After more than an hour of conducting a second round of interviews and deliberation, Portsmouth City Council made a decision on the appointment of 5th Ward Councilperson
On Monday, Portsmouth City Council nominated both George Davis IV and Edwin Martell for the position of 5th Ward Council, resulting in a 2-3 vote with Martell receiving the majority of the votes. Sean Dunne, Andrew McManus and Charlotte Gordon placed their votes for Martell, while Kevin E. Johnson and Thomas Lowe voted for Davis.
Martell was sworn in immediately following his appointment by solicitor John Haas and joined council to weigh in on pending legislation, officially filling the position left vacant last month by former Councilman Gene Meadows.
From the agenda, council passed an ordinance authorizing the city manager to offer for sale certain surplus city real estate located at 807 Washington Street and further authorizing the city manager to enter into a contract for the sale of such surplus property and establish $150,000 as a minimum bid for the property for a third reading.
Council also voted to waive the three reading rule for an ordinance calling to make appropriations necessary for the current expenses of the City of Portsmouth for the months of January and February 2020 as provided for in Section 50 of the Charter and passed an ordinance authorizing the city manager of the City of Portsmouth to advertise for bids and enter into contracts with the lowest and/or best bidder for required supplies, materials and services for 2020 in accordance with Ohio Revised Code section 735.05 for a second reading.
In a final matter of legislation, council made a motion to pass on for a second reading an item authorizing the repealing of Ordinance No. 63 of 2019 to decline the acceptance of the SAFER grant to hire six new firefighters as it is not economically feasible to do so. Council debated for some time whether or not this item should be tabled for further review but concluded to move forward due to time constraints with the Fire Department.
City Clerk Diana Ratliff gave her annual report following the legislative portion of the meeting in which she listed 20 executive sessions, 87 ordinances passed, 15 resolutions adopted, and 57 citizens are addressing Council on items on the agenda in 2018.
In miscellaneous business from council, there was a reoccurring concern among council members for the condition of Portsmouth’s historic buildings and a general agreement that some sort of future conversation needed to be held to discuss what can be done to better inspect and preserve the properties. Additionally, all members of council expressed their appreciation, along with City Manager Sam Sutherland, for the first responders that jumped into action Saturday following the harsh winds and brief storm that did some severe damage around the city and county.
In his first report on council, Edwin Martell looked to the future and stated he was grateful for being selected for the position and looking forward to working with fellow councilmembers to make positive change.
Reach: Ivy Potter (740) 353-3101 Extension 1932
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