Samuel Pierce takes seat on Troy Council; Subdivision rules going to third reading

By Sam Wildow

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TROY — Samuel J. Pierce took his seat on the Troy City Council on Monday, filling the third ward seat. Both Pierce and returning fifth ward council member William C. Twiss took their oaths of office on Monday, along with Council Clerk Sue Knight.

“When I was running for office, knocking on doors, I heard from many citizens,” Pierce said. “The overwhelming issue raised by Troy residents is fiscal transparency. I intent to introduce legislation in my first term to have the open checkbook and to work with the mayor and City Council. I would like to thank the residents of the third ward for electing me, and I look forward to serving them.”

The council then elected fourth ward council member Bobby Phillips as President Pro Tem and councilwoman-at-large Lynne Snee as Clerk Pro Tem for the new term. The President Pro Tem presides should the council president, William Lutz, be absent at a meeting. The Clerk Pro Tem would sign any necessary documents in the absence of the clerk.

Director of Public Service and Safety Patrick Titterington then introduced Mark T. Wendling, who was appointed as assistant director of Public Service and Safety, effective Jan. 3.

“He was most recently the Fairfield city manager for five years. Prior to that, he served four years as the assistant to the city manager in Fairfield,” Titterington said. “Overall, he has more than 30 years in local public service.”

Wendling will fill the position that is becoming vacant with the pending retirement of long-time Assistant Director Tom Funderburg. Monday was Funderburg’s last council meeting as assistant director, and city officials and council members commended Funderburg for his service to the city.

“Thank you so much for all you’ve done,” Lutz said.

Titterington said later that Funderburg spent 15 years with the city of Troy and all of those years were “exemplary.” He added that he hopes Funderburg will stay active with the city.

“He was a rock to work with,” Law Director Grant Kerber said.

“You’re a most outstanding person,” Phillips said. “Thank you for your service.”

Also on Monday, the council returned to an ordinance proposing changes to the subdivision regulations of the city’s codified ordinances. The goal of the proposed amendments is to clarify regulations to make them more user-friendly and have word/term consistency.

Jeffrey Schilling, sixth ward council member, continued to object to the use of the word “morals” in section 1111.01, which lists “morals” as one of the number of ideals that the subdivision regulations exist for in order to promote and maintain.

Schilling stated the cities of Sidney, Piqua, Tipp City, Vandalia, and Englewood do not have the word “morals” in their respective subdivision regulations. He questioned if the inclusion of the word “morals” would give the city the authority to declare certain acts “immoral.”

“Removing the word ‘morals’ will say to the residents of Troy that we as the City Council respect your individual rights and freedoms and honor our commitment to help govern Troy by not overstepping our boundaries with undefined, unnecessary, unenforceable, and unwanted regulations,” Schilling said.

Phillips then motioned for the three-reading rule to be suspended for this ordinance. That motion failed with Pierce and Schilling voting against it. Council members Todd Severt and Jeffrey Whidden were absent from Monday’s meeting, so they did not vote on this motion. The ordinance will go to a third reading at the next council meeting on Jan. 18.

Next, the council held the first reading of an ordinance to rezone a 2.484-acre parcel located on South Dorset Road at Arthur Drive from light industrial to local retail district. The parcel is inlot 7392 and parcel number D08-099763. The property owner is Greenville Federal. The proposed use is for a financial institution. The ordinance will go to a second reading as a public hearing will be held at the council’s next meeting.

Also on Monday, the council authorized the use of internet auction sites for sale of surplus property.

The council’s next meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Jan. 18. It was rescheduled from the Jan. 17 date due to the observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Trash and recycling will still be on schedule that week.