Avon Lake Municipal Utilities is your water and wastewater service provider. Later this month, Avon Lake residents will receive our annual water quality report. Please take a moment to read it to see what we’ve been doing and confirm the quality of your water. You may be interested to learn that the Rural Lorain County Water Authority, who purchases water from us, recently won “Best tasting water in rural Ohio” for the eighth time in nine years. Also, Ohio EPA’s 2010 Sewer and Water Rate Survey just ranked Avon Lake as having the second lowest annual water bill in the state.
You elect the Board of Municipal Utilities to represent your interests and assure we are making decisions to best balance quality, quantity, cost, and service. Later this summer, you have the opportunity to help your Board of Municipal Utilities. The August 7 ballot will have two charter amendments that affect the Board. One relates to executive sessions, and the other relates to meeting dates. The Board has strong beliefs about these amendments, which are presented below, along with additional background on the issues.
The first charter amendment relates to executive sessions, which are meetings where the Board may meet privately to discuss certain matters. The Ohio Revised Code allows executive sessions to discuss legal matters, personnel matters, collective bargaining issues, real estate transactions, security, and matters required to be kept confidential. In 1988, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that city charters superseded the ORC when the charter stated all meetings must be in open session. When City Council brought a charter amendment to the voters in 2005 to allow Council to meet in executive session, it was overlooked to provide the same ability for the Board. This charter amendment will fix that oversight, and the Board asks you to support that amendment.
The second charter amendment would require the Board to meet on a different night than any regularly scheduled Council meeting. The Board does not support this amendment and asks you to reject it. One practical problem with the proposed amendment is that it is nebulous as to what a “regularly scheduled meeting of Avon Lake City Council” is. From its inception in 1929, the Board of Municipal Utilities designated the first and third Mondays as its meeting date so that it would not conflict with the Council’s second and fourth Monday legislative meetings. Since that time, Council has begun holding committee meetings. Collective committee meetings are held on the same night as the Board meeting, and other committee meetings are regularly held on other nights. If committee meetings are considered regularly scheduled Council meetings, then the amendment would significantly limit when the Board could meet and require the Board to switch its meeting date whenever Council or a Council committee decided to change its scheduled meeting date. An often changing meeting date would make it hard for you to attend Board meetings.
As August 7 approaches, we will provide you more information to help you make your decision regarding these two issues.
Avon Lake Municipal Utilities exists to provide a service to you. Customers can call us with questions or comments during office hours (8AM – 4:30PM) at 440-933-6226 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are available for after-hours emergencies at 440-933-3229. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or view our website at http://www.avonlakewater.orgto keep up to date.
Our goal: Healthy customers, healthy environment through sustainable water management.