By Aimee Hancock
PIQUA — Piqua Area Chamber of Commerce President Kathy Sherman presented the Jan Mulder Citizenship award to Amber Ike during Tuesday’s Piqua City Commission meeting.
Jan Mulder was a Piqua police officer killed in the line of duty on Aug. 11, 1970, while on foot patrol in downtown Piqua when he was shot by a gunman in the lobby of the Fort Piqua Hotel. The Jan Mulder Citizenship award is given to citizens who perform acts of personal courage or extraordinary service to aid their fellow citizens.
“The purpose of this award is to recognize a person who, in a time of crisis or emergency, through the disregard of personal safety or through prompt, alert action saves the life or attempts to save the life of an individual or individuals,” Sherman said.
Ike was leaving the gym locker room at Planet Fitness to go home when she saw a man unresponsive and lying on the ground, Sherman said.
“What began as a regular work out at Planet Fitness for Glen Madden turned into a race to save his life as he went into sudden cardiac arrest. Madden passed out and fell backwards moments after getting off the treadmill,” Sherman said.
Ike, along with help from gym staff, sprang into action by giving CPR. Having been recently trained to use a AED machine, which was available at the gym, Ike was able to get the man breathing before first responders arrived.
“Ike said the experience renewed the sentiment of not taking life for granted,” Sherman said.
Madden was also in attendance Tuesday and assisted in the presentation of the award.
Following the award, Mayor Kris Lee presented a resolution of appreciation for the public service of Robert Jennings as a city employee. Jennings recently retired as the water superintendent for the city of Piqua. He worked for the city for over 32 years, Lee said.
Later, the commission held a first reading for an ordinance to enact a city Utility Board, which would serve on an advisory basis for all city utility departments, aside from the city power system, which is advised by the Energy Board. The board would consist of six resident volunteers and two representative from the city commission.
According to Health and Sanitation Director Amy Welker, this board would allow for more resident input into the utility departments and would provide a space where residents can gather information about what’s happening within these departments while allowing transparency on behalf of the city. A second reading will be held at the next meeting.
During the public comment segment of the meeting, Tanya Blair of Leading Stars Realty inquired about the possibility of the city beginning to conduct point of sale inspections, noting that she believes these types of inspections will not positively serve the community.
According to Administrator Paul Oberdorfer, the city is looking at creating a “rental inspection program,” rather than typical point of sale inspections, which would aim to provide tenant protection. Inspections would be annual or biannual and would include checking for structural integrity and similar issues. Oberdorfer said this program is still in the works and more information will be released in the coming months.
Stephen Smitley spoke during the public comment segment to express his opposition to the proposed Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA) in downtown Piqua, and to encourage the commission to vote it down.
“I really believe it will be detrimental to our community and I think it’ll affect too many people,” Smitley said.
Smitley said there are many reasons he believes the DORA may negatively affect the community and cited a study published last month by the National Institute for Alcohol and Alcoholism, which states that from April to November of 2020, women with children under the age of five in their homes increased alcohol consumption by 323%.
Smitley said the study produced additional statistics of which policy makers should be aware, and noted that some health officials believe that laxed rules regarding alcohol purchases (i.e. curbside/”to-go” drinks, alcohol delivery, etc.) during the pandemic may have contributed to this increase in consumption.
“Alcoholism is detrimental to families, to spouses, to children involved,” he said. “Per this report, I believe alcohol consumption in our communities will increase, which our bars would love, and I would hate. I think the fallout will not be temporary, but permanent as this study indicated.”