UPDATE! Secretary Husted broke the Board of Elections’ tie vote in favor of putting the Proposed Ordinance on the November 2018 ballot. If you want to read a post that practically has the winning lawyer doing a victory dance in front of the city administration, read the post on the Join Grandview website.
What happens next is up to the city, but they really need to understand that the time for legal fighting is over. They can organize opposition to the vote, but can’t spend any city money.
I try to stay neutral in political issues in Grandview, unless it appears there is a clear reason to side with some position in a local dispute. I’ve looked at all the arguments over the Green Space initiative, and I have to agree with them at least on the process – they have done everything by the book. They should have their ordinance on the ballot. Read the reasoning for allowing the voters to decide the issue in this post on their website
I emailed the Mayor and all of the council members with my opinion on the Green Space ordinance appeal, and at this point have one response, from Steve Reynolds. My email is after the jump, first the email from Reynolds.
Thanks for your feedback. I can’t express an opinion as to the initiative itself. I also cannot speak for my fellow Councilmembers; however, I can say I am disappointed that tax dollars are being spent to “protect” residents from voting on the matter. The legal maneuvering is not an action that has been voted on by Council. It is being brought forth by the Mayor, the City Attorney, and the other attorneys who were hired to wage this battle. – SReynolds@grandviewheights.org
I’m a little unclear on Reynold’s claim that he can’t express an opinion on the initiative, Ohio law says the city should not be spending money to oppose the ordinance, but they still have the right to express their opinion. I guess if you count using the city email system to answer questions as spending money, that makes sense, but in a technical and not practical way.
His opposition to the Mayor spending city money on further appeals is the correct function for a council member, the Mayor holds administrative control of city funds, but the council is the final arbiter over the use of those public funds. I think if the city council had a majority belief that the city should stop spending money on appeals, and voted to direct the Mayor to let the vote be held in November, the Mayor will have to stop all court actions.
Let all the council members, and the Mayor, know what you think about the Green Space Ordinance.
(Update) Council president Kearns is backing the Mayor.
What is so bad about the Elmwood house?
The reason that the Green Space initiative was inspired was because the locals wanted to keep the area looking the same as it has for many years. As I understand the dispute, it wasn’t so much that the Elmwood property was split, but that the house the owner wanted to build was so out of place in the area. An important aid in making that decision was the renderings of the plans for the house (or would have been if they were presented to the BZA).
Those renderings are now up on the Join Grandview website. Check them out and make your own judgement on the proposed home.
My email to the city
I was OK with the city protecting itself by appealing the initiative before the BOE. I get it, this is the city saying “we have a procedure, it should be followed”.
However, the city lost the appeal. The BOE member who should have recused himself made that vote illegitimate, the city should be taking action as though it lost. Wasting a lot of time and city money fighting this out in appeals and in court is not in the best interests of the citizens of this city.
Just allow the vote to be on the ballot. If the city has done all things right in the approval process, it will win. If the city has angered too many people with past votes on development, it will lose. – John Wagner