Trustee Shafer called the special meeting to order.
Trustee Shafer said the
purpose of this evening’s meeting is for the Board to discuss several things
that the City of
Trustee Gress had a copy of
the City of
Trustee Shafer explained the
paper Trustee Gress brought is the annexations that the City of
Discussion was held on the
Goebel Annexation at 3888
Trustee Shafer explained
everyone should speak up as a community and let them know if we want
annexations to happen. Mrs. Shafer said
the Board is hearing from community members that they don’t want to be annexed
into the city. They are being bullied
and thrown to the wolves so to speak.
Trustee Shafer said we need better education on what is out there
regarding annexations. She said this
Board really needs to look at
Trustee Shafer asked the
Board to take some severe action and speak out to the City of
Trustee Gress said he didn’t attend the annexation meeting at the commissioner’s office on Thursday and wanted to explain why. He said he was notified that morning about the meeting at 1:00 that day so he called Commissioner Tom Harmon asking him if the decision could be postponed because the township was not notified. Commissioner Harmon got back to Gress and said it could not be postponed, said this annexation is essentially a slam-dunk, it’s been to the prosecutors office and there will not be a public hearing on the Goebel Annexation and Harmon said it’s just a routine agenda item.
Gress said before Harmon got
back to him, he talked to Jeff Dutton (
time to attend the meeting. Gress said his absence from the meeting was certainly not a lack of concern.
Gress asked Attorney Jeff Jakmides if he could give a seminar or a 10-minute review of the types of annexations and the processes involved. Gress also suggested the Township become proactive with the individual property owners in advance of any annexations. Gress said we have not done that although Trustee Shafer did talk to the Wenger’s and complimented her for doing that.
Trustee Lynch said the annexation laws are basically set up for cities. He said he feels that we as a community should move forward. He said occasionally water and sewer is needed for developed industrial land, but he said he’s tired of the township being told by the city that we’re not going to work with you, we’re not going to enter into a CEDA, we don’t care what the neighbors think and this is the way it’s going to be. Lynch said we have to come up with some ways to let the city know we’re not going to put with it anymore and we will aggressively fight annexations.
Attorney Jeff Jakmides said
the key to preventing any annexation is to convince property owners to stay township
residents, which will be the Board’s challenge.
The Board needs to contact residents who own property adjacent to the
Jakmides said unfortunately, the annexation law does favor cities and it does favor annexations, but the key is the property owner signing annexation petitions. If they sign the annexation petition, it’s very difficult to withdraw your name once you’ve signed it. He said there are deadlines and said even some annexations that were not approved by the county commissioners were later overturned by the court and granted because the law does favor cities.
Jakmides said some other townships created what is called creating a Joint Economic Development District (JEDD). There are also Enterprise Zones. He explained what these do is create a buffer between the Township and the City where there’s a cooperative effort to share in some of the responsibilities and benefits of the Enterprise Zone and the Development Districts. He said it’s very disappointing when you read in the paper where elderly people are concerned about a lawsuit and are afraid that there’s going to be some retribution against them if they don’t annex in. Jakmides said that is apparently what’s going on.
Trustee Gress then explained
how the Goebel annexation at 3888
Trustee Shafer said there are a lot of things city residents have brought to this Board’s attention. She said if children want to sign up to play ball in the summer, township residents pay more even though we all go to the same schools, churches, etc. She said there are some things that just aren’t quite right and some of those things are exactly what happened in the Goebel Annexation. She said there’s a signed letter from four (4) residents all stating that Rick Guiley said he would sue if this property did not fall into the annexation and go forward with this agreement. Shafer said that’s a real shame and she thinks that’s why Mr. Batista, who is an
agent, took over Rick Guiley’s spot. She said there was a lot of suspicious activity with the Goebel Annexation.
Trustee Shafer continued saying Trustee Gress is correct. He did call and was told we were not allowed to speak and said she and Lynch showed up and they moved the public speaks to the front and allowed them to speak along with one of the neighboring property owners. She said the property owner wanted the commissioners to look at this annexation, said they know there’s a letter of the law and that the commissioners are bound by that letter of the law. She said since Mr. Guiley was so heavily involved, it would have been nice to have it postponed and to possibly look into that but didn’t know if that was an option or not, but it’s something this Board would liked to have seen happen. Shafer said they are going to oppose every annexation because the township does not want to lose any township residents or land.
Discussion was held on sewer and water. Trustee Lynch said if it does come to your house, you are obligated to hook into it.
A resident in the audience
asked if there was any course of action that could be taken against an
annexation as far as an investigation.
Trustee Lynch said unfortunately, it was not a fault on our side as we
were not notified. Attorney Jakmides
said we had no course of action because the bottom line is that the property
owner did request to be annexed.
Jakmides said the way it was done was quite unusual, i.e. make it a
condition of the property transfer, it was an elderly lady and had a city
council member who is working as a lawyer.
Does he represent the City of
Trustee Shafer asked Attorney Jakmides if there was any benefit if Mr. Goebel would step to the plate and say the reason he signed the annexation was because of the legal advice given him by Mr. Guiley. Jakmides said he’d have to get a different attorney and say that he’s not comfortable with the way this happened.
Discussion on the Goebel Annexation continued between members in the audience, (Mark Rumble, Donna Fuller, Terri Fidelholtz, Kevin Ellis and Jeannie Lynch) the Board and Attorney Jakmides. Discussion was also held on JEDD’s.
After much discussion,
Trustee Lynch proposed to send a letter to the City of Louisville saying they
have thirty (30) days to set up meetings to sit down and negotiate some serious
plans that would be good for the whole community or 1) we will cut off all
relations with them, 2) we will ask residents not to shop Louisville and 3) we
will aggressively seek detachment from them.
Trustee Shafer said she thinks it’s a great idea. Shafer said this Board must get the City of
Attorney Jakmides suggested that either the Assistant Fire Chief(s) or Fire Chief go door-to-door and talk to our residents. Let them know they are serving them and introduce themselves. Jakmides said people appreciate that.
Trustee Shafer said we’re not here to say you have to choose sides. She said we’re here to wake up Louisville City Council, let them know they’re not recognizing the Nimishillen Township Board of Trustees or their own city residents and tell them they’re definitely not there for the good of the community. She said she received several phone calls this weekend from city
residents and said they are very upset about the alcohol being served in a public park. Discussion followed.
Trustee Gress said he is now
back to the letter discussed earlier and said he, too, shares concerns about
communicating with the city and sitting down and talking. He said he does not agree urging residents
not to shop the City of
Gress said he thinks we need to be insistent and aggressive. Regarding the thirty-day time frame, he said it’s a busy time now with Constitution Week. Gress said he would like to wait until after the November election because:
(Both Thorley and Connor will not do anything to help the Township)
Gress feels the advantage would be to set up the meeting after the election and invite the newly elected people that will be coming on board. He said we need to focus on the future.
Gress also suggested we should take time to do some behind the scene planning, set up a JEDD Agreement, etc. He said it’s possible to go into these meetings on a positive note.
Trustee Shafer said she respects what Mr. Gress said, but said the future is already here and we need to move on this now. She said the Board has offered many times to meet with city council and feels by asking not only the township residents, but also the city residents, to impose ‘economic sanctions’ against the City of Louisville, maybe this would wake them up and realize they need to step up to the plate. She said city residents are absolutely fed up with their city council.
Trustee Lynch suggested in the letter to Louisville City Council, we put that we will ‘consider’ these steps. Discussion followed.
It was noted that the Commissioners’ Public Hearing on the Wenger Annexation is October 2nd, 2007 at 7 PM at the Township Hall located at 4422 Maplegrove. The Board urged everyone to attend and let their feelings about the annexation be known.
After more discussion, Trustee Shafer said she’d go ahead with the letter and MOTIONED FOR A RESOLUTION TO HAVE SHARON COMPILE A LETTER addressed to the Louisville City Council asking for them to recognize us as an equal to them and if not, we’ll go ahead and list the consequences which may include economic sanctions and we will be asking the City of Louisville residents, as well as Nimishillen Township residents, to boycott businesses within the city until they decide that they want to sit down and meet with us. Trustee Lynch suggested adding the word ‘possibility’ of economic sanctions, seconded by Trustee Lynch.
Roll call voting: Trustee Shafer – yes; Trustee Lynch – yes
Before Trustee Gress voted, he said he just couldn’t go along with the idea of economic sanctions or even possible economic sanctions. He said it’ll get in the paper and will be played up, some will laugh at us, some will get angry, which will become the focus and feels it won’t get the Board anywhere so for that reason he would have to vote no although he does support the township and does support sitting down with the city. Gress said he likes the following:
Ø JEDD Agreement
Ø Annexation seminar
Ø Be proactive with homeowners regarding annexations
Ø Request to meet is a good idea
With that, roll call voting went as follows: Trustee Shafer – yes, Trustee Lynch – yes and Trustee Gress – no. MOTION CARRIED. RES#07-323
asked reporter Malcomb Hall to please don’t confuse what this Board is going to
do. She said this letter is NOT a
threat. This letter is to hold the City
TRUSTEE LYNCH MOTIONED TO ENTER INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION at 6:35 PM for the purpose of speaking with Township Attorney, Jeff Jakmides, seconded by Trustee Gress. Roll call voting: Trustee Lynch – yes, Trustee Gress – yes and Trustee Shafer – yes. MOTION CARRIED. RES#07-324
TRUSEE LYNCH MOTIONED TO RETURN FROM EXEUCTIVE SESSION at 6:45 PM, seconded by Trustee Gress. Roll call voting: Trustee Lynch – yes, Trustee Gress – yes and Trustee Shafer – yes. MOTION CARRIED. RES#07-325
At this time, Trustee Gress wanted to continue the discussion as to whether or not we should ask the Nimishillen Township Fire Department not to participate in the Constitution parade as a protest. Gress said he does not agree with doing that because it’s about honoring the Constitution, it’s a special event, which makes the community special and should not be a political statement. He said he plans to have a float in the parade with his campaign signs on it.
The beer garden in the park was brought up for discussion again.
TRUSTEE LYNCH MOTIONED TO ADJOURN at 6:52 PM, seconded by Trustee Gress. Roll call voting: Trustee Lynch – yes, Trustee Gress – yes and Trustee Shafer – yes. MOTION CARRIED. RES#07-326
ATTEST: Carlene Harmon, Fiscal Officer Lisa R. Shafer, President
Michael L. Lynch, Vice President
Allen E. Gress, Trustee