendar year?

ENGINEER DYLEWSKI – They call it ‘15 for fiscal year its actually ’14 even though its called ’15 it’s always a year behind.  (Okay)  But yeah it is for ’14.

COUNCILMAN CHOVAN – Yeah, okay, that’s what I was getting at for the activity in 2014.


COUNCILMAN CHOVAN – Alright, thank you.


COUNCIL PRESIDENT TOWNSEND – Alright, are there anymore questions for Mr. Dylewski?  Okay, Councilwoman Halter?

COUNCILWOMAN HALTER moved for suspension of the rules and passage, seconded by Councilman Manson.

The rules were suspended by a roll call vote of 9 yes.


COUNCIL PRESIDENT TOWNSEND – Thank you, Madame Clerk, Ordinance No. 158 has passed.  

ORDINANCE NO. 159 - 2013                    BY:   STREETS, HIGHWAYS, TRAFFIC AND SAFETY 

Authorizing the Mayor of the City of Massillon, Ohio, to submit an application for 2014 Municipal Road Funds for the Hankins Road Improvement Project, and declaring an emergency.



COUNCILWOMAN HALTER – Thank you, Mr. President, this ordinance is in regards to the upcoming road improvement project on Hankins Road which we all know we need that.  This is to submit an application for the municipal road funds.  The breakdown of funds as you can see is in section 2, the SCATS Massillon Share would be $4,473.00 and the Hankins Road Improvement Project is $175,000.00.  If you have some questions we’ll get those answered otherwise I’d like to go ahead and suspend the rules and pass this tonight. 

COUNCIL PRESIDENT TOWNSEND – Are there any questions for Councilwoman Halter?  There are no questions, your motion?

COUNCILWOMAN HALTER moved for suspension of the rules and passage, seconded by Councilman Manson.

The rules were suspended by a roll call vote of 9 yes.


COUNCIL PRESIDENT TOWNSEND – Thank you, Madame Clerk, Ordinance No. 159 has passed.  


COUNCIL PRESIDENT TOWNSEND – Do we have any new or miscellaneous business?  Councilwoman Scassa?

COUNCILWOMAN SCASSA – Thank you, Mr. President.  Just real quickly I know most of our audience tonight is made up of the administration and department heads and city employees and I’m assuming they’re all here to hear the state of the city which I’m eager to hear.  We have a new year ahead of us where we have a lot of work to do and I would just like to formally ask the administration and those members when you come to our council meetings if you’d like to join us back in the bar back in those seats I would like to see that happen moving forward. 



Thank you, is there anything else from any other council members?  Okay, alright, we have arrived at item 17 this is where anyone who would like to speak on a topic that does not appear on tonight’s agenda may come to the microphone and give their name, address and the topic they wish to discuss. 

RENEE BOGUE – 204 Willow Avenue, Massillon.  Of course, I’ll be speaking on the four ordinances that would lease City owned land for drilling.  But first of all I would like to congratulate our new council members.  Our hope is that you will fight for us.  Your electorate for a healthy and safe environment for our families and our neighborhoods.  There are many aspects of drilling that are detrimental or dangerous such as cancer causing air pollution, possible irreversible water contamination from the gas wells themselves and injections wells.  We must protect our water well fields which serve Massillon and neighboring communities.  Keep in mind we have two injection wells with Massillon addresses one just four miles from our water well field.  We must protect the Tuscarawas River Basin which straddles Massillon and serves over 600,000 people.  Other drilling concerns are blow outs, spills, noise, traffic and drug and alcohol related crime from out-of-state workers.  Although Enervest said they would video tape the roads to show that they are leaving the roads repaired would that video tape show structural integrity?  There will be a rippling affect of lower home values starting out with the homes nearest the wells and spreading to the homes that surround those homes.  Homeowners face an inability to get insurance, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company has become the first major insurance company to say it won’t cover damage related to fracking.  The Columbus Ohio base companies personal and commercial policies were not designed to cover risk from the drilling process called hydraulic fracking or fracking Nationwide spokesman Nancy Smeltzer said.  Nationwide said the risk involved in the fracking operations are quote “too great to ignore” unquote and apply policies of commercial contractors and landowners who lease property to gas companies.  Keep in mind that all mortgage companies require home insurance from their borrowers.  We are looking at the inability for buyers to get mortgages both on land with a gas well and neighboring properties.  Drillers will be bringing in their own crews the better paying jobs will be going to out-of-state workers who have industry experience not Massillon residents.  My main concern are the health affects would you be willing to bring your families including your children and grandchildren down to a well that is being flared?  Would you be willing to breathe in the cancer causing chemicals?  Of course, not then why would you let the families in our neighborhoods breathe this?  Volatile organic compounds and benzene can put developing fetuses and children at risk.  There are potentials for cancer and neurological and respiratory problems for us all.  A peer review study published in the Journal Endocrinology has found that there are higher levels of endocrine disrupting chemicals in surface and ground water in Colorado at the sampled natural gas sites.  These chemicals have been linked to infertility, birth defects and cancer.  As the longer serving members of council know we have been urging council to ban gas shale drilling.  Unfortunately this has not happened.  Council and our mayor have a duty to protect us.  Canton City has pulled out of consideration a similar ordinance when its citizens spoke out and is now conducting a study of its water.  We are surrounded by communities that have banned fracking or who has sent resolutions to the state.  Those communities include Canal Fulton, Canton City, Hartville, Meyers Lake, North Canton and Plain Township.  What do you know that makes drilling acceptable that these communities do not?  What makes you think these wells will not leak when industries own study show that they will?  Industry has spent millions in advertising on TV, radio and newspapers.  There are industry sponsored so-called educational websites and educational forums is it the goal to brainwash Stark Countians to believe that drilling is safe?  To really understand drilling you need to do in depth research.  Also in our community at Kent State Stark Mayor Tillman from Texas spoke on how he had to leave his dream house and his city because of the air pollution was sickening his children.  Award winning and noted author and ecologist Dr. Steingraber also spoke on the dangers of drilling.  Were you there?  Dr. Rosendo Fuquen of Stark Countian and a Doctor of Science and Materials Engineering with a specialization in fracture mechanics warned Massillon Council and Senator Oelslager against fracking his testimony can be found in council minutes.  In a recent article we learned from the Associated Press of six incidents of water contamination in Ohio.  Those oh excuse me, these are cases of contamination linked to drilling and what the industry does is play a semantics game where they try to separate fracking from the drilling process.  You can’t frack until you first drill if contamination comes from drilling it is still coming from part of the process.  It is a way to use words to confuse people.  Council needs not to take a knee jerk reaction to the city’s debt and needs to look 10, 20, 30 years down the road we need long term thinking not short term.  Fracking is a boom and bust industry leaving behind leaking wells and polluted work sites.  Solidify drilling waste potential radio active will be buried onsite poisoning our soil.  Will taxpayers then have to pay for soil remediation?  For little money now Massillon will have to pay much more money in the future from the problems created by facilitating this drilling.  In the future do we want to be known as a toxic city or as a health city attracting homebuyers and industry.  You must not facilitate drilling do not lease our land.  It is not worth the risk.  Thank you. 

COUNCIL PRESIDENT TOWNSEND – Thank you.  Is there anyone else? 

LAW DIRECTOR STERGIOS – Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen, I this technically was on the agenda and I’ll be brief because I know we want to get to the mayor’s state of the city.  But we always give these resolutions commending council members and they read the same way every year.  I wanted to put this in Mr. Peters’ resolution but I didn’t think it was really all that proper.  But I’d like to have the record reflect the following: 

Whereas, Donnie Peters, Jr., has distinguished himself by serving in a manner which is unprecedented in the recent history of council including but not limited to following incidents which clearly separate him from all those who have previously served in his position.  He had perfect attendance at every regularly scheduled meeting during his service and he voted no to excuse anyone else for missing a meeting throughout that entire time.  He had appeared a budget meeting with his sleeping bag and a toothbrush in order to sleep it out through the night until we got the budget passed or a temporary budget I believe.  Year every year he said he would not approve a budget that did not fully fund police and overtime and he’d starting that about right now in January and then come March he’d approve a budget with 0 in police and fire overtime.  He allegedly attended but did not graduate from the same law school as me.  He took different classes.  And he never failed to say exactly what was on his mind at all times in session, out of session, to the news reporters, on the phone, screaming down the hallway and is the only member I ever saw when they had to quote in the paper yelling at Councilman Slagle and they had to delete every word except Slagle.  So that’s my word on Councilman Peters let the record so reflect. 

COUNCIL PRESIDENT TOWNSEND – Thank you, you’ve got that right.  Mr. Huebner?

JIM HUEBNER – Well, I have to break up the party but I want to talk a little bit about oil and gas and especially to the new members of council.

COUNCIL PRESIDENT TOWNSEND – Mr. Huebner, state your name, address for the record.

JIM HUEBNER – 55 6th Street SE in Massillon.  That’s also for the benefit of the new members.  We’ve been here before with these oil and gas well issues in Massillon.  About two and half years ago we had a company that wanted to drill a couple of wells in Downtown Massillon in the Towne Plaza and our city council at the time voted against those wells.  I think that was the right decision.  For me personally my problem with it is the industrialization of our neighborhoods.  More personally for me I’m currently been mandatory pulled into a drilling unit in my neighborhood that’s going to be drilled down on Tremont Avenue and that mandatory pulling order has been approved and I’m in the process of appealing it.  We have a lot of reasons not to want to see this.  You maybe aware of this or not but the State of Ohio took away the local authority concerning oil and gas issues.  So I understand that the city has limited options.  In fact about the only option you have is whether or not you vote to approve or disapprove the the use of city property in these leases.  So I’m hoping and we’ll talk more about this of course at the upcoming hearing but I’m hoping that you’ll take a very close look at this situation and vote in favor of the residents of the City of Massillon, Ohio and keep our neighborhoods clean and safe for all of us.  Thank you.

COUNCIL PRESIDENT TOWNSEND – We are still on item 17 is there anyone else who would like to speak on a topic that is not on the agenda?  Okay, well the meeting will continue I want to ask the mayor to come up and present her State of the City address.

MAYOR CATAZARO-PERRY – Actually if you don’t mind I’m going to stay here because its very difficult to see the slide from that position here you have to turn your neck its very difficult to see.  I wanted to say first of all good evening and Happy New Year to President Townsend and all the council members, all our department directors, the media, our residents, our law director and I don’t want to forget the students in the back.  So tonight is the state of the city but I first wanted to pass out a memo to all of you as we welcome 2014 I wish to extend my warmest wishes to each of you for happy, health and prosperous New Year.  As you know my door is always open I look forward to your calls and visits.  I’m open to listen to your ideas or your suggestions as I value your opinion.  We can meet at any time to discuss any of your concerns.  I would also like to congratulate all of you on your election and the three new members on their election and I have a small gift for the new members.  Ted will pass those out now and just want to congratulate you I know that it’s its fun to win.  It’s not so fun to lose.  But we’re at a new year 2014 and we all need to work together.  I do want to apologize I missed all of your swearing in unfortunately my family has had virus’ in our house.  Before Christmas, during Christmas and after Christmas and I actually had the flu twice within two weeks, a sinus infection and an upper respiratory so we struggled with that.  I think that’s all behind us but I do apologize for missing that, that is a big day for everyone.  Okay, so now we’re going to get started with the State of the City and I want you to know that by law we have to present the State of the City and typically it’s done on the very first meeting so we are following the Ohio Revised Code and presenting this tonight.  All of you are listed here as the City Council members and President of Council and our other elected officials Jayne Ferrero, Auditor, Maude Slagle, Treasurer and our Director of Law Perry Stergios.  These are our department directors as you can see this staff that is here tonight to support the State of the City I will tell you it is an honor and a pleasure to work with them.  They have worked tirelessly to make this city function and when you have money it’s very easy to do your job.  When you don’t have money it’s a lot harder and I commend each one of them for the job that they are doing in their area.  We’re going to go through and start with the General Fund deficit reduction this is something to be proud of and we’re going to show you where we started.  In 2012 we started with $416.79 in the beginning of January they let the books open until about January 11th and then they closed the books which has never been done before and they pushed back $180,000.00 that should have been in 2012 back to 2011 and that’s what created the carryover of $416.79.  There was measurable progress made with the city’s finances during the 2012 and again in 2013 and we did this by way of balancing the budget.  Meaning that what revenue we had is what we spent and of course a little bit of that deficit carryover into ’13.  We reduced the deficit in 1 year time by $200,000.00.  That was pretty good now what was most notable about that reducing the deficit was that we halted the excess spending.  That was where it was hard to accomplish.  And that was done by all the department directors and everyone really working hard to accomplish that.  Prior to 2012 the city had not been living within its budget we depleted the General Fund reserves after 5 consecutive years of operating deficits.  That’s what got us into trouble.  The failure to control spending resulted in a downgrade to the city’s bond rating.  In March 20th of 2012 Moody downgraded the city’s rating to a BAA1 with a negative outlook from a previous A1 rating.  May 20th 2013 a year and two months later they assess you and they monitor to see if you’ve made any progress on creating revenue and they downgraded us again with a BA1 and maintained the negative outlook.  On October 8th of 2013 the state auditor declares City of Massillon in fiscal emergency.  The $2.4 million dollar General Fund deficit carried into 2013 continued to stress our operations on our city.  This administration remained focused we controlled our operating costs and we collected revenue that was due to the city.  And this is what we have today we have shrunk that deficit by 58% and you can look at your cash balance there on your sheets that you all have and we are about at $1.1 million we rounded up of a deficit.  So we have decreased our deficit that we started with in 2012 by 58%.  Outstanding.  This was achieved with discipline spending, increased income tax collections and the receipt of several non-recurring sources of funds.  One, was the inheritance tax that is no longer, we brought in $338,000.00 this year.  Personal property tax a $182,000.00, the Workers Comp refund rebate was $98,000.00, our Solid Waste Department sale proceeds a $190,000.00 and our Solid Waste Department Capital Fund at about $39,000.00 for a total of $667,000.00 which will not more than likely reoccur this year.  So that really helped the bottom line along with controlling our spending.  So here is what’s most notable for all of you to see is our income tax was up by 8.4%, our local government and state funding was down 23%, we received $527,000.00 this year.  Our real estate was down also by 10.5% at a $1.2 million, our inherit tax was about the same as last year but again we’re projecting a 0 for ’14.  The FEMA SAFER Act Grant the administration worked with the Fire Department Chief Burgasser and we achieved receiving this FEMA Grant it had a lot of hands in it.  Some of you wrote letters of support, the first year we used $137,000.00 it began in October and that was in ’12 and this past year we used $876,000.00 to help support our Fire Department.  Then you’ll see the $3 million in other revenues and that can be Building Department, EMS and things like that.  For a total of $19.4 million dollars this year again 11% increase for our total funds.  Our income tax collections and you can see lets look straight to the bottom the $15 million that’s what we brought in with income tax.  Again, outstanding, 9.4% increase, the Parks and Rec. received $2.5 million from that and the General Fund received 12.7.  I want to point out here in our Capital Improvements in ’12 we reverted back and had $29,000.00 that we utilized we had this past year $155,000.00 and we did carry some over for the new year.  We’re now going to talk about our Parks and Rec. Department, a year for record for record books.  The Rec. Center sold 7,223 memberships in 2013 up 12% over a 182,000 members visited in increase of 6.5% of 2012.  We received a walking path again from the Campbell Oil Company, we reached out to Brian Burrow he wanted to maintain that it’s been a long time it was their namesake.  They donated that once again and it is a long standing acryli-tex that has been placed on that walking path.  So we want to again thank the Campbell Oil Company and Brian Burrow.  Arthur Genshaft Memorial Park over a $1 million dollar makeover gift from Fresh Mark and the Genshaft Family and I don’t have to rehash this with all of you, you voted on it we appreciate that it’s going to be a wonderful facility again in the Spring.  The boundless playground installed at North Sippo this is a playground that we were awarded through a grant that was $50,000.  And my job was to find an anonymous donor well actually to find the donor and the donor requested to be anonymous to be able to accept the grant.  We could not accept it had we not had that $50,000.00 to assist and I did find that and we had a wonderful grand opening Doug and Lisa worked very hard for that.  But this playground is for children with all abilities and that again is just outstanding and we appreciate the partnership.  And now we’re going to highlight from other departments our Wastewater Treatment Plant, Tony has done an outstanding job the complaints on the smell have been diminished we hardly get any anymore its done an outstanding job.  We’re going to upgrade that project the cost is about $23.9 we are going to be in compliance now and in the future and again we are preparing for progress in our city and that’s wonderful.  Engineering Department, Keith has again has done an outstanding job I just can’t say enough about our department directors.  We received dollars for Lincoln Way resurfacing this year, the Griffith Avenue Sewer Replacement Project and Lake Avenue NE.  We’ve had great compliments about those projects but there’s more coming.  The Levee Infrastructure Improvement has begun.  We’re going to get 9th Street done and that is huge for our industries there.  We’ve heard nothing but complaints about that area.  We want to maintain and keep our businesses here and that is going to help do that.  Hankins Road big issue on Facebook last night with our media the Independent was put out a question about potholes and I’m not a Facebook person but I had texts from people and I will tell you Hankins Road is bad we know that.  Mrs. Halter brought that up tonight and but that Hankins Road is going be redone next year or this year and its going to be an outstanding project that we’re very excited about.  We just found out recently about our 17th Street NE Mrs. Scassa and that’s going to happen and that’s been long standing as well.  So that’s another exciting project that we’ve got on the table for ’14.  The estimated cost listed in these projects is about $6.7 million that figure does not include design and construction management fees.  And these services are performed by the City’s Engineer’s Office saving our city hundreds of thousands of dollars in professional and consulting fees.  So hats off to Keith being able to do that for us and saving the city money.  The next one our Storm Sewer Basin Replacement Project Program this has been a hot topic as well.  I will share with you that we have horses throughout the city and we’re working as diligently as we can to get these replaced or rebuilt.  Here’s the numbers for 2013; 43 basins were replaced, 26 were rebuilt and we had storm pipe repairs of 4 and Keith has more on the list for ’14 so if you do find one as you’re driving around and we may not have it on the list please give us an email and we can add that.  So we are diligently fixing these because they are a hazard and they are a problem.  This is absolutely great news we issued 1,329 permits and our fees collected was $332,000.00.  But look at this next number $39.4 million in property improvements.  Outstanding for a city our size; 5 commercial permits for $12.2 million, 30 housing starts totaling $4.2 million.  Canal Fulton, our collaboration with them a 106 permits with $24,000.00 being collected.  Our total department revenue is up 24% at $361,000.00.  Great job, Mr. Kraft and his staff.  The Health Department has found ways to collect the tires and not allow them to charge us any further.  They used to charge us I think Ms. Argent told me about $6.00 a tire now they’re taking them away for free.  They have a new quality improvement program for cleaning up dumpsites as well.  Our Fire Department again we talked about the SAFER Act Grant with everyone working together to receive that this fund’s 24 months of salaries and benefits covers 10 firefighters.  And again we used $876,000.00 in ’13 and we’ll complete the grant this October.  This is something I’m very proud of because when I sat in your seat I voted for EMS transport and as a nurse I know how important it is to get the patient to the hospital.  We generated our highest revenue ever at $688,000.00 the amount of EMS savings to our Massillon residents during the year was $334,000.00.  So chief great job you and your staff and great job stabilizing our patients and I know we’ve got reports about when a person has a heart attack or a blockage and how when we get them from the scene to the hospital its in great time and we’ve saved many lives that way.  We also welcomed two new police cruisers the second one I was informed today has arrived.  They are in service they are on the road we’ve heard nothing but positive comments about these.  The additions to our fleet have digital video which our other cruisers do not have, they have radar and many other important pieces to utilize.  This is something that I am very, very proud of and I know I think I told the story once before about our one of police officers was driving through as this COOL Project was unfolding and 1,700 volunteers were out there most of them bought a blue t-shirt and wore it and helped and they prepared possibly painting for a home.  They put up a porch, they would put up a ramp for wheelchair residents, they mowed, they planted flowers, many things that they did to beautify Ward 5.  Did an outstanding job they also did repaired Oak Knoll Park Pavilion and just did great community service for this area.  And I can tell you that because the city was so supportive of them they have chosen Massillon again I think shared that with you and I think the date this year is June 7th and the group right now has not selected the area.  So we’ll be finding that out soon.  I don’t get to select that they do and then they organize the entire so if you’d like to be involved this year it is very heartwarming and we’ll give you some information as it becomes closer.  The Summer Concert Series again had another excellent season we are again pleased to report that no tax dollars were used to pay for these performances.  Now we’re going to jump to economic development and I hope some of you start cheering because this is where we have excelled.  As part of this administration’s economic development and business retention strategy the city experienced another successful year.  We brought in 372 new jobs, 571 existing jobs we retained them and approximately $40 million dollars in capital investments.  I think I had $39.4 but we rounded it to $40 million.  Outstanding.  Heinz had a lot of opportunity to move away from Massillon there were a lot of cities in other states vying for their attention and we kept them right here.  And I know we’re big on football we won, we won the game here.  We have 249 jobs that we created that will be created, we retained 450 and they’re going to put $28 million in capital improvements and we’re so pleased that Heinz chose Massillon.  Again.  We recruited Premier to our city, young man Derek Miller, he developed a over 20,000 square building and moved to Massillon.  It’s a $5 million dollar new facility and they brought 70 jobs with them and I think the annual payroll is approximately $4 million dollars.  That is outstanding and he has set his business up to grow.  So the biggest problem he has is finding employees.  So if you know someone that needs a job right there Premier is hiring.  Quest Specialty Chemicals purchased US Chemicals and Plastics, again they could have gone somewhere else they chose Massillon.  We worked very hard on keeping them here 25 new job opportunities we retained 123 and they’re going to have a 23,000 square foot building expansion.  The next company is Atlas CDL Testing Company, they relocated here we offered them a $5,000.00 economic development grant to assist them with moving expenses.  They’re bringing 7 full time jobs and 2 part time jobs.  Team Midwest when I was elected as mayor this company called me and I went down and sat down and talked with them and they said that nobody really wanted to keep them here they were looking in Dalton.  We said we want you to stay Mr. Herncane and I worked with them we found them some land and they’re going to be building a new 10,000 square foot office in the downtown business district.  We’re retaining 18 jobs and 2 new positions will be added and you’ll see that beginning this spring.  Our city also offered an economic development grant to PolyPro Solutions to relocate to Massillon in 2014 and with that they bring 6 new full time positions.  R. T. Hampton Heating and Plumbing is coming to Massillon and we’re going to give them some dollars for relocating to our city.  They’re bringing 13 full time job opportunities.  And as many of you know since Mr. Peters worked at FiberCorr; Aqua Ohio, FiberCorr, Greif and Progressive Chevrolet all made significant investments in Massillon during 2013 all contributing to the growth of Massillon’s economy.  And many of you came to Affinity’s grand opening of the their new ER in April 2012 they broke ground on a multi-million dollar 22,000 square foot emergency room expansion and opened on July 18, 2013.  They are a level III trauma center as well as an accredited chest pain center.  Of course we can’t forget Baker Hughes we all worked very hard on this the oil service company began construction of a $14 million dollar project about $10 million is done at this time.  They’ll finish the other $4 million this year.  The city again thank you I was not able to attend the meeting thank you for approving the TIF agreement.  They are going to need roadways there will be many trucks working on that road and we’re going to need to maintain it and improve it.  So I do appreciate your support on that and there will be opportunities now since we TIF’d the other parcels that we can hopefully market those parcels as well.  We will continue to meet the challenges that lie ahead we need to work together to stabilize our financial future for the city of champions.  I just want to end with a summary that we have had a productive year.  We’ve reduced the deficit to $1.1 million and that was by 58%.  We’ve received over a $1.5 million dollars to improve our parks, we’ve retained 571 jobs with existing businesses and added 372 jobs for a total of 943 jobs.  And we have over $40 million dollars invested in our business and residential community.  And with that I’d like to say thank you I look forward to working with you this year.  We are going to get a lot done.  The new project that they just talked about the Lemmon and Lemmon its an outstanding project and we have not lost Ashland they’re over at RG Drage which is a win-win for the city.  And only good things will come to Massillon we this is a great city with people that are so resilient and we’re not going to let this fiscal emergency get us down we’re going to get through it and we can do it together.  Thank you.  

COUNCIL PRESIDENT TOWNSEND – Thank you, Mayor, considering the fact that we are in fiscal emergency I think you’re doing a wonderful job at moving the city forward so I appreciate that.  And I’ll make sure I go tell my son about one of those jobs that are open.  Okay, is there anything else from council members?  There isn’t I need a motion to adjourn.


COUNCILMAN CHOVAN  – I move that we adjourn, seconded by Councilwoman Cunningham-Hedderly.




©Copyright 1998 - present City of Massillon. All Rights Reserved
Designed and Maintained by Imaging 2000 Web Design