To the Editor:
In the special election scheduled for Aug. 7, voters have two Charter change issues which affect :
Issue 5: To allow by explicit charter language, the resumption of Executive Session capacity for the Board, and
Issue 6: To require, by charter, that the Board meet on dates that City Council determines.
The Avon Lake Board of Municipal Utilities urges voters to vote YES on Issue 5, which arises as a result of an oversight in a 2005 charter change, and which is necessary for the conduct of business within the Board’s purview, which concern matters that should not be conducted in open session, for example, personnel and legal discussions. Council supports this charter change unanimously.
In the matter of meeting dates, Utilities has conducted its business, which dates back to 1929, on dates it has established, namely the first and third Mondays of each month. This has been its practice since 1932. The Avon Lake City Council, which traces its beginnings to 1961, has had its regularly scheduled meetings on the second and fourth Mondays, to coordinate with Utilities. Since 1998, however, City Council has added non-binding “Collected Committee Meetings” on the first and third Mondays, themselves causing the conflict, which they now seek to remedy, against the wishes of ALMU and with only mixed support among Council and the Mayor.
The separation of powers of Council and the Board is essential to the interests of the citizens of Avon Lake, and to the extramural stakeholders who buy water and sewer services from ALMU. It is the Board’s very independence that enables ALMU to conduct the businesslike operations that have yielded unusually high quality and low prices on water and sewer services consistently through the years. Accordingly, the Board urges voters to vote “NO” on Issue 6.
Avon Lake Board of Municipal Utilities
Anthony L. Abram
John G. Dzwonczyk
David J. Marquard
Paul R. (Randy) Phillips
Charles D. Whitmer