Kavy resigns council seat
By Jane Beathard
Stan Kavy resigned from London City Council on Thursday, effective immediately.
The 13-year veteran representative of the city’s fourth ward was, most recently, council’s vice-president and finance committee chairman. His current term expires on Dec. 31, 2013.
Mayor Dave Eades said he intends to appoint Kavy to an open seat on the London Board of Public Utilities (BPU) next week. The law prohibits Kavy from serving on both council and BPU.
Eades said London native Bill Blazer expressed interest in a second open spot on BPU.
Since Kavy is a Republican, it will be up to the county’s Republican Central Committee to select his successor.
Tim Ward, executive director of the Madison County Board of Elections, outlined the procedure.
Under Ohio law, members of the central committee from London must meet within 45 days to appoint Kavy’s replacement. Paperwork confirming that appointment then goes to the election board for certification, Ward said.
Minutes before he announced his resignation, Kavy joined fellow council members Pat Closser, Alan Knowles, John Stahl and Roger Morris in approving a resolution to put a .05 percent income tax increase on the May 7 ballot.
“It’s an absolute necessity,” Kavy said.
Members Dick Minner and Steve Scaggs voted against the resolution. Scaggs said he favored a five-year tax over the proposed permanent levy to fund the city’s fire department. Minner made no comment.
Passage of the .05 additional tax will free up $800,000 from the city’s general fund to support police, recreation and other departments currently suffering budget cutbacks.
Kavy instructed city auditor Katie Hensel to provide a breakdown of how the $800,000 will be distributed. Hensel will present a list at the Feb. 7 council meeting.
If voters approve the income tax increase, council will not seek replacement in November of a 1.4-mill property tax that currently pays a portion of the fire department’s expenses, Kavy noted.
Earlier in the evening, Eades addressed council on the “State of the City.”
He urged members to “set personal agendas aside and work for the benefit of London.”
Eades noted 2012 marked the city’s first layoffs. He said the current budget crunch is likely to get worse as the state continues to cut local government funds and the Commercial Activity Tax disappears.
He also noted London now has fewer police officers at a time when drugs are rampant on city streets. Only four firefighters are on duty during the day.
The Ohio General Assembly is debating legislation to unify and centralize municipal tax collection at the state level. If passed, that legislation could cost London another $100,000 annually since it overlooks tax bills less than $50.
Other items on Eades’ list of immediate needs included new street equipment and repairs to Park Avenue’s pavement, bridge and curbs.
He also urged council to decide on the future of the aging municipal swimming pool and the London Community Center.
“This needs study,” he said.