By MARK TODD
CONNEAUT -- An ordinance City Council approved during Monday's work session may be null and void because procedures were not followed.
If the action were deemed improper, council would need to convene a special meeting to enact the measure.
At the end of Monday's session, prior to convening an executive session, an ordinance was introduced to close a portion of Residence Street late Saturday afternoon for a motorcycle blessing. After some brief discussion, council unanimously approved the measure.
However, law requires advance public notice for any meeting where legislative action is anticipated. Council's own rules require an agenda be submitted to the news media at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting.
The action occurred moments before council convened an executive session to discuss personnel. Asked about the vote after the work session, Council President James Jones said he would confer with Law Director Lori Lamer on the proper course of action. Lamer and City Manager Douglas Lewis after the work session indicated a special meeting of council was probably in order.
The ordinance is a requirement of Conneaut's special events ordinance, which stipulates any activity that can impede traffic needs council's prior approval. At issue is an event scheduled between 4 and 6:30 p.m. on Residence to bless motorcycles. The blessing is sponsored by the St. Mary/St. Frances Cabrini parishes in Conneaut.
In other business, council expressed interest in a plan under study by the Conneaut Port Authority that would place a handful of cabins on waterfront property along Naylor Boulevard. Lewis said the land is west of the bird observation platform within Conneaut Harbor.
Since the land is owned by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the cabin project would need state approval, Lewis said.
The cabins would be comparable to the units found in Geneva State Park, and would be rented to tourists, providing a source of revenue for the city. The Port Authority has been mulling four cabins to start.
City water and sewer lines would be extended to serve the units, Lewis said. Council, citing the tourism benefits, urged administrators to pursue the project.