London City Council held its first session of the new year on Thursday night.
Immediately following the Pledge of Allegiance and the moment of silence, Mayor Patrick Closser swore in all of the council, including new members Richard Hays and Henry Comer, who replaced Dick Minner and Megan Douglas.
Council president Joseph Russell was also sworn in. He had been asked to step down from his post as council president in December by Comer, the mayor, and Madison County’s Chairman of the Republican Party, Nick Adkins, resulting from his plea to a lesser charge of disorderly conduct earlier that same month. The original charge was for domestic violence.
Several appointments were made, including Arlene Duffy (a reappointment) to the position of city clerk, Bill Long to the Emergency Medical Services Board (also a reappointment), and Lora Long as member representative to the Board of Public Utilities.
Council also approved the various committee appointments and chairs, the only changes being Comer’s appointment to Public Safety and Hays’ to Public Service.
In old business, council left a resolution on wage adjustments for city officials — sponsored by Dick Minner on the table.
The resolution states:
The Council of the City of London authorized the Auditor to increase the wages for all elected officials and appointed officials as follows commencing Jan. 1, 2020 or upon election or reappointment, whichever is later.
• Mayor — $40,000
• Auditor — $60,000
• Law Director — $93,338
• Treasurer — $6,667
• President of Council — $8,000
• Clerk of Council — $8,000
• Council Member — $6,667
• BPU Member — $6,667
• Civil Service Chairman — $500
• Civil Service Member — $400
In new business, Resolution 101-18 Sponsored by: Rex Castle — A resolution declaring the necessity and intent of the City of London to appropriate certain real property in furtherance of the contract with Brightway was passed.
The resolution is an emergency measure to authorize City Law Director Jennifer Hitt to begin the process necessary for the appropriation of the 60 S. Walnut building that Brightway purchased from the city for $1 in January of 2016. With the building showing signs of illegal entrance and fires having been started, it was deemed that Brightway was not acting as a fit custodian and was in breach of contract.
Councilman Josh Peters expressed concerns that pursuing the matter would jeopardize the gym in the community center, but these were allayed by Councilman Castle.
Also adopted was Resolution 102-18 to resurface portions of U.S. 42.
The following is the 2018 list of appointments as proposed by Mayor Closser:
• Brenda Russell — Metro Housing Authority
• Lisa Jackman — Tree Commission
• Andrew Hitt — Tree Commission
• Nicholas Adkins — Civil Service Commission
• Craig Jackson — Parks and Recreation Commission
• Marilyn Hall — Parks and Recreation Commission
• Steve Lelonek — Historic Review Board
• Robert Minner — Historic Review Board
• Zahid Siddiqi — Board of Zoning Appeals
• Bryan Dhume — Planning Commission
• Mitch Spahn — Planning Commission
• Chuck Duvall — City Properties Committee
• Josh Peters — City Properties Committee
• Rex Castle — City Properties Committee
Reach Andrew Garrett at 740-852-1616, ext. 1616.