In the last meeting of the year, Portsmouth City Council was unable to reach a decision on the appointment of a 5th Ward Councilperson.
With the position of 5th Ward vacated and 4th Ward Councilman Jerrold Albrecht out sick, 1st Ward Councilman Sean Dunne, 2nd Ward Councilwoman Charlotte Gordon, 3rd Ward Councilman Kevin E. Johnson, and 6th Ward Councilman Thomas Lowe entered into an executive session for the purpose of interviewing candidates for the 5th Ward position at 7:10 p.m. During the session council members interviewed Will Mault, Robert Black, Edwin Martell, Barbara Biggs and George Davis IV.
Upon their return at 8:45 p.m. Council opened the floor for nominations for the position of 5th Ward Councilperson. Tom Lowe nominated George Davis IV, Charlotte Gordon nominated Barbara Biggs, and Sean Dunne nominated Edwin Martell. Upon voting, each voted for their nominated candidate, with Kevin E. Johnson also voting for Barbara Biggs. With a 2-2 vote, the council was forced to open the floor once more to nominations and vote a second time. The second round of voting resulted in yet another 2-2 vote with the same candidates receiving nominations.
City Solicitor John Haas informed the council they would have 30 days to agree on a candidate and stated if they failed to do so, the decision would be left to the City Auditor and himself to vote on. Council decided to narrow the choice between the three nominated candidates, George Davis IV, Barbara Biggs and Edwin Martell, and to conduct a second round of interviews for the three selected candidates during the first official meeting of the year on Jan. 13. At this time, the existing members of the council, in addition to the newly elected 4th Ward Councilman Andrew McManus, will have to reach an agreement on the appointment of a 5th Ward Candidate.
During Monday evening’s meeting council also passed each item on the agenda for its respective reading, with the exception of an ordinance approving and ratifying the collective bargaining agreement between the City of Portsmouth and A.F.S.M.E 1039, for the period of Jan. 1, 2020,-Dec. 31, 2022, which was waived of the three reading rule and passed by council.
Council also moved to change the language amending the salary ordinance as amended by Ordinance No. 39 of 2019 to reflect wage increases for the position of City Solicitor to be effective before the current term of the City Solicitor Expires given that the City Solicitor position is not permitted to receive a raise approved during a term being a raise to $62, 157.00 per annum for calendar year 2020 and 2.75% increase 2021, 3.0% for 2022 and to repeal ordinance No. 39 of 2019.
Council also passed an item that was added to the agenda, which allowed the Ohio Department of Transportation to treat roads and highways within city limits with pretreating liquids for snow and ice prevention, as requested by City Manager Sam Sutherland.
Reach: Ivy Potter (740)353-3101 Extension 1932
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