Ada resident, Fred Rush, read a letter from members of the concrete streets neighborhood during the Village Council meeting Tuesday night.
ADA - Once again the Ada Village Council meeting on Tuesday evening had to be moved to the Depot building in order to accommodate the delegation of residents that are in protest of the planned reconstruction of Ada's concrete streets. Following the approval of financial transfers and pay ordinances 2012-23 A, B, and C, the residents in attendance were given the opportunity to speak before council.Fred Rush, who resides on Christopher Circle, read aloud, and provided each council member with, a letter from homeowners on the streets in question. Several examples of research were also provided to council of other instances around the country where residents have opposed a proposed sidewalk plan and the ways in which those situations were handled.
The letter states, "We kindly ask the Council to reconsider their previous vote in the light of the strong public reaction against the sidewalks. The Council is supposed to represent the residents, yet we find ourselves in a situation in which at most six persons (the Council members) get to decide the environment we'll live and the way we get to spend our money. As a principle, a Council going against the opinion of the majority creates a precedent which we consider unhealthy for the life of our community, and fundamentally undemocratic."
The letter goes on to say, "Please reconsider the decision about sidewalks in our neighborhood so that, through a fair act, the trust-based relations between the Ada Village Council and the residents in our area will be restored."
Other residents also questioned the representation by the Ada Village Council of the residents of Ada, including Theresa Rush who stated "Council members are elected officials, and when Council ceases to serve the wants and needs of the public they are supposed to be serving, they can probably expect not to be reelected."
Mayor Dave Retterer had some very strong words in response of the public commentary. "The role of Council...as I've always taken it to be is to serve the interests, the best interests, of the village. And so when someone asks for something and collectively we can't give it then that means that the council has decided, maybe like this one, not a unanimous decision, has decided that this decision is in the best interest of the village for current and long-term. Most of the time long-term outweighs the immediate term especially in projects like this one."
The Mayor also stated, "As far as I'm concerned, the activity that has taken place at this time is exactly what should have happened and when council voted at the last meeting that we had, two weeks ago, they voted to leave the project as it was originally planned, but as far as it is within my power it's done. That's it." Any further action on the matter can and will only be done if the members of the Ada Village Council decide to do so.
In other business, council approved Resolution #2012-28, to authorize the fiscal officer, Crystal Huffer, to establish funds for street construction, and street, water and sewer equipment. The funds are already use and merely need to be formally established. Council also approved a 3% pay increase, starting Jan. 1, 2013, for all non-union, non-contract, non-pool employees of the village departments.
In the Administrator's Report, Jim Meyer informed council members that the advertising for bids for the Lima Avenue 2 project, the reconstruction of E. Lima Avenue, will begin this week. Bidding on the project will officially open on Jan. 15.
Ada Village Council not meet in the first week of January. The first meeting of 2013 will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 15.