By Karen Cornelius
Vermilion City Council met on Tuesday night, January 2. There was a swearing in for all seven council members at 7 p.m. with Vermilion Municipal Court Judge Zack Dolyk doing the honors. An organization and regular meeting was held at 8 p.m. as stipulated by the city charter. After calling the regular meeting to order, council immediately asked for an executive session to discuss personnel matters which includes hiring, firing, and compensation. Members were in executive session from shortly after 8 p.m. until reconvening at 9:40 p.m.
Council president Steve Herron read the first ordinance on the agenda appointing Kenneth Stumphauzer of the firm of Walter/Haverfield LLP of Avon, Ohio as the city’s law director effective January 1. All city council members unanimously approved of the appointment by mayor Jim Forthofer. Stumphauzer also served under mayor Eileen Bulan for eight years. Then the law director took over reading some of the other ordinances. There was the first reading of an ordinance to hire Brian Keller for the position of director of finance. The rules were suspended by 6-1 and council voted 6-1 not to rehire Keller as the finance director. Opposing were John Gabriel, Frank Loucka, Steve Holovacs, Barb Brady, Brian Holmes, and Monica Stark. The lone vote of support was from council president Steve Herron. Another ordinance was added to the agenda after this motion failed allowing mayor Forthofer to carry on the job of finance director by signing checks and making transfers until another candidate was proposed by the mayor for this job. While the mayor can make appointments, council has to approve them.
Next, council gave a first reading to the appointment of Tony Valerius as service director. The rules were suspended and council members voted unanimously for Valerius to be rehired effective January 1. They also voted unanimously for another ordinance appointing Chad Kuhns as recreation director for 2018 after suspending the rules on the first reading.
Another appointment for city engineer was given a first reading and then the rules suspended. Council approved the appointment of a new city engineer to replace KS Associates. They named Bramhall Engineering of Avon, Ohio. The ordinance was voted on unanimously by all seven members. The executive session was lengthy due to council interviewing three engineering firms interested in the position. Lynn Miggins represented KS Associates, Chris Howard represented Bramhall, and Matt Hasel represented his firm, AEG Adaptive Engineering, LLC of Vermilion.
Finally, under new business, council voted to approve the mayor’s request to also serve as safety director with no compensation.