Jefferson Village Council reviews policies

Jan. 19—JEFFERSON — Village Council spent more than an hour discussing motions brought to the floor by new council member Pasquale Martuccio, who formerly served as village administrator.

Martuccio opened the meeting seeking to add six items to the agenda. He included an executive decision regarding the placement of former mayor Brian Diehl on the tax review board.

After the executive session, the motion tax review motion was tabled, according to Jefferson Mayor James Chiacchiero.

Martuccio also questioned the process by which council member Steve Sekanina was elected pro tempore at a meeting two weeks ago. He questioned whether Robert's Rules of Order were properly followed.

He said Jefferson Chiacchiero had not allowed time for discussion on the motion or provided the opportunity for another candidate to be presented as an option.

Chiaccherio said he did ask for questions during the motion process. Martuccio said he had no problem with Sekanina in the position but was concerned about whether rules were followed properly.

Martuccio also presented a motion to make a June 23, 2022, disciplinary action against him a public record. The motion passed.

He also asked that attorney-client privilege be waived regarding an opinion asked for by a former Jefferson official. That motion also passed.

A lengthy discussion occurred around another motion Martuccio added to the agenda, seeking action by the clerk-treasurer regarding the updating of record policies and to make council meetings available on the Internet.

He asked the policies be reviewed and the audio and video recording equipment be in use by the Feb. 5 council meeting.

"If the necessary updates cannot be in placed on or before Feb. 5th, 2024, due to time constraints, the clerk-treasurer and the solicitor shall make every effort to have the above polices in place and updated as soon as possible," Martuccio said.

After significant discussion the motion passed 6-0. Jefferson Village Solicitor Jason Fairchild said he will review the present records retention policy and see if any action must be taken regarding audio and visual records.

Fairchild said any changes in policy would need to be reviewed by the Ohio Historic Connection that monitors records retention.

Several council members questioned the need to make the change by the Feb. 5 meeting. The motion eventually passed by a 6-0 vote.

In another motion Martuccio asked council to implement a policy having videotaped meetings be placed on the village website so the public has access to the recordings of the meetings.

Martuccio said council should all vote in favor of the police because transparency is important. Several council members said they felt there should be more time to review the policy before voting.

The motion ended up in a 3-3 tie with Chiacchiero breaking the tie against the motion. Steve Sekanina, Katy White-Dreier and Karen Roderick opposed the motion and Martuccio, Steve Febel and Kevin Orvos voted in favor of the motion.

Sekanina said he might vote in favor of the motion after more research of the policy. He and others said they felt there wasn't time to digest the information.

In other business village council approved a 6 percent pay increase for salaried, hourly and part-time employees after a third reading of the motion.